This little piggy went to the market
One of the great pluses of living in a locale that you don’t need a greenhouse to grow fruit or vegetables is the availability and cost of fruits or vegetables. Tracy could hardly stand herself knowing that she could shop at fresh markets. Unfortunately there is not one close by here, so we took the 40 minute drive to Santa Cruz to drop in on their market. We were not disappointed.
Unlike the markets I have seen back in the states, it is not about the blocks and blocks of stuff, but more about the prices and quality of stuff. The markets here are about the bargain shopping and the super fresh products. In Santa Cruz the market is only about a block big, but that block is full of bargains. It fits perfectly in this old feeling town with its Caribbean colored walls, block streets and beautiful park and church. We went on a Saturday, a bustling day for the city of Santa Cruz, and most of the action was in the market.
It was a hot and lightly windy day, the blanket and tarps covering the vendors were rustling in the wind. As you walk through the narrow lanes between the plastic crates covered in produce, you can smell the freshness, the smell of green fresh green vegetables and fruits wafting throughout the area, interrupted by the occasional odor of fresh fish and sometimes flowers. As you walk by the tables there would be shouts of ” mamon chino cinquenta mil” or “tomatoes cinco cien”, begging you to buy from them and not from the guy next to them selling the exact same thing for a very similar price. The key, we hear, is to get to know a single provider very well, and he will treat you well. So we came prepared to shop.
By the end of the morning we had seen dozens of variety of very fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh swordfish, homemade cheeses, fresh woohoo and shrimp, pirated copies of Captain America and every other movie in the theater in espanol, lots of babies clothes, flip-flops, shoes and even a few flowers. Upon leaving we took with us 3 kilograms of swordfish and about 45 pounds of assorted fruits and veggies, all for a grand total of about $60, forty of which was for the fish. Back home we figure this would’ve cost us probably at least 3 times that. However, although we got some great deals, the best part wasn’t the bargains, but the experience. And I guarantee we will be there again soon, and very soon we will have our own personal grocer, much like our mamon chino pusher just down the road.