La Merced Market is where you can buy anything you want in the way of food and cookware.
“¿Dónde hay metates?” I asked.
“¿Tomates?”, a vendor asked back. “¿Aguacates?”, asked another. One vendor sang a little song, “Metate, tomate, aguacate”. I was looking for some kitchen essentials best found in Mexico: a lime-squeezer and what I thought was a ‘metate’ but turned out to be a molcajete. “¡Metate, tomate, aguacate, molcajete!”
One metro line has a station that opens directly into the massive La Merced market.Such an abundance of habaneros and tomatillos!Nopal (cactus paddle) peelers strip off the spines. These are cooked, cut into strips (rajas) and added to soups, stews and moles. How to prepare them: Bistec con nopales, chorizo y frijoles.No tocar el Chayote, a fuzzy squash, cooked up and served everywhere in cups as a snack.Lo mejor ajo – the best garlic.Mexican limes, called ‘limones’ in Mexico because they are actually green lemons. (In Spanish limes are called ‘limas’.) Mole ‘mixes’ – just add your favourite broth!Green chiles, lo mejor y de temporada, ‘the best and in season’.Yellow corn-fed chicken feet for sale.Chicken bits and pieces.Zapote, a popular tropical fruit. This market is insanely busy on the weekend; try visiting it during the week.