Sensory Overload: Photo Tour of a Mexican Mercado

Although I’m not much of a cook, one of my favorite aspects of living in Mexico has been our frequent trips to the Mercado Medellin, a large  market in Colonia Roma Sur, about a 15-minute walk from our house. As the name implies, the Mercado Medellin also specializes in South American food products, and outside, there are a number of Colombian restaurants.

Because “going to the mercado” is a functional, practical experience for us, we haven’t taken any photos of it ourselves. But our spate of recent visitors amassed an amazing collection of mercado photos, both of the Medellin, and the mercado in Xochimilco in the south of the city.

Although it’s not difficult to see the invasion of other cultures in Mexico (including Americans like me walking around!), the mercados are a strong throwback to Mexico’s ancient past, when various indigenous cultures would meet at pre-determined locations to trade and sell products.

As a result, we now strongly urge all our visitors to go to at least one, to get a sense of how many Mexicans still obtain their groceries, socialize and retain a strong part of their culture. They can be overwhelming — this is no sanitized experience — but they are breathtaking, too. Along with fresh produce, most mercados have meat/chicken/seafood vendors, lots of dried products, pinatas, cheeses, housewares, and as everywhere, prepared food stalls.

Details: Mercado Medellin, located on Medellin between Coahuila and Campeche. View Map

First, photos by Chrissy:

(Squash blossom flowers)

(Cheese vendor)

(Green mole, made with pumpkin seeds)

(Day of the Dead sugar and chocolate skulls)

(Candied yams and pumpkins).

Photos by Connie. More of her photos can be seen here.

(Corn fungus known as huitlacoche, cactus fruit and garbanzo beans in front of a veggie soup mix)

(Me and a lot of fruit)

Photo by Hugh. More of his photography here.

(Fishmonger’s gloves)

Photos by Martha

(Trying dried grasshoppers (chapulines))

(The dried, spicy grasshoppers)

(Lime slices fail to make these goat heads appetizing)

7 thoughts on “Sensory Overload: Photo Tour of a Mexican Mercado

  1. Betty Victory says:

    Ole!!! Picturas excellente!! Joy, thanks for putting this together, somehow it looks rather Christmasey. I could have done without the last picture, ha ha.

    Folks, Joy is a very good cook and has learned many wonderful Mexican dishes.

  2. Lesley says:

    Love these. I just visited Medellín for the first time today (well, technically the second time, but the first time I was only there for 10 minutes) — and I LOVED it. So clean! And everyone is so friendly. Wish I lived closer, I’d seriously be there twice a week.

  3. gg says:

    Hi, I hope you don’t mind my using a few of your pictures to go along with my essay for Spanish. We had to talk about Mexican mercados and I thought they would make a good backdrop. Will destroy after the essay. You took some great pictures.


  4. Kim K. (The Geeky Marketer) says:

    Seriously I could almost smell the market through these pictures. This is exactly what a market looks like in Mexico! I have eaten the grasshoppers several times – not much taste of the bug – but the spicy mix is good and I love crunchy food. I think the only thing you seem to not have is pictures of lots of leather goods, alcohol and the open air hair cutting that goes on – on the fringe areas of the market.

    I have studied several times in Mexico – mostly Oaxaca Oaxaca.

    Thanks for sharing the photos – brings back so many memories!

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