Friday, July 16, 2010

Maneuvering Mexican Markets

Most weekends we head off to Cuernavaca - to de-stress from city living. But staying in Mexico City every once in a while does have its perks. One of which is discovering the many markets this metropolis has to offer. Instead of plowing through second hand gems and local crafts you find at tianguis, we decided to visit a market that was sure to satisfy our palates. 

I'm talking about the Mercado San Juan. This place has been around forever, and it has become widely know for having exotic meats and a variety of ingredients you won't find elsewhere in the city. It's become a staple for chefs who look for the perfect item to create their dishes. 

We were even one step ahead of you, Chilango, who just came out with the 2010 guide to the markets and bazaars of the city. Although if you can get your hands on a copy, there are some good tips to maneuvering these mazes. 

In the article, Mercado San Juan is guided by celebrity Mexican chef, Monica PatiƱo (more on her to come). I'm glad to see that even without pointers, my gordo and I were able to hit up all the places she recommends. That means we like to, and definitely do, eat well, amor

First off is La Jersey. Pick a cheese. Any cheese. They will have it, no doubt. Aside from the variety they offer, they have a damn good salesman. As you make your way to this deli, he is already pouring you a glass of wine to enjoy with all the "samples" he will offer. And they are not just little bites, it's like having your own wine & cheese cocktail hour at the market. There came a point where we had to say STOP! we can't possibly eat anymore cheese!

Of course his tactics worked like a charm. We walked away with grana padanno and an aged manchego and $500 pesos poorer. Uff, but so worth it.

mascarpone topped with honey and a walnut

If you are planning a menu for a Spanish tapas night, make your way to Baltasar. They have every Spanish embutido you can imagine. 

If you are looking to bring out the gourmet in you, Mercado San Juan is the place to be inspired. If you are still missing that one ingredient for your signature dish, I'm sure you'll find it here. And if not, they vendors will probably tell you where to get it. 

It may be a little on the pricey side, but definitely worth the experience. It's not like regular supermarket shopping where you thoughtlessly throw things into your shopping cart as you push it up and down the aisle. 

Here you really get to connect with the merchants, taste what they have to offer, and live a little of the passion that they have for what they sell. 


Mercado San Juan
Ernesto Pugibet 21
Centro Historico
Mexico D.F.
Metro: San Juan de Letran, Line 8
4 blocks from EJE Central (Lazaro Cardenas)

La Jersey
Local 161 y 195
(servicio a domicillo / delivery)

No comments:

Post a Comment