A Mexican marketplace is such a feast for the eyes — everywhere you look, there are colors, bins, stalls and food (lots and lots of food!) wherever you turn. Approaching a marketplace is a bit chaotic; cars are everywhere, people are in every direction and the outside of the marketplace looks like a dumpy warehouse. But go inside the market and you’ll find rows and rows of unique stalls, each selling various goods and treats.
The nice part about the market is that it is pretty much organized by zone. In one area, there is a dry goods section, another a carniceria (fresh meats butcher), household items, shoes, textiles, flowers, fruits and even pastries. If you walk slowly through the market, the vendors call out to you hoping that you’ll stop and buy their goods. For the most part, you can ignore them, until you decide to give in. Which is exactly what I did, and when the fun began!
Estela was a great help to me at the market. She pointed out her favorite vendors and helped translate things I wanted. I picked up all kinds of dried chiles, concentrated mole, several spice packets and even several molinillo’s. A molinillo is an interesting kitchen tool. It’s shaped like a pestle, yet acts like a whisk. Molinillo’s are used to make Mexican hot chocolate. The distinct characteristic of Mexican hot chocolate is that it’s flavored with cinammon and it’s extra frothy. The bubbly texture is created by a molinillo. I’m so happy to have a few in my posession!
As we headed back from the market, we noticed smoke rising from a nearby volcano. It was magnificent to watch. Another fun day comes to a close in central Mexico.