In Minneapolis, my absolute very favorite thing to do is visit the Farmer’s Market. I love going there, chatting with the growers and stockpiling fruits and veggies for our house.
My child (God bless him) has a tendency to chat with the vendors and sample their goods before buying. My husband grew up going to Eastern Market in Detroit, where you can purchase a recently killed chicken, the food is so fresh. Either way, our family loves fresh food and prefers to purchase it direct from the source.
After several disastrous fruit purchases from Costco, the last of which resulted in a swarm of fruit flies greeting my haven’t-had-coffee-yet face in the kitchen (and resulted in my running screaming onto the patio) Manuela and I agreed that moving forward we would: (1) not buy fruit from Costco again (even though I bought a pineapple there because it was only $1.00) and (2) collect ourselves and find a place where we can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
Mercado Jamaica had several different pavilions: one dedicated to fresh fish and meats, another to cut flowers and gardening supplies (I purchased a wreath for our door here for a whopping $8.00!), one dedicated to fresh fruits and veggies and last but not least, the one we visited dedicated to plants and flowers. The mercado also had a very robust selection of live pet birds (gross!), dog foods, pet supplies (including dog beds and outfits) and the best price I have seen on dog food. It was almost $15.00 less for my beloved dog’s very expensive dog food!
Many people have said that they believe that Xochimilco is the best place to purchase flowers and plants in Mexico City. I am here to tell you that they are wrong.
The flowers and plants that we purchased and saw at Mercado Jamaica were incredible and far superior to those at the legendary Xchimilco.
I needed to purchase some planters for my rapidly growing lime tree and a bit more soil. The boy has been growing his own green beans and those have taken off too. I’m excited to have plants and shocked that they are not only alive, but thriving.
Because I injured my ankle and can’t walk as well as I normally would, this post is limited to the plant, flower, fruit and vegetable pavilion. The other challenge with visiting the mercado with one foot: I had to wear tennis shoes. In México, women do not wear tennis shoes unless they are engaged in an athletic event. Wearing tennis shoes made it a little dangerous for me to be in the market because I was so obviously out of place–to the point that small children were mystified when I walked past. Fortunately, I did not have a purse on me, so I while I was quite noticeable I was not carrying much and did not have an easily accessible wallet.
As we walked through the market, ever the negotiator, Manuela demanded that we pay less than Wal-Mart prices for our planters and soil. With a little footwork we were successful. All-around, we were very impressed with the initial pricing (pre-bargaining) and were thrilled with the exceptional quality of everything that we purchased.
Before leaving, Manuela asked for some elote or corn on a stick. I laughed: DH used to make up excuses to visit the very transitional Kmart on Lake Street in Minneapolis to purchase elote (hot roasted corn smothered in mayo and red pepper) from the vendors there. I gave her the cash and laughed as she enjoyed her corn in the backseat of the cab on the way home.
Verdict: Mercado Jamaica is manageable and has a great selection of fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables at a reasonable price. Recommend!