(Post 23 of 189. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)
One of my bucket list items for Oaxaca was to get over my fear of trying chapulines — grasshoppers. As I was on my way to the Mercado del 20 de noviembre, I started to pass vendors selling them. One young lady had time for me and had me sample two flavours, lime and salt and chile. They were crunchy and flavourful, with a distinct new flavour behind them. But as I feared, all the little appendages got stuck in my braces…
They were also much smaller than I expected. I bought a 20-peso bag of them from her and got through about half of it, so go me on that. I don’t see myself ever eating them that way again, but if I saw them on a menu as part of a food item, like on pizza, I’m past the squeamish factor.
The market was spotless and new-looking, more like markets I’ve seen in Europe than here in Mexico — no grottiness at all. I would eat and buy from any stall in it, unlike the food stalls at the big market in Mérida that repulse me.
I sat down at the first spare table I saw and a menu appeared. The server recommended I try a mixed platter of beans, rice, cecina (a thin slice of pork very similar to Yucatecan poc-chuc), tasajo (a dry cut of beef, almost jerky), and chorizo sausage. So that’s what I had.
It tasted very good (although the tough meat could have used a better knife!), especially doused in hot salsa and served all mixed together in tortillas! I enjoyed a hibiscus water with it. Funny how I’m not crazy about jamaica in Mazatlán and Mérida, but I have enjoyed it here. I think the amount of sugar must differ.
Breakfast was a bit heavy, so I headed to that juice bar in the above picture… where I had probably the most expensive small grapefruit juice in Mexico — 45 pesos!
After I ate, I wandered briefly and saw that besides all the food stands selling pretty much the same things, there were also lots of bakery stands. It didn’t feel like a place to linger after eating.
Unfortunately, I did not enjoy dining at the Mercado del 20 de noviembre because of all the touts. It really got exhausting, and the locals at my table told them off more than once. It was weird how everyone was selling the same things today that I hadn’t yet seen anyone selling (wooden kitchen implements). I guess everyone came in from the mountains, maybe?