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Food, Glorious (Oaxacan) Food

semi-overcast 26 °C

It is Market Day in Oaxaca

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But every day is market day in this part of the world and while there are plenty of modern stores and supermarkets stocked with everything we might get at home, the locals and tourists still throng the markets for bargains. The Mercado De Benito Juarez, near the centre of Oaxaca City, is a vast covered arcade offering a huge selection of products and a guaranteed sensory overload...

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We visited early to get a good look at the eye-catching displays and the fresh products. Tradition dictates the way that goods are displayed. For instance, all the chickens' feet are ready to grab passersby...

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And these ladies weave baskets while you wait...

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However, we have struck lucky again and just happen to be here at one of the most festive times of the year. It's wedding season in Oaxaca and it is also Candelaria – the 40th day after Christmas which is celebrated throughout Latin America. Two years ago we were in Puno in Southern Peru and witnessed sixty five thousand locals in costume dancing through the streets on the shore of Lake Titicaca. It will be interesting to see what Oaxaca has tomorrow but we already know that every hotel in the city is totally full and the restaurants selling tomales are packed. However, nowhere is busier than the food market, Mercado 20 Noviembre...

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This market competes with any of the bustling edifices of India and Southeast Asia – although it is a lot cleaner than many. Here are some scenes that need no explanation...

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Tomales, a doughy corn mixture with meat or cheese stuffed into dried maize husks, are eaten throughout Mexico to celebrate Candelaria on February 2nd each year. The tradition is that whoever finds the first baby Jesus figure in the Rosca de Reyes cake on the 12th day after Christmas, (Epiphany) must buy everybody tomales on Candelaria. We will eat tomales on Sunday, along with everyone else, but today we had ice-creams made fresh for us by two enthusiastic young men.....

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It's going to be a busy weekend for everyone in Oaxaca. We will be joining wedding celebrations, street dancing and Cadelaria parades, but first we are off to the opera - Porgy & Bess live from the New York Met.

Posted by Hawkson 14:45 Archived in Mexico

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Comments

Interesting meat display with grill photo above. Looks delicious. "Carne" for sure. Also noticed the cleanliness--counters, floors, uniforms. Nice.

by R and B

Good timing, looks like your days are full of exploration. I wonder if you will be the ones who finds the first Baby Jesus. Luck you to get to see Porgy and Bess. Beautiful music.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Well this market is enough for me. I don't know why I am so enchanted by the display of pretty colours and food.

by Janet

We, too, enjoyed "Porgy and Bess" today. Did you have English or Spanish subtitles? Tamales sound delicious!

by Steve and Alison

Spanish subtitles Steve and we actually enjoyed the experience - good practice. The theatre in Oaxaca is really beautiful.

by Hawkson

Always enjoy the food entries. Glad your great escape is panning out. But how could it not.

by Tom whalley

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