July 30, 2008

A Visit to Mendoza’s Mercado Central

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One of the best ways to get to know a culture is by going food shopping–if you can do it in a traditional open-air market, so much the better.  Mendoza’s Mercado Central (Central Market) is on the Avenida las Heras, one of Mendoza’s oldest commercial streets.  Locals do their shopping here, though in other outlying areas of Mendoza they have larger supermarkets and green grocers. 


As a tourist to this market, I’ll be honest–I stood out like a sore thumb.  (Just when you think you’re starting to blend in with the locals!!)  People were staring, someone approached me and told me (in English) that I shouldn’t have a camera out in the Mercado.  Truth be told, it is a little dodgy.  Because it’s an area of commerce (and tourism), it also happens to be where the pickpockets hang out.  I felt completely conspicuous, and so didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked (particularly of the people–who, understandably, didn’t seem keen on ending up on someone’s camera). 


But it is full of what makes Argentina so rich.  There’s an herb shop, a lunch counter where they grill food to order, a hot chocolate shop, and even a watch-maker whose kiosk is decorated with beautiful interlocking Islamic designs. (He’s Muslim)  Mendoza’s Mercado Central is a feast for the eyes and the senses.  And a great inside to the ‘real’ Mendoza. 


Naturally, since it’s Argentina, there were plenty of vendors selling different types and cuts of meat and meat products, (above) and fruits and vegetables (below) from the farms surrounding Mendoza…


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A vendor selling different varieties of olives and cold cuts…


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A delicatessen with ham and cheese…


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A meat vendor…


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And another, this time with shoppers…


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5 Responses to “A Visit to Mendoza’s Mercado Central”

  1. This is food heaven!

  2. Wow – what a meat market! I wish I could have gone to Mendoza! A 9 day trip only allows for so much. I want to go back! :)

  3. Thanks for sharing these. I’m always fascinated with open-air markets: they always look so alive to me.

  4. Wonderful photos even though you couldn’t take as many photos as you’d like. This is a place I’d love to visit and I’d have my camera with me. 😉
    Paz

  5. muy ricoooo!espero que llegue mi comentario, Florencia desde Bowen Mza, Argentina.

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