The El Mercado Market is open every day in Antigua Guatemala. Today before we start into our recipes Travelers Guide for Guatemala we are going to give you an introduction with a few photos to the El Mercado Market which is located on the western side of the city of Antigua Guatemala. I have included a map for those that find themselves lost in Antigua.
While the Market is open every day the big shopping day for those living in Antigua is much like other place in the world, Saturday and Sunday the market is jammed with more then just fresh fruit, vegetables and meat. You can buy almost anything in the market. During the week it is a little slower pace that is why I like going out with our Guardian Juan to shop.
Meat as I have said is standing beef hanging on a hook as the photo depicts. The meat comes from the Guatemala Lowlands many in the areas around Livingston Guatemala. This beef has great flavor however is a little tricky to cook for those accustomed to US grain fed beef.
Fresh produce abounds at the market as another photos shows. Stall after stall, mayan women sitting on the floors in front of the high traffic areas offering a great bounty of food. For me it is all about feel, I love fresh Avocado’s however I look at many offering before I find the right feel. Not soft and not firm is the rule if that can be understood. Juan and I will wonder around for about an hour the place is massive till we find all the right goods. I never buy more then what we can use at the Villa or it will just spoil in a few days.
Eggs in Guatemala are not refrigerated like in the US and Canada. In the Antigua market as the picture shows brown eggs abound through out El Mercado Market in Antigua. I have found these eggs are first amazing in taste, second they make a omelet rise to an enormous size. They have something here in Guatemala the rest of the world should take a look at. I never refrigerate the eggs when I get back to Villa La Antigua. They last at least a month just sitting on the counter.
The last picture shows the bounty for the day. This was vegetables day at the market for us. In my next few blogs I will talk about what we are making with the vegetables from Antigua in our Antigua Guatemala ongoing series of Recipes from Antigua. The cost of this spread of vegetables about 50Q or about $3.50 US.