Mexican Markets — By Ben on 28 March 2011
Market Monday: Condesa Tianguis

53/365

Mexico is a photographer’s paradise. And  if you are a foodie and a photographer, the possibilities are endless. During these past 9 months I’ve been taking my camera everywhere, taking pictures of a lot of the stuff I eat, places I visit and people I see. I have a lot of pictures waiting to be edited and a lot of stories waiting to be written. I’ve been busy working on a very exciting project that hasn’t left me much time for other things. But it seems like the critical first stages are over and things should get back to normal. That will leave me more time to share my food experiences here.

CRW_1646

One great food experience I recently had was spending a couple of days with JJ Goode and his friend Matt. They were on vacation in Mexico and Ruth offered them a cooking class that included a visit to the local tianguis in Condesa. It was a great opportunity to bring out the camera and take some pictures of one of Mexico’s oldest traditions, street markets. A tianguis (from the Nahuatl word “tianquiztli” that means market day or harvest) is different than a mercado. A tianguis is an open air market that is held on specific market days in towns and neighborhoods all over Mexico. These markets date back to pre-Hispanic times. They were the most important form of commerce of that era. Evidence indicates that some towns and cities were originally founded as regional markets. Some of them became so important (like Tlatelolco, a market taht served about one fifth of Tenochtitlan’s population) that they were set up and taken down every day of the week.

CRW_1658

This tradition has remained unchanged in Mexico. One of my earliest memories is going to the local tianguis on Saturdays with my family. Around 6 am people started to set up their booths on the most important avenue of the neighborhood. By 8 am entire families were eating barabacoa tacos (the most traditional weekend breakfast and brunch food in Mexico City), buying produce for the week or just wandering around the market. By noon the place was so full that it was hard to walk and by 6 pm most of the vendors had already taken down their stands and gone home.

CRW_1664

The tianguis in la Condesa on Tuesdays is no different than other tianguis. A couple of streets are closed to the traffic and vendors set up their booths with all kinds of produce, food, clothing, kitchen utensils and anything else that housewives need for their daily activities. Walking in a tianguis is walking in the core of Mexican daily life. A life that finds order amidst the chaos. A life full of color, noise, commotion, music and food, lots and lots of delicious food.

CRW_1656_1

CRW_1654

CRW_1649

CRW_1674

CRW_1644

CRW_1642

CRW_1641

CRW_1640

CRW_1639

When we got back to Ruth’s house we cooked two delicious dishes that I’ll write about tomorrow and had a tequila taste, the best tequila I’ve ever tried in my life. Ruth convinced JJ and Matt to go to Xochimilco the following day. If you hadn’t noticed, Xochimilco is our favorite market of the city. Here are the pictures of yet another amazing day in Xochimilco:

CRW_1736

vendedora

CRW_1770

CRW_1754

CRW_1764

CRW_1763

CRW_1749

CRW_1747

CRW_1759

¡Buen provecho!

Tagged as:

Related Articles

About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(13) Readers Comments

  1. I enjoy so much your market trips. I feel as if I am there too.

    Ben…my Platanos, Mangoes adn Me is gone…so far Joan and I cannot find it and we are so tired. I will continue to follow and will let you know when I set up a new Platanos. I just feel that I have lost my baby of 14 months and all my followers

  2. what a fun day! i love it. I was supposed to be in Mexico this past weekend but it just didn't work out. I love teh 4th picture and the one of the mamey (or sapote as you guys call it). I love Mexican fresh air markets. Thanks for taking us to your homeland. So vivid!

  3. Such gorgeous photos Ben! Everything looks so delicious!

Leave a Reply