Jaded with the mass produced tasteless produce available in the local super markets, we tracked down the local Mercado.
Every Saturday morning, central Escazu is home to a plethora of growers & farmers, they stream in to set up a long row of colourful stalls next to the Catholic Church in the middle of town.
The action starts early, by 8am the narrow strip is thronged with people, some purposefully working their way down to their favourite stall and coming away with bulging buggies. Others like ourselves somewhat overwhelmed with the abundant choice, beguiling smells and cacophony of sound.
It did not take me long to spot something we have not seen since we arrived in Central America………. Passion fruit!!!!! They smell divine as I fill a bag…… cost is approx. $1 for half a kilo. Next to lure me is the lustrous purple aubergines, again 3 for $1, red, ripe, gleaming tomatoes are next.
The sound of English is enough to tempt us over to a husband and wife team, selling their own Avocados, they promised they were the best and boy were they ever………. These guys were masters at their craft and picked out two that were perfectly ripe for making guacamole when we got home. They even threw in a small extra one for “the Bambino” not sure which bambino they were talking about but is tasted just fine.
Our smattering of Spanish got a good workout as we asked for papas, pina, tomate & cebolla in medio and uno kilo’s. Translating the prices in rapid fire numbers in Spanish takes a little time to get used too. As does the currency here, there are approximately 500 Colones to one dollar. The notes take a little getting used to……. a 10 Mil Colones note is actually 10,000 Colones or $20. Notes also come in 1,000, 2,000, & 5,000, coins are 5, 10, 20, 25, 50, 100, & 500 colones. Hardly worth keeping you would think, but they sure came in handy at the market, as most of my purchases came in at around 500 colones ($1).
We were home with our bounty before 10am, what a great way to start the weekend. Saturday lunch guacamole and tortilla chips……. Pura Vida