What to do in Antigua Guatemala : Go to the Mercado to make lunch

When you’re in one place for a couple weeks, you eventually develop a routine. With Mitchell around, the idea of wild adventure travelling was pretty much thrown out of the equation. However, I do love cooking when I have the chance to do so. Walking from the house to the Mercado here in Antigua takes about 5 minutes. At first, it can look a little sketchy for your typical North American but for any average Trini, the scenes are typical of those from Chaguanas, San Juan or Central Markets. As a boy growing, I think my love affair for cooking started with my mom sending me to “make market” on a Saturday morning. I loved going to the market to pick out the fruits and veggies, along with all the bartering that has to go for the best price.

Notice in the picture below, you can go to the market to buy anything … including tires. I like markets because you have more wiggle and negotiating room.

Once you get inside the market, that’s where the real business happens. It’s also where you get the real smells of the market … the good and the bad. For most North Americans, the inside of a market can be a bit overwhelming visually and a bit overpowering in the olfactory sense.

With the low cost of human capital in these parts of the world, it also means a lot of convenience in the markets.

Who needs to chop anything. Everything comes pre chopped and washed. If you’re looking to make Guatemalan rice, you can buy a bag of julienned carrots, christophene and celery of 1Q.

Who doesn’t love all the dried chillies that there are on offer. For my Pepian de Pollo, I needed three types of chillies : Pasa or Pasilla, Guaque and Cubano

Then it was on to get the chicken and pork for the Pepian and Chuchitos. The ladies here will chop and dice the chicken exactly the way you want it. They’ll even skin it for you for 5Q more. (80 cents CDN)

Heading down the meat aisle with the butchers is definitely not the place for vegetarians. In fact, this is where most North Americans would be heading for the door.

And if you’re thinking about breakfast … you can have all your fruit pre-cut with corn flakes.

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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