Saturday: Mercado Coyoacan


Friday was my first day in Mexico City, and I spent the majority of it walking a non-linear, destination-less path, getting lost in the city. It was a good way to spend the first day somewhere new and foreign, seeing it from the street at a walking pace. I ate a taco from a stand, took pictures, sat in a park, rode the metro home at dusk.

The next day I slept in, made coffee, fiddled around on the computer for a while, then decided on a trip to the the local market to pick up stuff for breakfast. Mercado Coyoacan is a 20-minute walk from Alvaro and Caroline’s, near a pretty tree-filled square oriented around a statue of three coyotes in a fountain. The market itself is pretty much what you expect (in fact, very similar in layout and content to the Grand Central Market in downtown LA). 

It’s populated by stalls towering with produce, fruits, nuts, spices, cheeses, flowers and all manner of prepared foods, bisected by narrow walkways. I used my rudimentary Spanish on a confused-looking but genial cheesemonger, buying two kinds of Mexican goat cheeses, one of which is a camembert, the name of the other (firmer, tangy, orange-skinned) I can’t recall. He upsold me, of course, but I was in a good mood and happy as ever to spend too much money on cheese.

Next stop was a fruit stand, towards which I was beckoned by an old Mexican lady in an apron, talking a mile a minute and brandishing a large knife, which she used to slice off samples of her wares. There were several kinds of oranges, soft, ripe mangoes, and so many things I couldn’t recognize. She kept shoving fruit in my hands, followed by paper napkins to wipe the juice from my fingers and face. All of it was good, although the cherimoya wasn’t my favourite. I tried several kinds of sapote, a soft, sweet-fleshed fruit, and bought a mamey sapote which looks a bit like a small, oblong cantaloupe, as well as a mango, some mandarins, an avocado and a bunch of bananas. 

I stopped for a bunch of white lilies for Alvaro and Caro, then bought a dozen eggs, and some corn chips for making chilaquiles (my new favourite Mexican breakfast). Laden with food and having blown my food budget for the day, I walked through the square, winding my way along side streets back to the apartment.