Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tijuana Day Trip: Mercado Hidalgo

Mercado Hidalgo
As mentioned in my previous post; Tijuana Day Trip: The Basics, I spent a majority of my time in TJ at the Mercado Hidalgo. This market is located at the corner of Boulevard General Rodolfo Sanchez Toboada and Juan Sarabia in the ZonaEste neighborhood.  I took a taxi from the border and paid about $10 (including tip), or it's about a 25 minute walk.  I would suggest at least walking one way so you get to see some of the city, and eat at a few street carts/trucks along the way!

I was seriously the only gringo at the mercado, it was awesome, and exactly what I was hoping for. Everybody addressed me in Spanish and I did my best to speak back to them in their language. I not once felt unsafe or unwelcome. The colours of the produce, spices and decorations for Dia de Los Muertos were unbelievable. I wish I could have stayed longer...and eaten more.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Dozens of handmade quesos, many unpasturized..which basically just means they're better than any of our cheeses.

Sugar skulls for sale for all your Dia de Los Muertos altar needs.

Dried peppers

Gorgeous Habaneros

 Dulces (sweets)...which I somehow forgot to buy.

Huitalacoche, or "corn smut", is a fungus that mutates corn kernels. It creates a great earthy mushroom type kernel that is great in pretty much everything.

 Cleaning nopales (cactus paddles). These are great pickled or grilled. And put in everything else.

Giant chicharrons. One of my favorite snacks.

 Inside the mercado, Kiko's Carnitas often serves tacos de sesos (brain tacos), but sadly today I had to "settle" for a regular carnita taco.

 Kiko's giant pile of carnitas.

 Salsas at one of the taco stands

 Beautiful squash flowers ready to be stuffed and fried.

Charcoal warming up for carne asada. If the taco shop you're buying from does not cook their carne asada on open coals, go elsewhere, it's not real asada!!

 So cheap, yet so delicious. Better than any $5 taco you've ever eaten.

 Huge Dia de los Muertos altar in the middle of the Mercado Hidalgo.

I bought several items at the market and had no problem bringing anything back across both the US and Canadian borders. Obviously, I only bought small amounts for "personal consumption" and claimed everything when questioned by guards.  Be honest, don't buy too much and you'll likely get to come home with all your foodie souveniers!

Next post...TJ street food carts!! 

1 comment:

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