Ever get up at 5 am to go to Safeway or Publix?  Never may that happen.  But that’s more or less my Saturday routine, except we don’t have supermarkets, we have the local open air produce market.

I buy many different kinds of very fresh fruits and veggies.  I can make for lunch vegetables that were still attached to a vine/in the ground/one the tree less than 24 hours before.  Of course, being in a tropical country, the produce varies quite a bit from the colder-weather things I am used to, like kale and berries.  Here you will find papaya, pineapple and mango.  The general staples also include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber, zucchini, carrots and cabbage.

I went nice and early this morning so I’d be able to get to my gym and work out before the temperature got too high.  The weekend market is a huge event in this town.  People start walking there at 4 am to buy for the week.  I personally drive at the reasonable hour of 6 am.  Although the market is quite large, (at least, as large as anything is in this tiny, tiny, 3rd-world nowhere’s-ville can be) I go to two or three stands, buy my produce from the same people I trust, and escape.

Every Saturday after the market, I have a big veggie sterilization party, and then I let everything dry out.

veggies drying 2

This morning I spent $14 (US) and got most the the produce I need for the week.  I will also go back to buy some bananas a few times, as they don’t keep long enough to buy all at once.

Last week I was so excited to find bell peppers that were red instead of green!!!  The concept of ripening food on the plant has escaped some farmers in the nearby country from which a few items are imported.  Fortunately, they have caught on that the tourists like ‘overdone’ peppers and are starting to fulfill the demand.


How much do you spend on produce in a week?  What’s your favorite online recipe resource?