Ask visitors and foreign residents what they enjoy most about being in Mexico and they will usually mention the climate and the food. Mexico’s gastronomy is an experience in its own right, brought about in good part through the country’s fertile arable land and diverse climates which make it possible to grow and harvest an abundant variety of delicious vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, and pulses.
Affordable fresh produce
When you’re visiting Mexico, you’ll get to experience the food each day on your meal tables, and when you’re living here you’ll enjoy immediate access to fresh wholesome produce at very affordable prices.
Shopping at local markets and buying your comestibles from purveyors of specialty foods like bakers, butchers, and fishmongers will provide you with fresh food at the most affordable prices. You will need to speak some Spanish to navigate your way around these local stores as the traders rarely speak much English.
Another way to source local produce is to visit a farmers’ market (sometimes referred to artisan food or organic markets) which set-up in some towns and cities across the country. These tend to be more expensive than local markets, and some of them only operate during the high-season. They all offer a social event as well as being a shopping venue and if you don’t speak any Spanish the traders (or organizers) are usually able to assist with translation.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables
Supermarkets in the US, Canada, and Europe have effectively deseasonalized their fresh produce shelves by flying-in foods from around the world. In Mexico, no one is flying-in food to sell at your local market hall, open-air tianguis or farmers’ market: you buy what’s available in-season locally, and enjoy different flavors when the season changes. There is something quite special about anticipating the experience of eating deliciously ripe mangoes which become abundant from late spring, enjoying them at their peak in the summer, and not expecting them to be there after September.
Food Tip: Washing Your Fresh Fruit & Veg
When you buy fresh fruits and vegetables in Mexico, we recommend you wash them in a bath of clean water mixed with a few drops of iodine or other anti-bacterial liquid. You can purchase these liquids from all local supermarkets. This is especially important with berries and produce which is to be eaten with the skin-on. Fill your kitchen sink with some clean water, add the drops, and place your produce into the water leaving it to soak for 15-30 minutes before rinsing well.
Good food that’s nutritionally-rich and deliciously tasty is readily available and it’s affordable. Whether you’re visiting for a week or two, or living in Mexico part-time or full-time, you’ll have an opportunity to eat delicious fresh produce grown and harvested locally.
Part of a healthy lifestyle
Eating fresh produce helps you to feel better, think better, and live better. It helps you to accomplish more with your day and keeps your body’s natural immune system strong. When treated in the context of a lifestyle choice, wholesome fresh food is also part of your healthcare plan. If as part of a lifestyle adjustment you’re also seeking to change your diet to one that features more fresh ingredients with less processed foods and additives, you’ll be able to do that less expensively in Mexico than you can in the US, Canada, or Europe.
You can learn more about the many places you can shop for food in our guide to Shopping and Local Markets in Mexico, which also includes a list of the names in Spanish describing local food purveyors including pescaderia, panaderia, and verdureria—purveyors of the type which have become scarce in some developed countries, but which are still thriving local businesses here.
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