There are certain things I like in a market – produce, meat, local specialties, interesting people, and gross stuff. The Mendoza market or Mercado Central has the perfect mix of all of these things. I was able to shop, buy stuff for dinner, see cool stuff, and freak out at gross stuff.
The Mendoza market had just enough of everything. This was different than the Salta market which had way too much gross stuff for my tourist eyes to take in. Jeff wasn’t over the trauma of the Salta market either.
We started in the food court. We don’t usually take our laptops to a market, but it was nice to know we could.
There was nothing gross to see in the food court, and our lunch of grilled chicken was good.
We saw them delivering the wood used to grill our chicken.
After lunch we headed in to the actual mercado. First thing I liked, it was crowded, but manageable. It didn’t feel like you would get trampled by camera wielding tourists if a seafood vendor started throwing fish like in Seattle’s Pike Place market.
We started off in the safe areas, cheese, spices, candy. Interesting, not gross.
Here is a local specialty. It looks like it might be something really gross with a name like membrillo. The first time I saw it I thought membrane of what? Is it congealed fat? But, no, it’s like a jam made out of fruit.
Next we headed into the meat section. By this time I was itching to see something gross and was not disappointed. But, here’s the nice thing about the market, the organs were all under glass. Nothing is hanging in your face.
OK this stuff was hanging, but at least you could identify it, well some of it.
There is a seafood section which is interesting. It’s hard to find seafood in Mendoza. I’m guessing this is coming from Chile.
Same with the chicken vendors. Chicken feet are gross to me. But they’re behind glass, so no chance you’d actually bump into them.
Even the giant hanging slabs of meat were kept in the back. And, all the organs seemed to be inside the slab, not hanging out.
Things got a big worse gross-wise in the pork section.
Worst of all was a giant pig head hanging there staring at me. The photo is pretty gross, but if you want to see it you can click here. Photo of pig head.
But, then right when we were really grossed out, we met these super nice people. We had a great time talking to them in a mixture of Spanish and English. The man, we can’t remember his name, spoke really good English. Anita, spoke seven languages including English.
We bought a bunch of stuff, from figs, to pork tenderloin, to eggs, to an entire coked chicken.
We’ll be going back for more shopping in a few days. Now we know where to go for fresh veggies, meat, eggs and a little bit of gross.