The Ocotlan Friday Market

We were looking forward to our outing with Gabriel and visiting the Ocotlan Market.  Gabriel spoke fluent English and had graduated from a university in the states. He arrived on time and it looked to be a beautiful day. The town is about 35 km south of Oaxaca City. The misty clouds hung over the mountains and it was fun taking photos of the passing scenery.  However, as I went to take my first photo,  I realized I did not have my card in the camera.  The night before I had been so busy trying to get the new card reader to work that I had forgotten to put it back into my camera.  Gabriel came to the rescue and felt sure we could get a card at a convenience store called XOXO.  After a few more miles, Gabriel pulled into the XOXO store’s parking area. He went with me and helped me find the right kind of card and it was perfect.

We were on our way again. We were early and saw that many vendors were just setting up and carting their goods underneath the tents. We came upon this lady making  Oaxaqueno Tamales.  They smelled delicious!

This lady was making tamales with chicken and cheese and smoky roasted poblanos.
Mexican rosemary piled high.
Nance looks a bit like a cherry but has a strong odor and a unique flavor. It is also known as hogberry. It is extremely high in vitamin c.
The chilies on the right are called dried pasilla peppers and on the left are red hot spicy chili peppers.
Dried fish and shrimp
Cinnamon sticks.
Cocoa beans.
Unrefined squares of brown sugar.
Jars of raw organic honey. I bought about 15 lollipops made from honey for my students. You can find Oaxacan honey on Amazon.
This lady was walking along carrying her chicken. I think she had just bought it and was taking it home. When I took the photo, some nearby vendors started laughing.
The bread aisles were huge. Some ladies waved cloths at the end of a stick to keep the flies away.

Pecans were measured and weighed using these wooden boxes.
I asked if I could take her picture and she said yes if I gave her a tip.
This is the meat market aisle – rather gruesome but interesting at the same time.

These are the kind of sample cups, made from gourds, that we used to sample the mezcal.
Tejate – Gabriel stopped to get a drink. He gave us a sip. Shawn bought one when we were in Mitla. Tejate is made with toasted corn, fermented cocoa beans, and cacao flowers, toasted and ground mamey pits and then ground into a paste and finally mixed with water.
This sign had a picture of Frida Kahlo, the celebrated Mexican artist, and wife of Diego Rivera. Then when you looked closer you saw the owner dressed and looking like the famous artist.
She seemed happy to see me take her picture.
Tortillas de maiz Tlayudas. These ladies are selling the huge tortilla made in Oaxaca.
Peppers, peppers, and more peppers!
Recognizable fruit – you probably know – papaya, bananas, avocados, pineapples. cantaloupe (also spelled cantalope).

We spent several hours in the market. So much to see and Gabriel was really good about telling me the names and the uses of many of the unusual fruit, herbs, and vegetables.  We walked across the park and took pictures of the town’s main church.

We completed our market tour and Gabriel asked if we would like to see the animal market.  Not sure what that entailed but we said, “Let’s go!”

Part 2 of our tour with Gabriel continues in the next post where we see the animal market, textile market, a demonstration of how shiny black pottery is made, and a lecture on the making of alebrijes (whimsical carvings of animals, people, objects and imaginary creatures).


3 thoughts

  1. It is interesting how they treat food that we market here in this country. The people are enchanting and of course, the photographer has done a fabulous job once again. Love the tour dear sister!!!!!


  2. The colors in your photos are so vivid. And the breads and nuts look so good. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us since we aren’t traveling in the foreseeable future. Love your work!


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