Saturday is the farmer’s market in Alajuela, where we are staying for now. It happens to be the largest in the country too. So, we decided to pay it a visit.
The market is large but extremely well organized and most importantly is a FEAST to the eyes ans taste buds!
Stalls after stalls with an incredible variety of every vegetable and fruit imaginable, including those usually found in Europe.
Thought that all Mangos were the same? Think twice: mango mora, mango Atkins, Confite, Irwin, Palmer, Miel….Yucas or mandioca? same same. Advocados? guess what 🙂
The best part? you just need to ask about a particular fruit and the sellers are super happy to open one for you and let you taste it. Needless to say, it ia the best marketing possible and we ended up with a bag of almost everything that we tasted.
We got some new fruit – Caimitos, Granadillas and Aguacate criollo and some already known to us – papaya, mango (mora variety) and melon.
The Caimito is only grown in the Central Valley. It is the size of a grapefruit, with purple smooth skin. To eat it, one cuts it by quarters and pulls the purple part down so that the white center detaches. One eats the white center (not the purple part), avoiding to chew the almond-sized black seeds. It is very sweet and really delicious.
The granadilla is a type of passion fruit. It is of the size of an orange, but with a hard shell, which can be cracked with the fingers. As with the caimito, one eats the center which is a gooey mix with seeds or makes juices. The taste is also very sweet. The best granadillas are the ones that weigh more.
The Aguacate criollo is the native variety of the avocado. In the photo is the top one. It is big, round approximately the size of a grapefruit. And very, very tasty!! Note, look at the avocados the size of a hand!!
In the end, we came home with a backpack full of fruits (and some veggies), a smile in the face and the firm purpose to schedule a visit to the local farmer market every week to stock for the upcoming week.