A Day at the Market

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We have your common fruits, the difference is that ours are much fresher.

I’ve heard this from many friends who have come visit:”This fruit tastes much better!”
And once in a while, some fruits unique to the region are available. This time I found “Mamones” Melicoccus bijugatus, this tiny green fruit, skin is peeled off and the seed is covered with a bittersweet layer you suck on. And there is where the name comes from: mamon comes from the verb “mamar”, to suck on.

The Bad
I am one of those weird creatures that likes to know where what one eats comes from. Often when I’m buying something edible I ask for its origin.
A while ago, a street vendor selling seafood aproched me offering her products. I asked her where the shrimp was from and she did not know where it came from. Same happens with coffee, I’ve been to some of nice coffee places and I always ask for the origin of their coffee and most places are unaware of it; this just happened yesterday while having a cup with a friend. Today I grabbed some fresh star-fruits at a market stand and asked the vendor for the origin of them. I found a label on one of them saying Peten, we both see it and he says: son de ahii de Peten, they are from Peten. Well, the Peten region of the country is as large as the rest of the country. I’ve been to Peten in repeated occasions and I have never seen plantations for this fruit.
I used to work in the wine industry and when a winery (representative of) came to us offering their product, they could tell you everything about the terroir where the grapes came from. Too bad we don’t see that spirit on our vendors at these markets.

© 2015, Eli Orozco. All rights reserved.

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