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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Part II: An Organic Market in San Miguel de Allende

Jams, Marmelades, and Maguey Nectar are a few of the local products available at the organic tainguis in  San Miguel de Allende

Part II:  An Organic Market in San Miguel de Allende
by Victoria Challancin

I took these photos at the new organic market last week in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where I have lived for 23 years.  Unfortunately, yesterday was the last day for this market in the Parque Juarez, due to a conflict with the laws governing the application of San Miguel's UNESCO World Heritage status.  It seems that the park cannot host such a market, no matter how inspiring and wonderful it may be.  A new location will be available soon though, which is great news as this market is such terrific way for residents to get to know and support our local farmers, who are working hard to comply with new laws concerning their organic status.

Today's pictures focus on beautifully prepared products that are now available.  The spectrum is broad and interesting as well.  Scroll down for a sample of how life is changing in my corner of the world.

Organic coffee from the mountains of Chiapas in southern Mexico

Homemade fruit liqueurs, limes, and natural toothbrushes (the twigs on the left)

The Rodriguez family proudly sells its aguamiel, made from the sap of the maguey plant.  They will also explain how it is made and what the therapeutic properties are--and they do it with such love and enthusiasm.

Or you can simply read about it...

Bee Pollen, Honey, Propolis, Pickled Vegetables in Escabeche, Pickled Cactus Buds, and other organic products abound in the market from several sources

A number of inventive flavors for jams and mermaladas entice the buyer.  Some of the flavors: Peach,  Xoconostle (a type of prickly pear from the Opuntia family of cactus), Nopal (from the leaves of the same cactus), Plum, Apricot, and one with some sort of alcohol

More mermaladas...Which one made it home with me?  The Piña con Comote (Pineapple with Sweet Potato)

Miel de Maguey, 100% pure...reminds me of the cane sugar syrup from the sugar mills near my hometown in South Florida

Oils, jams, natural peanut butter...all available for sampling

I'm not certain what the "licorice" has to do with anything, but here is a nice selection of homemade liqueurs in flavors such as apple, cactus fruit, cactus leaf, quince, plum, and more--and bee pollen.  Don't forget the bee pollen.

Like the other foreigners and Mexicans who visit this market, I am completely enchanted--both as a consumer and as a supporter of the organic movement here in San Miguel.  May they both continue to flourish...

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