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On a recent trip down to Temuco, where I finally met someone I’ve known online for years, over a lunch that was too big for anyone to eat, we got to talking about my feria reports. Prices are much higher in Santiago, my friend-in-the-computer said. I have heard this before, from a friend who is from the coast, and with whom I have taken the bus home from Valparaíso with a giant fish in her bag, because the prices on fish (and everything else) are so much better. Everything costs so much more in Santiago, she says.

And, having spent time at the feria in Valparaíso, and also in Temuco (which is awesome, and you should go, and take many pinches of merquén and eat them all until your mouth is toasty hot), I can corroborate that we’re paying through some kind of facial orifice here. However, nutrition being what it is, and me being lucky enough to be able to afford to buy the fruit and vegetables my bones and organs (especially my heart) desire, this is what was (literally) on the table today.


8600 clp=$16.29 (Dollar is at 528.5 today)

1/2 kilo spinach 600 clp= $1.14
1 head iceberg lettuce 300 clp= $0.57
1 bunch carrots 300 clp= $0.57
1 bunch giant scallions 300 clp= $0.57
1 seedless “Alaska” (cucumber) 200 clp
4 avocados 800 clp= $1.51
1 mango 500 clp= $0.95
1 granadilla dulce 600 clp= $1.14
1 “hand” of ginger 350 clp= $0.66
1 small honeydew 1000 clp= $1.89
2 ears of corn 600 clp= $1.14
unknown quantity of shelled peas= 500 clp= $0.95
1/4 kilo cooked mote (explained below) 250 clp=$0.47
1/2 kilo asparagus 800 clp= $1.51
1 bunch cilantro 200 clp=$.38
3 onions 500 clp= $0.95
(not pictured, 1/2 kilo cherries 800 clp= $1.51)

You’ll notice a few things. One, that the melon was crazily disproportionately expensive to its size. We had a late frost in September, which tripped up the melon growth. The honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon will all be very expensive this year, and we are unlikely to see big ones of the smaller melons (got that?) in Santiago, though they may make it elsewhere, like to the coast, which is where most of Santiago is during part of the summer anyway. I also bought shelled peas because I didn’t want to bother to shell them. But really, they are probably not much more expensive than what I paid for them whole in the pods. Mote is a cooked wheat grain, which we normally use to make a very sweet peach-flavored drink. I like it instead of rice in a grain salad or pilaf-type dish, and that’s what I did with it just before writing this post (plus corn, peas, avocado, scallions and lemon juice/olive oil).

Also, I did not buy tomatoes this week, which is tantamount to blasphemy in Chile. However, I still have two tomatoes from late last week, and I happen to know that I’m going to the cheese guy on Monday in Tirso de Molina, and that while I am there, I will probably buy some tomatoes (and berries).

And then an extra one just of the feria, because it is so pretty, and because you should always go early if you don’t like crowds, which I don’t, and also because my camera was not on the setting I thought it was on, and hey, that photo is not what I was expecting. Accidental art. Who knew?