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As I walked down the street with my bike beside me, clutching a newspaper-wrapped sprig of cilantro in my hand, looking every bit like I was heading for a date with a tomato, I thought to myself: I should not be permitted to go to the feria (market, in this case farmer’s market) alone. It’s not that it’s dangerous, it’s not that it’s corrupt. Sure, there might be a scale with an extra spring here or there, and the people’s hands who handle my food also handle endless bundles of the commonest of petri dishes, paper money.

The danger at the feria, you see, is me. I leave the house with a bunch of coins and 10,000 peso note, which at the moment is worth about $15.00, and I come home with some coins, 3,000 pesos ($5) and twenty seven pounds of produce.

I’m not kidding. I just weighed it. Twenty seven pounds. Now, I don’t eat meat, and I’m big into springtime fruit. A couple of pounds of it are a pineapple which I bought for the boyfriend, and I’m sure he’ll tuck into some of the goodies that I bought as well. But twenty-seven pounds? It seems kind of excessive. I’m just sure it was the cilantro that put me over the edge.


For those wondering, I bought

1 iceberg lettuce (girl’s got to have her candy vegetables, nutritionally corrupt but delish)
1 big bundle of swiss chard
1 big bundle of skinny asparagus
1 pound of fava beans (fresh)
4 onions
1 red pepper
1 cucumber
1 kilo of strawberries
1/2 kilo of cherries
1 pineapple
1 bundle parsely
1 bundle cilantro (aforementioned, wrapped in newspaper like a bouquet)
1 bundle beets (six, if I counted correctly)
2 kilos oranges
5 lemons
1 head broccoli
1 kilo tomatoes

and you want to know the sick part? Next week at this time I’ll be thinking: darn it’s time to go shopping again.