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?
I like your accidental setting a lot!
me too. A crazy lot. One day I was on the bus home from La Serena and I played around with the settings, but I don’t remember that one. It’s all tilt-shifty without being tiltshifty. Manipulation that says, no… look HERE! A happy accident, I guess you could say.
That was a great lunch, too bad the portions were so small…
I think I might still be full. Definitely one of the tastiest meals of the trip as well. A great tip! (a hit, in fact!). And it was so good to meet you!
It was really good to meet you too! Come back anytime 🙂
Some of those prices are 50% more than La Vega but then again ferias are not wholesale vendors. I was just in San Clemente (Talca) and my suegros were buying the best tomatoes at 300 pesos/kilo. I think living in any capital you pay a premium. FYI, apparently apricots were hit hard by the spring frost so they are going to scarce, late, and expensive. Bummer bc I love them for chutney in December. Saludos.
I think talca probably has the best tomatoes in Chile. Ugly bumpy crazy heirloom ones. They’re delish. There were a couple of things I thought were pricey (cherries, asparagus), but I am lucky enough that for a few bucks, i don’t have to ride over to la vega if I don’t want to. Though I will probably go to Tirso this week to pick up some extras (blueberries!). Also, there are a lot of people who have apricot trees here in Stgo., even in provi or nuñoa that did not get frosted. Maybe hit them up? Also, please sign me up for some of your chutney!