Select Page

Dear Internet, It has been more than a month and a half since my last feria visit. My penance is that I feel like I have been through a nutritional wasteland with short visits to the paradises of the land of fruit and veg.

Let me be clear. I am not an adherent to the cult of the busy. I think it is destructive, competitive, unfun and wreaks havoc on both my social and my self-life (self-life? is that like shelf-life?). But I find myself in these waters all the same, with a deadline that will hopefully relieve some of the pressure come Monday. I am coming back out of my isolation, taking breaks from work now (to scrub the kitchen floor, but still), and yes, retomando (resuming) my habit of feria reports.

Food is expensive! The peso is dropping against the dollar, but even so, I have never seen potatoes, tomatoes and avocados so expensive here. Or not in a long time. I am fortunate in that a couple hundred extra pesos either way is not going to make or break me, just noticing the price jumps.

Here’s what it looks like:


And here’s what it is:

1 bulb fennel/hinojo =500 CLP $.84
1 bunch chard/acelga =500 CLP $.84
1 kilo green apples/manzana verde =600 CLP $1.01
1 kilo mandarines/mandarinas =1000 CLP $1.68
1 small bag walnuts/nueces =1000 CLP $1.68
3 tomatoes/tomates =600 CLP $1.01
1 bunch cilantro/cilantro =300 CLP $.51
1 bunch parsley/perejíl =200 CLP $.34
4 tiny red peppers/morrones =200 CLP $.34
1 bag of olives/aceitunas =1300 CLP $2.19
1 lucuma/lúcuma =300 CLP $.51
1 kilo lemons/limones =600 CLP $1.01
1 head broccoli/brócoli =700 CLP $1.18
1 head cauliflower/cauliflór =700 CLP $1.18
3 sweet potatoes/camote =600 CLP $1.01
1 kilo potatoes/papas =450 CLP $.76 LAST
2 artichokes/alcachofas =700 CLP $1.18
1 cucumber/pepino =400 CLP $.67
2 chunks squash/zapallo =600 CLP $1.01
2 small red onions/cebolla morada=300 CLP $.51

11,550 CLP = $19.28 (dollar at 593.66)

It is worth noting that these artichokes were overpriced, but gorgeous, and I am going to eat the lúcuma raw, even though nobody ever does, because supposedly it has a strange aftertaste (so it says in the Spanish wikipedia article). People generally cook it into a purée and then it goes into dessert, It’s pasty and tastes like sweet potato mixed with maple syrup, more or less. But again, I have the luxury of spending $.51 on a lark, and so I did.

And lest you feel that the fact that you have learned Spanish vocabulary, your 593.66 times tables and what a lúcuma is has not been a good use of your time, I now also leave you with the following.

1. The dollar is stronger than we have seen it in years. Years, I tell you. Screen capture from google.

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.06.33 AM.

2. When you are at the feria, you will hear songs like “Conductor” on the radio. This is a song by the band Chico Trujillo, from the “nueva cumbia chilena” style of music. The main words are “Que le pasa que le pasa a mi camión,” which would lead you to believe that the song is about a truck that “no arranca” (it won’t start). However, the first lines make it clear that we’re actually talking about the singer’s girlfriend, not a truck. Because a woman that you can’t start up is songworthy. It’s a damn catchy tune, regardless. You’re welcome. If you want to sing along, or toss these lyrics in a translator, here’s the letra.

And to listen to the earworm song, here it is: