Carulla. Consumo. Exito. Jumbo. They are the big grocery store chains in Medellín. But they’re not the only places to get all the goods you want to cook. They might not even be the best.
There are three other great places, places like farmers markets, the first one of which I will tell you about today. (Stories on the others will follow shortly.)
It’s called the Plaza de Mercado La América, named after the comuna where it is located.
I feel stupid for missing it when I wrote a story about La América, but it’s not easy to see from any major street.
I found out about it when I moved into an apartment a few blocks away.
You can find almost anything you need, any type of fruit, meat or vegetable you’d find at a grocery store, along with cheeses, condiments and other edible items.
Cleaning supplies and other household needs are available too.
And you’ll love most of the prices.
Pound of ground beef: 5,000 pesos (about $2.60).
Pound of octopus (one of my favorites): 9,000 pesos (about $4.75).
Tomatoes for 200 pesos (about 11 cents).
You can definitely sense the competition. Maybe not among prices, because everything costs pretty much the same, but among sales pitches.
Everyone is quite friendly, smiling as they announce what they have for sale, and when you make a decision they are especially nice.
I ended up having a conversation for a few minutes with the woman who sold me a bag of Doritos. You know, the usual stuff: where I’m from, why I’m here, what I do.
It’s always nice to share.