Fresh From The Market: The Platano

by | Feb 11, 2022 | Mexico | 1 comment

There’s nothing like a healthy meal. One of the many perks of living in Mexico is the VIP access I enjoy to fresh fruits and veggies.

I’m lucky to live in a place where even the smallest of convenient stores, called aborrotes (groceries), offer many staples for the pantry.

The selection includes one of my local favorites, the platano.

Where to Buy Groceries in Mexico

There are many options on the menu for selecting a market for foodstuffs.

Scale at the Mexican Fruit Market by Dale Hanstad
Scale at the Mexican Fruit Market by Dale Hanstad

For example, in the central and southern regions of the country, municipal markets are popular with locals, tourists, and expats.

Shoppers pass through the market filled to the brim with fresh veggies, colorful fruits, and goodies galore.

From almonds and dates to stacks of snacks and barrels of watermelons, you will find everything your heart desires.

One little note – Spanish is your friend when shopping at the market. That being said, plenty of people get by without!

In other areas, downtown markets are more common.

Make your way to “el centro” to visit a tortilleria (tortillas, salsas), a carniceria (meat/deli), a panaderia (bakery) and cremeria (dairy, milk). The storefronts are often bunched together for easier shopping access.


The Best Place to Shop: the Fruteria

Veggies at a Mexican Market by Dale Hanstad
Veggies at a Mexican Market by Dale Hanstad

This type of market centers its offerings on the freshest of fruits and vegetables.

Many items come from nearby farms for an added local-sourced bonus.

With a little focus and an efficient shopping list, you will find everything you need on the shelves in the fruteria.

Most have a few kitchen staples like grains, oats, seeds, beans, tortillas, bread, spices, chips, eggs, ham, milk, and sour cream.

Big Grocery Stores in Mexico – Worth the Trip!

My favorite big-box retailer brand is Chedraui. Locals frequent it because of its fresh produce and fair prices.

Some grocery stores, especially in areas frequented by expats and tourists, import products from the United States and Canada. Some even have imports from around the world.

By the way, it’s common to tip the person who bags your groceries a few pesos, so come with change.

What is the Platano?

Provecho! Home Made Platano Dish by Dale Hanstad
Provecho! Home Made Platano Dish by Dale Hanstad

One of my favorite treats to grab when I’m at the fruteria, mercado, or even a convenient store, is the platano.

It is common in many tropical, Caribbean, and African dishes.

It more or less looks like a giant banana. It offers a taste that is a little starchier—like a potato.

Remove the skin. Slice it up.

Fry it in light oil on the stove, and that’s it.

I pair it with white rice, black beans, and spicy red salsa.



Living in Mexico is So Much More than Munching on Platanos

I recently passed the two-year mark of becoming a bona fide expat living the life in sun-drenched Riviera Nayarit.

These little milestones remind me to enjoy the best moments expat life has to offer, like finding the perfect platano at the fruit market.

Do you have a favorite food that makes you glad you’ve made the move? I’m curious (and hungry).

by: Dale Hanstad