While I was in Soriana photographing their colorful, highly aromatic bakery, I thought I would stop in fruits and vegetables. I continued to attract attention with my camera, but shoppers were obviously appreciative of the subject!
The traditional market feel spills over into this department, which obviously caters to Mexican cooks. White onions are presented naked and shining, looking like giant pearl onions, and tomatillos are heaped green and gleaming, free of their husks and ready to be transformed into tasty salsas. There is a professional nopalero – the man who quickly and efficiently removes every thorn from your nopales –those crisp, green cactus paddles packed with good nutrition and essential to traditional Mexican cooking.
The most widely used dried peppers – ancho, guajillo and sometimes pasilla – are heaped in fragrant bins for bulk purchase, as are Mexican cinnamon, canela, and the ubiquitous dried red hibiscus flower which is steeped as a tea and served as a cold drink, agua fresca de jamaica.
The guys who work in this department know me. I often express my appreciation for their good work in keeping everything so fresh and perfect. They are a wealth of information about the produce, and are even happy to share recipes gleaned from their mothers and grandmothers.
Ah, but I promised lions and tigers! As I have said, Soriana is the big anchor of our spanking new Sendero mall. I received a mailer this morning that says starting the 4th of February they will be hosting a special circus from Miami – so it looks like I can make good on that promise. If you haven’t attended a circus with zillions of happy Mexican kids and six or eight Bengal tigers, you really haven’t lived!
Meet you in the produce aisle…