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Mercado Prices

Let's share Mercado prices. I prefer to shop at the supermarket because the prices are fixed but for freshness and just a wider variety, a mercado is tops.


These prices are from Mercado Inaquito off of Amazonas and on Juan Jose Villalengua.

Leg of Lamb $4.50 a pound
Sea Bass (Corvina) Steak $6.00 lb
Avocados 3 huge ones for $1
Strawberries (Huge size) $1.50 lb (smaller are cheaper)
White Potatoes $2 for 2 kilograms

I didn't haggle.

vsimple :

I prefer to shop at the supermarket because the prices are fixed but for freshness and just a wider variety, a mercado is tops.  These prices are from Mercado Inaquito off of Amazonas and on Juan Jose Villalengua.

While I don’t shop at the same mercados that V mentioned, I also don’t have the same opinion as to freshness.  The mercados where I have been buying fruits and vegetables for years in Quito are Mercado América on Venezuela and a fruit stand at Santa Clara.

The fruit and vegetable mercados don’t usually have refrigeration, which the Maxi supermarkets do have for some fruits.  Apples, berries, grapes, lettuce, mushrooms and some pre-cut packaged fresh-fruits are typically refrigerated at Maxi. 

At the mercados I shop at, you find more past-their-prime produce and more damaged produce than in supermarkets.  The solution, of course, is to inspect your mercancía carefully.

The advantages of the mercados are:  availability of some fruits not always available at Maxi .. the possibility of negotiating price if you choose to .. lower pricing in general even without ‘haggling’ .. and the opportunity to practice your Spanish and make friends with the locals.

I rarely if ever buy shellfish, chicken or meat at mercados in Quito if there is no indication of refrigeration on site.  If I lived on the coast, I might be willing to buy super-fresh shellfish regardless of the refrigeration issue.

cccmedia

I took the family out for lunch today to Inaquito Mercado. We wanted fried Corvina and fresh orange juice, and I also wanted to go there to get campo or countryside chicken eggs. I also wanted to check out Santa Maria supermarket that is just across the street, which I’ve never been to before.

So we had corvina with fried potatoes for $3.50 a plate, and fresh orange juice from the vendor next door was $1.25 a glass. The food was delicious, but they are not consistent with frying the Corvina, and by that I mean some are fried a bit too much and sometimes under-fried. But the chicas there know me and serve the pieces that are just right. This is observed because they take the corvina from the frying oil and then onto a grill and you know some customers are getting burned food.

What’s awesome about this corvina seller is their aji that is just right spicy wise and made from avocado, simply blissful. So afterwards, we went to Santa Maria, and the prices are almost identical to Supermaxi and Megamaxi, but they had reasonable Purina Cat food for kittens which was $1 cheaper for 1.5kg bag and costed $9.80. Also they had cheaper but less quality cat litter, ya know the kind that is not as absorbent, but we needed some.

Leaving Santa Maria, we also bought $1 plastic bags of Tomato, Onions, and Limes, I don’t know how much they weigh but probably cheaper than venders inside whom by the way I’m still boycotting. Hey they’re not paying rent or electricity so they should be cheaper and these prices and quantity are basically similar to prices you see at intersections sellers.

So I was at the mercado today, and went to shop to get a drink and saw Twix, M&Ms, Hershey, etc, and asked how much, the lady replied "$1.25", hmmmm cheapest price yet for these chocolate bars, so I said let me look at the expiration date, and lo and behold it was 9/2016.

Umm excuse me Senora, but how about a little discount. All good $1.

Hola, Señora, ¿cuánto para estas barras de chocolate ?
Hello, Ma’am, how much for these chocolate bars ?

Un dólar veinticinco cada uno.
A buck 25 each.

Permítame a inspeccionar las fechas de caducidad.
Let me check out the expiration dates.

Vaya, todos están caducando este mes.
Wow, they’re all expiring this month.

¿ Qué descuento está disponible ?
What discount can you give me ?

Compre tres o mas barras, por un dólar, cada uno.
Buy three or more bars, for a buck each.

Gracias.  Diría a mis amigos a expat-punto-com.
Thanks.  I’ll tell my friends at expat-dot-com ....

Haha, the exchange on my part was nowhere near as proficient.

While driving around yesterday with a friend looking for a house, I said lets go mercado Inquito and eat Corvina for $3. He said it's shark and not Corvina they just advertise it as Corvina, and Corvina is not sold for less than $5 a plate in Quito. Oh well.

I’d like to give an update about Mercados and particular Inaquito. It’s been almost a year since I’ve been going and I’m happy to say that prices are consist, so no indication of inflation. The Borrego or lamb is still $4.50 a pound, if you buy several pounds you can negotiate a slightly lower price. Bought a few pounds this week, soft as butter. I have no loyalty to the sellers at all, I walk around and find what I like. I tried the loyalty bit with one woman, but she kept only offering big lamb which meat isn’t as tender. So don’t feel pressured by sellers when they try to get your attention, just walk on by. Don’t even say no gracias, because they do this to everyone walking by.

Anyway, back to the inflation bit, lemons are basically 20 for a dollar, same price. Crabs are like $10-$12 for 14, and you’ll probably arrive home with one dead. It’s a chore cleaning them as their mud-crabs, and they’re on the small side.

BTW I specially mentioned the above items because they are either ridiculously more expensive at supermarkets or not available (live crab). Some things I would never buy from a mercado like fish, no matter how much cheaper. I tried once - success, and again - failure. So I'm not risking it anymore.

vsimple :

It’s a chore cleaning them as they're mud-crabs, and they’re on the small side....

Some things I would never buy from a mercado like fish, no matter how much cheaper. I tried once - success, and again - failure. So I'm not risking it anymore.

You think crabs are dirty?  Try cleaning some of the dirt-caked potatoes sold at the Spanish-language mercados.  Yuck.

The lowly potato is one item worth paying extra for at a Maxi supermarket, where they’re pretty clean.

I agree with not buying fish at most mercados.  Due to lack of refrigeration, buying fish at a mercado is the biggest gamble in Quito since they closed the casinos.

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