Baja Grocery Shopping 101

Shopping for groceries takes on a whole new meaning this side of Baja; especially when all of it literally ends up on your back.  Imagine back home how much healthier we’d all be if we had to carry everything you eat – on your back!  Got dog! Get him a pack to and make him actually do some dog work by carrying his food back as well.  This might even cut back on the dog poop you are now picking up.

So, how did the Subway guy do it to lose weight?  Every day the guy walks the six miles or so to his local Subway, then ate a watered down version of a Subway sandwich, (minus the mayo, etc) and then walked back home, dropping say 150 or so pounds along the way home.  Cruisers fortunately have it way easier.

Here is how our shopping scenario went:  Get dropped off by marina shuttle van at Mega food store, enter and depart Mega food store without making any purchases, walk to nearby Chedrau food store for less, shop at Chedrau food store for less.  Way better produce!

Lug all you see in the pictures below, all over and around town looking for a good used fishing pole for Meghan (S/V Crescendo); naturally stopping for food and drink(s) before stopping at a really great wine & liquor store tucked just so in a La Paz neighborhood (La Cava del Patron).  Realizing that best option for fishing pole is to listen to the morning net on VHF Channel 22A and then advertise that you are looking for a good used trolling pole.

La Cava del Patron is a hit with cruisers, as you can also purchase any type of local brew made (i.e. from Ensenada to Cabo) beers.

At the 24/7 Taco Restaurant (where they only close one hour for cleaning) I enjoyed for lunch an o.k. plate of garlic shrimps with salad, rice and tortillas.  Two Indio beers to wash it all down as well as all the guacamole and chips one can eat.  Depending on what one orders, the free side dishes seem to expand.  Earlier I said o.k. because food today is local food, good food but, just not off the top like most of the other places.  Back home, this food would qualify as really great Mexican food.  Here, we’re just getting around to start calling it FOOD.

Order one taco at the 24/7 Restaurant and you qualify for no chips or guacamole.  Two or more tacos and now you are a “big spender” and suddenly win the Mexican lotto with the payout reward of chips and guacamole.  Order a full meal and a lazy Susan array of cucumbers, roasted chilis, red onions, guacamole and other side dishes magically appears at your table.  Big spenders!

All this food for around 200 something pesos (exchange rate of something like 16-18 per one U.S. dollar).  The other three enjoyed salads and non US food eater tacos of exotic cuts like tripas.  Google that last word as I have yet to try it myself. Back home I rarely drink beer or beer this early in the day.  Here it just seems like a natural water allotment for lugging at this food and drink around.

So, what did I buy for those untold pesos.  Appetizers, lunch and at least two dinner meals.  The ripe bananas that we purchase here are all edible and not tasteless like some back home. The green bananas I will use to make a latin dish we call tostones.

Simple explanation is you cut the bananas into two-inch lengths, half way fry them, using wax paper your now mash them down with a coffee cup, then place back into the frying pan and fry the rest of the way, add salt and serve.

The second version had I purchased ripe bananas is called sweet fried plantains, or plátanos maduros.  In this version you want to buy the extremely ripe plantains – the black ones.  No mashing needed, just cut, fry and serve.  The taste is totally different.  One is like eating candy and the other is like enjoying a great eating salad.

I also purchased two types of fish filets and some carne asada meat.  Probiotics yogurt, papaya jelly, a fine Mexican wine ($12-18) saving this bottle for when you arrive.  Lunch ham and cheese, breakfast muffins, a loaf of french bread.  Also, some salad, octopus, clams, green sliced olives, naturally as appetizers.  Voila!  Breakfast, lunch and dinner all in one shopping trip!  And this coming from a guy that months ago had rarely stepped foot in a grocery store.