Markets and tianguis (street markets): Heart of the Puebla taste

A tour of the markets and street markets of the state of Puebla, reflecting the traditions and spirit that last on the people of Puebla's tables.

By Cocina Cinco Fuegos

Andrés Lobato

1 Mercados y tianguis corazón del sabor poblanoCocina Cinco Fuegos

I have been a press photographer for over 20 years, since the first photos I took I have felt a deep attraction to portraying Mexico's cultural wealth in all its senses.

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Walnut in San Nicolás de los Ranchos

In the street market of San Nicolás de los Ranchos, a sack with walnuts for sale. This ingredient is essential for the preparation of the nogada (walnut salsa) of the emblematic chiles en nogada (chilis in walnut salsa), the gastronomic jewel of Puebla and Mexico.

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Traditional sweets in Xicotepec

Sale of typical sweets at a market place in Xicotepec de Juárez. In the region, sweets are made by hand such as jamoncillo (milk candy bar) with seeds, peanut, macadamia nut or coffee, as well as borrachitos candies, peanut candy, wafers, fried dough balls and coconut sweets.

4 Mercados y tianguis corazón del sabor poblanoCocina Cinco Fuegos

With my camera on my shoulder, I've gone a long way with my camera on my shoulder, I've traveled much of the country and on these trips, I've not only made news coverage, but I've also been involved with people and their gastronomy, mainly in Puebla, where I have been living since childhood.

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Pumpkin seeds for sale

The almudes (wooden boxes) and sardine cans, serve as a measure for the sale of pumpkin seeds. This seed is the main ingredient for preparing regional dishes, such as pipián verde (pumpkin seed salsa), and the seed is also toasted and eaten as a snack. In the sweets industry in Puebla, the Santa Clara pancakes and the jamoncillo (milk candy bar), prepared with pumpkin seed, are traditional.

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It would be difficult to understand the history of civilizations without mentioning their markets, because to a large extent they are their own social, historical, and anthropological reflection.

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There are vestiges that show that the markets already existed in pre-Hispanic times, even that the Olmec in spreading trade, set sail from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to the central plateau.

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La Acocota Market

A woman buys lemons at a stall at Mercado La Acocota, it is here you can find a variety of chicken and fish and beef and pork. There are also stalls with raw materials and cuisines that, with a rich seasoning, offer traditional food menus.

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Cuetlas the market of Cholula

In a basket covered with plastic you can find butterfly larvae, known as cuetlas, chiancuetla or tepetolchichic, which since pre-Hispanic times have been considered a delicacy, the sardine can is used as a unit of measure.

10 Mercados y tianguis corazón del sabor poblanoCocina Cinco Fuegos

It is known that the Spaniards were impressed by the organization of the street markets, -a word that has its origin in Nahuatl tiyānquiztli-, and where cocoa was a currency with value.

11 Mercados y tianguis corazón del sabor poblanoCocina Cinco Fuegos

Bean stall in Cholula

At one street market stall, with the different types of beans that exist, are the bayo bean, black bean and Mayflower bean, an old pot serves as a unit of measure for selling the bean.

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Even though there are now established centers called markets, the street markets—whose characteristic is moving from one place to another—still exist.

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The markets have evolved in terms of their physical layout; on certain days they are located on the streets and with their colorful and endless tarpaulins, they include the stalls where there are thousands of goods of delicious flavors and textures.

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Cherry tomato in Tlatlauquitepec

The cherry tomato is displayed in piles in the mercado de Tlatlauquitepec. This variety is small and very sweet, its color may vary in different shades.

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Market in Xicotepec de Juárez

In the mercado de Xicotepec, in a three-tier stall, a woman offers a wide variety of seeds, dried chilies, vegetables and fruit. The color of the products really catches your eye.

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Also, the bustle of sounds gets trapped under the tarpaulins.

17 Mercados y tianguis corazón del sabor poblanoCocina Cinco Fuegos

In the case of the city of Puebla, there are thousands of shops established in the municipal markets, more in the State, it is possible to find in the towns the street markets that, with their endless stalls, continue to fill the kitchens with ingredients and products where dishes full of flavors and stories will be created, these street markets also being a great attraction for establishing traditional Puebla gastronomy.

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