A couple of days ago, I went with friends to the abastos in Guadalajara. An abastos serves primarily as a wholesale outlet for vendors. It’s where local farmers bring their wares to sell to such places as grocery stores and restaurants that buy in bulk, although there are also stalls and shops at the abastos which sell to individuals.
At this abastos, the trade is primarily in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and spices. There is another abastos in Guad that specializes in seafood trucked in from the Pacific, about a four hour drive away. The picture at the top of this post shows a small part of the typical presentation of vegetables at a stall selling to individuals. And here’s a photo of the offering at another stall specializing in chiles, nuts, and seeds:
But come Christmas, there’s a whole new dimension. PINATAS! It’s an amazing sight to walk into a warehouse full, on the ground level, of most things a Mexican cook … or a cook in Mexico needs to prepare a meal, and then look up and see things like this:
And it’s great to be able to walk through the area without Muzak versions of Christmas carols blaring away. I’m not saying that it’s not commercial or not designed to appeal to the senses and the pocketbook, because it is. But what I appreciated so much about it is that, along with comestibles, the seasonal pinatas are considered an integral part of a holiday meal.
I, for one, like the idea that at a stall I can say to the woman behind the counter, “I’d like a kilo of carrots, a half a kilo of pecan halves, five ancho chiles, and one of those orange and yellow pinatas, please.”
Which, of course, leads me to my next choice of favorite holiday songs…nonMuzak version…Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Try this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ymlnxMZkXA.
And here are a couple more pictures of pinatas for you while you listen: