Our Tour to Alajuela’s “Feria” or Local Farmers market
Our small group of tourist were in the Central Valley of Costa Rica and wanted to have a unique cultural experience so our guide said, “Let’s go into Alajuela’s farmers market better know in Spanish as the “feria.” It was a wonderful sunny Saturday morning in July.
When we arrived we were amazed at the dozens of individual stalls where all these farmers had come to sell their fruits and vegetables..all grown on their own plots of land . Some even used organic farming methods. The whole scene was joyful and very colorful, with a marimba band playing the favorite songs of Costa Rica. Plus a very beautiful booth selling fresh cut flowers of all varieties including orchids.
An added plus is that we were able to interact with some of the locals. They came in droves, all the family members from the small children in strollers to old people with walking canes. They smiled, seemed to know each other, and caught up on the latest gossip.
We bought some of the more exotic tropical fruits as well as some of the usual- bananas, mangos, papaya, watermelon, and pineapple. The more exotic ones however got most of our attention. There was the strange looking fruit called guanabana, a very large round green fruit with what looked like scales on its peel. This one was very expensive, around $3.00 per pound. The lady selling it told us that this is grown on the Caribbean coast and is not plentiful. We bought only a small slice to take home and make the exotic drink. In the blender mix the fruit pulp with fresh milk and sugar. Also,we bought a fresh coconut, cut it cross wise and drank the coconut water through a straw. Costa Ricans callcoconuts “pipas” My first experience with a pipa! The taste was very refreshing but quiet different.
The vegetables were all fresh and neatly arranged. I never saw such variety. The chayote caught my eye because we had recently eaten a “picadilla de chayote”, a typical Costa Rica dish, eaten almost daily. The chayote is finely chopped and slowly cooked with a tinly amount of cooking oil or butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper. This vegetable grows on a vine, almost wild, very inexpensive to buy-around five cents each.
You name the vegetable and it was at this market, all freshly harvested. And very inexpensive. I was completely amazed! And very happy I had brought my camera.
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