Friday, September 23, 2016

If it's Friday...then this must be the feria! - Our life in Costa Rica

Our weekly shopping for fruits and veggies is done at the feria (farmer's market) in Grecia.

Grecia has a very large open air market. It is open on Friday from noon - 9pm and Sat from 9-12.

In addition to a vast assortment of fruit and produce, the feria also has meat and fish, bread, delicious desserts, fresh juices, sodas (small eating establishments), plants, an aisle where you can buy shoes, clothing, household items and a cotton candy booth (algodón de azúcar) which I have tried a time or 2 (thumbs up).

After living here for 4 months, we have gotten much better at budgeting for food and estimating how much we need to buy. Our refrigerator is usually (over) stuffed with produce and fruit. Our biggest issue is that the fruit and produce doesn't last very long. We have thrown away a lot because we didn't eat it soon enough. 

We've been told that this is because of the different growing methods here in Costa Rica and the reduced use of pesticides. Also because all fruit is grown locally (it's in season) so it is ripe or very close to it when it is picked, unlike the US where it is picked long before it gets ripe and shipped in from other countries. That produce/fruit must be treated to last and also chemicals are applied to make it look pretty for resale.

We accept the trade off and are learning to buy less each week and we have also learned several methods on how to make the food we buy last longer once we get it home.

Growers in North America have responded to decades of pressure to grow bigger, heavier fruits and vegetables that are uniform in appearance. Customers want their produce all-year-round, even if it’s out of season, and they want to pay minimal price.

delicious Costa Rica tomatoes

Take tomatoes for example: Industrial tomatoes have been bred for yield, production, disease resistance. The growers are not paid for flavor — they are paid for yield. So the breeders have given them a lot of fruit but that doesn’t have any flavor.
Most supermarket tomatoes sold in North America share a genetic mutation that makes them all round, smooth, and deep scarlet red when ripe. 

Lavanson & Charles absolutely love this vendor. Sometimes they end up buying out all of her brownies!

There are 2 organic booths

there are about 4 aisles this size - it's huge!!!

We look forward to shopping each Friday. Tasting and learning about different fruits and veggies. You get a lot for your money!

It's also a good place for social gatherings.

We see a lot of expats there each week. Then we meet up @ Isabel's for "happy hour".

Have I told you lately....I LOVE my life!!!
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