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Friday, May 30, 2008

Food Bazaar Mexican Market

Yesterday I visited a little Mexican market here in Charlotte. It is located at 6407 South Blvd, in the heart of 'Little Mexico', which is not too far from where I live. I'd been by it a few times but so far hadn't stopped in. My first impressions as I entered the little store were of Mexican music playing over the speakers a bit of a 'smell'. The smell I am fairly certain came from the meat department. I know that it is not uncommon in ethnic stores to smell things like meats and seafoods a wee bit more than you would in most American grocery stores. It doesn't bother me much, but it is noticeable. By the time I'd walked about a few aisles I wasn't noticing the smell anymore and I think I may have been swaying a bit to the music. ;)

I made a few purchases, some were in the produce department. Food Bazaar doesn't have a very big produce department I noticed. Compare Foods, another Mexican grocery in our neighborhood has a huge produce dept. BUT I did notice that everything in the produce department looked very fresh and tidy-- Compare Foods I have found, is a place where there are heaps of veggies but you really do have to pick through them for freshness--and sometimes their food spoils within a day or two. Abundance is apparently not everything. The produce prices were quite reasonable. I got some green onions and a bunch of cilantro and nice white potatoes.

After that I picked up some interesting herbal teas--one is an herb called Boldo which is a peruvian herb used for abdominal complaints/digestion. I had a couple cups of it last night and it was very pleasant and I think good for my tummy--which I have been having troubles with lately-- it was good to have a nice medicinal I haven't tried before. I also picked up some packaged herbs for bronchial problems. I have mild ashthma which has been acting up lately due to a cold I had several weeks ago in combination with the tremendous amounts of tree pollen in Charlotte.

I did have a gander at the meat department it seemed orderly enough, but I was not in the market for any meats right now. Mexican grocery stores generally have a great variety of meats you don't usually find in American stores--especially organ meats and possibly goat meat. Maybe some day, but I was really just needing some cilantro. I also picked up a shaker of a Mexican sice mix-- a citrus flavored adobo spice-- yummy! Perhaps I'll use that this weekend, and I found a nice little bottle of habanero pepper sauce for my hubby as a welcome home treat since he is away on business this week.

I enjoyed my little visit to the Food Bazaar, I did note that like other small ethnic grocery stores the 'American products' were a bit overpriced--things like boxed cereal and cleaning supplies. I often wonder if small stores buy some of their supplies 'retail' at bigger stores and just have them on hand? Maybe that is why they are higher? Still there is a large mainly Mexican apartment complex just around the corner from Food Bazaar and I imagine that the fact that this little market is walking distance for the folks there makes convenient enough to rate them paying a wee bit more for some things.

Another fun thing, out in the parking lot is one of those cute little Taco stands that are made out of a trailer. It too played Mexican music. I never saw things like this when I lived in the Midwest, I suppose the weather was not good for portable restaurants? Charlotte has them in various spots including in Uptown Charlotte, where it is kind of neat to stroll along and pick up a hot dog just as if you were in New York City or something.

I love the multi-cultural aspects of Charlotte. For the most part I think the Latino residents are pretty decent folks. I've met some from places as exotic as Brazil and Honduras and many from Mexico. They seem to be hard working, friendly and frugal, and many are entrepreurs. It reminds me a little of the days of Ellis Island. It kind of brings a bit of new life to bring in new folks. This doesn't mean I'm pro-illegal immigration--but like many things I have a somewhat moderate position on that topic. Many of us folks here in Charlotte are from far away places--like me--I'm a native Wisconsonite, who came here via Fargo ND.

I will likely stop in at Food Bazaar again sometime, for certain things when I need them.

3 comments:

  1. Mexican markets are such fun. My mom, friend and I go every once in a while...fun to try some of the awesome foods they have that we don't even know exist!

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  2. BTW...I love your new look here on your blog! I am a yellow fanatic anyway, and love your title photo!

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  3. thanks, I like to change it up for the season. :) The magnolia blooms outside the library I work at, I was going to use the photo on the new library blog, but it didn't fit in with the theme, and its too too pretty to waste.

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