Established in 2010 by the Slow Food Yucatán Convivium in Mexico, the ‘Mercado Fresco’ Earth Market is held every Saturday in Plaza Colón, a small square in Mérida, the regional capital.
Fifty-three food producers take part in the market. Most of them are Mexicans but there are also a number of foreigners, including Italians, French, Americans, Germans, Chileans and Brazilians who have chosen to settle down in Mérida for the quality of life there. On display at the market are fruit and vegetables (spinach, lettuce, plantains, tropical fruit, pumpkins, carrots), the pork and sausage of the cerdo pelón, a local pig breed, dried beef, quails, eggs, butter, goat’s cheese, confectionery and baked goods, fruit juices, preserves, coconut milk and so on. Also on sale are traditional local dishes, as well as Korean, German, Italian and Arab specialties prepared by members of immigrant communities.
Thanks to the huge variety of foodstuffs on offer, the market always attracts lots of visitors, among them many chefs and students. For visitors, merchants and producers alike the Slow Food Yucatán Convivium organizes a number of taste workshops on subjects such as raw milk cheese production, naturally leavened bread making, the principles of organic farming and related topics.
The Market has been included in the ‘Slow Yucatán: Development of a good, clean and fair food system, based on the sustainability model of the international Slow Food movement’ project funded by the Kellogg Foundation, one of the aims of which will be to use Slow Food Earth Markets to consolidate local producer networks.