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Simatlan Market in Oaxaca

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In the garden

I just came across these photos I took at the wonderful Simitlan tianguis and mercado in Oaxaca state. It was quite a long way from the city of Oaxaca but I think if you're a market-freak like me, it's more than worth it.

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These odd looking flowers are actually the flowers from the chocolate plant. Later I had a drink made from them. It was more of a gruel than anything else, actually.

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You can always count on eating well in a Mexican market.

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All over Oaxaca state, you can enjoy Tlayudas (sometimes called clayudas) which are something between a Oaxacan pizza and a burrito. There's a layer of asiento (pork drippings with little bits), refried beans, cheese and then a lot of different toppings. It's nothing short of super.

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You see the plate and think you can't possibly eat the whole thing and next thing you know you're wondering if it's possible to eat two.

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They're messy but worth it.

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I was at Simitlan with my friends Gabriel and Yunuen. It was unbelievably hot and we'd been driving for hours but the market was worth it. Most interesting for me were all the big ayocote (or runner) beans, which here are called Frijolon. This is a word I first saw in Alicia Gironella d'Angeli's seminal Larousse de la Cocina Mexicana and assumed it was a mistake. I was wrong.

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This vendor was selling the beautiful red flowers of the runner beans. If you eat them, they taste a lot like bean sprouts.

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Normally when I visit a market or a tianguis, I have to ask my traveling partners to wait a minute while I check some beans out. Believe it or not, not all have the same interest in beans!

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One of the many pleasures of traveling with Yunuen and Gabriel is that we are all on the same page. I remember seeing this woman and turned around to ask Gabriel to wait a minute. When I turned back around, he was already talking to her and asking her about the beans and harvest.

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