Tianguis are the Mexican name for a local itinerant market. What makes these places different is that they are put up on the very same street but are only available certain days of the week.
Since very young, my mom’s been taking me to a tianguis near our home, and it’s always an adventure. The sounds, the colors and the smells in these places are incredible. In tianguis, what is most commonly found is food. Whether fully cooked or raw (such as veggies, fruits or meat – meat I wouldn’t recommend buying for health issues from lack of proper refrigeration), you are surely in to try something new every time you get in this small maze of vendors and pinkish-red ceiling tents.
Tianguis are both fascinating and confusing at times, since along with the food, you can find clothing, books, candies, herbs, and pets. One of the great things about tianguis is the incredible knowledge of the vendors. I love to ask about fruits or veggies I’ve never seen and with some luck I can get to try them and even get a recipe to prepare a delicious meal at home.
The tradition of these markets has come a very long way in Mexican history. Some historians claim that the itinerant markets were a source of work for the indigenous people that were cast out of the city during the colonial era. For me, it’s fascinating how some traditions have evolved but stay a relevant part of our daily lives.