Photo found at The Hungry Ghost Kid
I am doing a happy dance today because I have manifested myself some terrific produce deals today. I have been finding good deals at small independently-owned ethnic markets for years. One of the great things about these markets is that the owners are typically hands-on and accessible. If you want to buy things by the case, they are often happy to oblige, often at a discount. And, of course, they often sell tropical fruits that are either not available or highly expensive at grocery stores.
Last week, I got a case of 50 lbs. of Maradol papaya at my favorite Mexican tienda for $26 and was absolutely ecstatic. They were the ripest papayas I have ever purchased, all a beautiful golden color, and deliciously sweet and juicy.
This week I went back to the store with the intention of finding out what other goodies they can order for me by the case. They had received a huge delivery only moments before, and there were crates of produce and foodstuffs stacked up outside the doors and in all of the aisles of the market. They run a bustling restaurant next door, so they purchase a much larger quantity than your typical tiendita. As I maneauvered around skids of tortillas, my eye landed on a lone box right next to the front door. In the box were various heirloom tomatoes in a striking rainbow of hues. I asked the cashier, who is the wife of the owner, how much she wanted per pound, since I had never seen these carried by this store. Oh, she said, those were sent to us by mistake; we were going to send them back. Can I buy some, I asked. She went and found her husband, who offered me the entire case (probably 25 lbs or more) for $6!
We also discussed ordering mandarinas and oranges by the case. He told me that he will sell me a 50 lb. case of oranges for $20. But they're juicing oranges, he told me, I hope that's o.k. Um, YEAH!
Next week, I am going to talk to him about what else I can order by the case. Perhaps there are things he doesn't typically carry inside the store, but that his supplier has available. I mean, his prices are unbelievable!
I gave the owner and his wife some of the heirloom tomatoes to try, and talked to them a little about gardening, since the varieties look like some that I have grown in my own garden. I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!