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Posts Tagged ‘Pochote’

It was only recently that I learned that Oaxaca’s ubiquitous and beloved Ceiba tree was also known as the Kapok tree. Yikes, kapok was the stuff that stuffed the overstuffed furniture in my grandparents living room.

Those avocado-like pods (also known as pochote) contain a fluffy cotton-like fiber that is difficult to spin but is light and-water resistant — thus it’s use in mattresses, pillows, upholstery, stuffed animals, and life jackets. All hail and much respect to the “the mother tree of humankind.

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What is it about October?  If I was still living in Mill Valley (California), this weekend I’d probably be joining friends in Golden Gate Park at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco.  Of course, I’d have to weigh the days and times of “can’t miss” performers with “must see” films at the Mill Valley Film Festival, which opened October 2 — not to mention trying to catch the San Francisco Giants post-season games.  Here in Oaxaca, the song is the same!  The Oaxaca FilmFest opened Friday night (Oct. 4) and runs through October 11.  Yesterday, the Día del Amaranto (Day of Amaranth) festival was held in the Plaza de la Danza.  In addition, during the week, various communities, both in the city and out, are celebrating the Virgen del Rosario (more to come on this).

AND, on Friday and Saturday Oaxaca city’s Mercado Organico (also known as, Pochote-Xochimilco or Pochimilco) located in the plaza of Templo de Santo Tomas Xochimilco, celebrated its 11th anniversary.  There was music, folkloric dancers, stalls filled with food and drink, and people (including me) enjoying it all.

A grandmother and little girl sharing plate of food

The produce at this stand was SO fresh and tempting, even though I didn’t need anything!

Carrots, lettuce, squash blossoms, fennel, and more.

Lucky for me, I found the gal who sells my favorite jamaica (hibiscus) concentrate, as I’d run out last week.

Woman selling jamaica products

Then there was this guy selling jars of homemade chutney.  He even remembered me, even though I hadn’t been there for several months!  I wanted them all, but managed to restrain myself and come home with just the peach chutney.

Smiling young man selling jars of chutney

The chutney samples were offered on tostadas with a small slice of queso de cabra (goat cheese).  ¡My sabroso!  “Where?”  I asked.  “Right over there,” he answered.  I made a beeline for the aisle where he pointed and bought some of this yummy cheese.

Packages of goat cheese.

As always, whenever I venture up the hill to the organic market, I came home with way more than I can possibly eat in a week.  Guess I need a little help from my friends.  ¡Feliz cumpleaños, Pochimilco! — another of Oaxaca’s treasures.

For more on the market, check out the Pochimilco page on the Oaxaca Wiki.

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