Gallery: Market Tours: Mercado San Juan in Mexico City

Pulpo
Pulpo

Box o’ octopus. I had a surprising amount of octopus ceviche while in Mexico City, which ended up being some of my favorite dishes from the trip.

Percebes
Percebes

Percebes, or goose barnacles, grow on hard rock and are considered a delicacy.

Chiles
Chiles

Ubiquitous Mexican dried chiles have their place, but they're not the main draw of Mercado San Juan.

Meats and Cheese
Meats and Cheese

A nod to its Spanish origins, there were many cured hams, sausages, and cheese to be found.

Huitlacoche
Huitlacoche

Huitlacoche is a corn fungus that is most commonly used as a filling for tacos and quesadillas.

Morels
Morels

A mushroom extravaganza. Fresh morels, oyster, button, and portobello mushrooms sat alongside even more varieties of their dried brethren.

Dragon Fruit
Dragon Fruit

The most vibrant of the many exotic fruit that can be had at the market.

Bok Choy
Bok Choy

Representing a small Asian community and an Asian vegetable export business, bok choy, daikons, ginger, and soyu long cucumbers sat alongside more common Mexican produce.

Asian Ingredients
Asian Ingredients

On display behind glass like fine bottles of wine were Asian sauces and candies.

Chicharones
Chicharones

It’s not a Mexican market tour without some good chicharones—crackling fried pork skin.

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20130107-236094-mercado-san-juan.jpg
Mercado San Juan
Mercado San Juan

Mercado San Juan is a feast for the eyes, amazing with its gems of delicacies, the unusual, and the rare.

Maguey Worms
Maguey Worms

The caterpillars that inhabit agave plants which can be eaten raw, fried, or braised.

Insects
Insects

Edible insects abound, with Mexican favorites like chapulines (dried Oaxaca grasshoppers), escamole (ant eggs), and chicatanas (flying ants).

Acocil
Acocil

Acocil are a small crayfish native to Mexico and have been part of the local diet all the way back to the Aztecs.

Rabbits
Rabbits

Lined up by the dozens, the rabbits with their furry feet still intact were oddly fascinating and off-putting at the same time.

Suckling Pigs and Ducks
Suckling Pigs and Ducks

Suckling pigs were also in large supply. I would love to take one home and slow roast it into delicious lechon. Resting on the pigs were ducks with heads intact.

Veal Shanks
Veal Shanks

Veal shanks waiting to be turned into osso bucco.

Calf Brains
Calf Brains

Nothing goes to waste in Mercado San Juan, with brains, intestines, liver, and sweetbreads of the animals sold alongside the meat.

Fresh Fresh
Fresh Fresh

The market boasts a ton of fresh fish, everything from the common, like mahi mahi and red snapper, to the more local, like pejelagarto.

Ugly Fish
Ugly Fish

I didn’t get the name of this fish (possibly a type of monkfish?), but it’s awesomely ugly.

Lobster
Lobster

Off all the fish in the market, this vendor was most proud of his two live lobsters.

Camarones
Camarones

Talk about jumbo shrimp—these were the largest camarones I’ve ever seen.