Exploring a Mexican Supermarket

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Walmart, Mega, Chedraui… by now, we’ve visited quite a few supermarkets in Mexico, mostly (and officially) to get some supplies for Mark—diapers, wipes, food—but also because I am addicted to their bakeries.

All supermarkets have a huge bakery where you can buy loafs of bread (duh!) but also pastries. They are all displayed on the shelves, you just have to pick a tray and help yourself. They are cheap too, usually about 50 cents apiece.

There are dozens of pastries to choose from but most are fairly simple—we are not talking elaborate creamy cakes here (although you can get that too): sweet breads, sometime with a jam or cream filling, sometime dipped in chocolate or sugar. They aren’t too sweet or too buttery… they are just perfect for anyone who loves the texture of bread—like me. Like in Chinese bakeries, there are also savoury breads filled with mushrooms, tuna, etc.

Besides the panaderia, there is often a cafeteria where you can buy favourite local foods such as pieces of fried chicken, fried plantains, tamales, rice and beans, salads, fries, etc. Mexicans seem to like anything fried!

The vegetable section is quite extensive and includes tons of bananas from Chiapas or Tabasco, as well as mountains of avocados.

Mexicans must like soup: there is often an entire aisle dedicated to powder soup (the Maggi or Knorr kind). The meat and fish section is also pretty extensive, both displayed on ice or in coolers (and not pre-packaged like in most Canadian supermarkets).

They definitely have a sweet tooth: there are tons of cookies and cereal bars, although most don’t seem too fancy and revolve around chocolate chips or some kind of gooey fruity filling. Breakfast cereals are the sugary kind as well—most have “azucar” (sugar) in their name (at least, they are honest and don’t claim to the “healthy way” to start the day!).

The dairy section is well-stocked with cheese and yogurts. Cheese mostly revolves around the “easy to melt” kind (i.e. no “fancy” strong cheese like in France). Philadelphia cream cheese and The Laughing Cow are pretty popular. There are many kinds of yogurts in bottles to drink on-the-go: the main brands are Yoplait, Danone and LaLa. Flan is also very popular, as well as “dessert-flavoured” yogurts, such as “dulce de leche”, “apple pie”, etc.

Low-fat products are hard to spot, although nutritional information is available on every products, like in Canada (is it by law? I’m not sure). Pastries do have a sticker underneath that says “over 275 calories per 100 grams”, which I found pretty funny.

When it comes to drinks, Coke (the regular kind) is definitely a winner, and beer seems to come second. There is also Sprite and Pepsi, as well as various carbonated fruit juices. And beer, of course.

The only downside of Mexican market is the slow check-out time. It invariably takes at least twenty minutes to pay for your grocery. Line-ups are long and cashiers are pretty slow and few cash registers are opened, even during rush hour—I’m not sure why.

You can see the full set of Estación México on Flickr.

Hot Sauces

Hot Sauces

Condensed Milk

Condensed Milk

Soups

Soups

Seafood

Seafood

Cheese

Cheese

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

Bakery

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

10 Comments

  1. Oh the Mexican bread! When I was in Mexico City in 2011, I always enjoyed the pastries that local bakeries produced. In fact, I skipped the hostel breakfast plenty of times because I had a better and tastier breakfast by visiting the bakery across the street!

  2. Thanks for doing this post. There are so many things here that I would love to try!

    That last pastry/bread looks really strange. I wonder what’s in that?

    There’s so many hot sauces to choose from! I would love to have some real spicy food.

    I hate those powder soups, though. A lot of Central European countries love powered soup as well. I just don’t get it – I think they taste awful.

    There’s nothing like bread-like brioche with no filling, though. That’s the best “pastry” hands down. I just don’t get how the T&T Chinese bread tastes almost like the French one. How do they do it?

    I’ve heard so many good things about authentic Mexican cuisine. I’ve got to convince my husband to go there for work (so I can tag along!).

    • Ah, the breads you are talking about got me confused too until I bought one for Mark, the official excuse to taste new food 😆 The top is actually a bit of hard sugar and the bread is like a very very light brioche, slightly sweet.

      I don´t mind powder soup, I had a lot of these in Canada last winter (no time to eat but need something hot). I use a lot of water though because they are so salty!

      One thing I like with these bread is that they don´t have any weird filling (most don´t anyway). No cream, no sticky stuff.

  3. Oh,the pastries! I have never traveled to Mexico but your pics and description of all the yummy breads pretty much convince me to go there just for sake of those, if nothing else. Here I stock up on them exclusively at T&T and tiny Chinese bakeries. Local ones somehow taste too sweet and buttery.

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