Just beyond the Puerta de Tierra and outside of the Campeche city wall is the Mercado Pedro Sainz de Baranda, a densely packed maze of fresh produce stalls and busy taquerias. There’s a steamy circular food court in the centre of the mercado packed with people enjoying local favourites such as Dogfish Pozole, Tamales Yucatecos, Mole de Pollo, Cochinita Pibil (of course), Panuchos (small Yucatan tortillas), Relleno Negro (ground turkey and chicken with chilli mole), and Pickled Pompano (also a local fish). Or how about Mondongo, a soup made from diced tripe of cow or pig, slow-cooked with vegetables. Or perhaps Chocolomo, a steamy beef stew that’s considered a tonic for hangovers.
Then there are two vast fan-ventilated halls. The fresh meat hall has an abattoir feel about it – not for the squeamish I might add, as large carcasses swing from hooks, the yellowed chickens presented plucked with everything bar their heads, and every conceivable cut of meat spread across tiled counters. Seemingly nothing goes to waste here.
Next door is the slippery fish hall – a super busy scene of filleting, chopping and dicing. Fish of all sizes and species from tarpon, jacks, yellowtail snapper, spotted sea trout and snook and even barracuda and small sharks are to be had.
What a feast for the senses!