Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Mexico >
Sep 10, 2011 07:58 PM

Finding produce in DF

For the last couple of years, I have been (unsuccessfully) doing a hunt for spaghetti squash in DF. Spaghetti squash in the US seems to be imported from Mexico, but no one I've come across in markets (Pugibet market included) even knows what I'm talking about.

(If you're looking for butternut squash, though, it is locally called 'zapallo' and found at San Juan Pugibet place).

I've also been looking for nutritional yeast.

Any leads on this will be deeply appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You might ask for nutritional yeast at Molinera El Progreso, Calle Aranda 26 bis, Colonia Centro, a couple of blocks east of Mercado San Juan. I don't know what it's called in Spanish.
    However, I don't see it in their catalog at a glance.

    You could also try Super Soya stores.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Anonimo

      Thank you, Anonimo! I will report the results of my visits to both.

      1. re: veryconsumista

        i saw spaguetti squash yesterday at Superama (it's probably seasonal though). good hunting.

        1. re: profmaher

          Thank you, profmaher!! I've gone to a few Superama stores now and had no luck. Would you mind telling me which one you saw it in? I'm so excited!

          1. re: veryconsumista

            It was in Superama Santa Fe. Good luck.

            1. re: profmaher

              Thank you!! If anyone is interested in knowing, they do have it there. I'm not very lucky, since they're out of stock and I'll be gone when they have it again. Here's to hoping their season lasts until January...

    2. I bought spaghetti squash (imported from the US) in Mercado de San Juan last weekend. Not cheap - a small one cost 43 pesos - but there was a big pile of them at one of the Chinese stalls. It's probably only available at this time of the year.

      7 Replies
      1. re: NiamhR

        Thank you!! As much as I dislike the market :p, I will try to squeeze in a visit before I go. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

        1. re: veryconsumista

          Just curious, but how can you not like Mercado San Juan?

          1. re: kcward

            My experiences there haven't been great. I've been mostly on the hunt for uncommon fruit, vegetables and spices, which I think is the poorest part of the market (seen most of it at better prices and/or quality in other places, except for the Asian squash). Also, despite having spent less than an hour looking around and really just asking a limited number of questions (no more than three per stand where I stopped), I have been asked by four people if I'm really going to buy anything, or if I'm just being nosy (which had never, ever happened to me in any market or store before). And I'm not paraphrasing... that's really how they phrased it.

            I guess that it doesn't help that I'm a local young woman carrying no cameras or helpers (i.e. probably a housewife or student, and not a chef, or food writer, or expat), and that I'm not looking for exotic meats or dairy. So I wouldn't tell anyone to stay out of there, but it's always been a disappointment for me when I've gone.

            1. re: veryconsumista

              I guess it's about building relationships with the vendors. I shopped there 3-4 times a week for about 3 years, so folks knew me pretty well and would get them or help me find things if they didn't have them. It was on the way home, so the easiest place to shop. I always found that for fruits and veggies, from common to uncommon, it was pretty much the best place to go (but have to get there early while all the stalls are still well stocked). For spices, the best place I know is on Buen Tono around the corner, Molino de [no sé de que].

              1. re: kcward

                "For spices, the best place I know is on Buen Tono around the corner, Molino de [no sé de que]."

                Could be Molinera El Progreso, Calle Aranda 26-bis.

                1. re: Anonimo

                  Thats it, one street over, my bad.

        2. re: NiamhR

          I FOUND IT!!! I went to do some shopping at Superama today (near WTC) and they had a lot of squashy pumpkiny goods for sale. I don't know much about them all, but I saw acorn squash, gourd? and spaghetti squash. It was all being sold per piece, rather than by weight, and all individual pieces were between 15 and 20 pesos. Spaghetti squash was at around 20 (the best 80 pesos I've spent in my life, now that I see how much it costs at San Juan).

          Oh, they also had a gigantic squash (for 300 pesos), and the small pumpkins that are for sale everywhere in DF these days. It was all being sold for decoration purposes, I think.

          Thank you, profmaher and NiamhR!!!!!

        3. Hey there - was at San Juan today and they had them still if you are still craving! Try the Asian veggie stalls in the far back slightly to the left of the exotic meat section.

          If you want to try the market for other produce again, you may be surprised? I've compared prices with Superama and consistently the fruit is nicer, more flavorful, and cheaper. For example, today Gala apples were fresh and 10 pesos per kilo cheaper than some really old ones at Superama this week.

          If you want to dip your foot in, you might want to try the veggie vendor I like. She's on the first aisle from the back just to the right of the Asian vendors if you are facing the back of the market. The back of her stall backs up against an exotic meat vendor with large deli style cases. I got my veggies for the week there today for 80 pesos. There are some ladies who consistently have the cutest little mini-veggies more towards the center aisle, but their prices for everything are very high. I'd only go there if you need something that you can't find other places. As an example, I needed some italian basil today (hoja grande) and the mini ladies wanted to charge me an arm and a leg. I went back to my lady (who had ran out or I would have bought from her) and she went to her friend and got me the basil for the right price.

          Also, the local duck in the center aisle just when you walk in the main door is delicious.... and the mushrooms.... and the fish is so fresh.

          Thanks for the name of zapallo, I've been asking around for months and no one has given me a name. I'm feeling a little desperate for some so i might just go back and have a vendor keep an eye out for me at the Central. ;-)

          1 Reply
          1. re: gueraaven

            Thank you for telling me this :) I have enough spaghetti squash in my freezer for the year, I think, but I couldn't freeze puree made out of calabaza de Castilla. I'll go see the Asian veggie stalls to try and fix that! Also, when I go I will look for your veggie vendor.

            If zapallo doesn't work (only one veggie vendor in the market had heard the name when I went), try asking about the pumpkins that were sold around the city during Halloween/DOTD for pumpkin carving. That's how I got mine.