How to Shop in a Mexican Supermarket | Lost in the Supermarket | Epicurious

this is incredible yeah it's a bucket of

lard for whatever you need it yes

Fiesta Mart a chain of Mexican and

Hispanic supermarkets across the

southwest stocks lard in tubs large

enough for any taqueria or survivalist

bunker but that's just one of the

shamelessly tasty occasionally dangerous

items they sound absurd quantities walk

through any of their stores and you

might hear a mariachi band pick out a

pinata eat a whole fried fish that was

alive just minutes before or get pricked

by a spiky desert vegetable the only

predictable thing it's gonna be

delicious it's time to get lost in the

supermarket so right when you come into

Fiesta Mart you're confronted with

something that can hurt you these cactus

paddles or nopales which are delicious

in tacos and give this helpful set of

tongs here with which to pick them up

but if you just walk over this way she's

shaved with his knife all of the spikes

off of the cactus her technique is


do you ever end up with a spike not so

much see she's a professional this is an

amazing assortment of guavas hmm I don't

know if it's wow this season quite yet

but the guava this is your self-serve

dried chili station when you lift this


like amazing dark raisiny chili aromas

come out of it it's a general theme here

spikey ingredients that you can only

pick up with tongs I just feel like I'm

going through my old Diana Kennedy

cookbooks and finally putting the faces

to the names this is epazote which is

also frequently added to beans to give

it a really almost like annecy flavor I

don't actually ever know if I've seen

this at a supermarket before oh my gosh

it smells really minty it's a Manzano

pepper it looks like an apple this is

surprisingly like sweet and mild and

fruity tasting truth in advertising

they're the lemons are sweet lemons I'm

a real lemons

and the oranges are sour you get into

some really insane textures here this

just looks like a rock this is like a

surfboard for a cooking ingredient I

guess you'd probably like strap it to

the roof of your car and take it home

and just like break it down eat off of

it for a few days many mysteries to

uncover here you'll find plenty of

freshly caught Gulf seafood at the fish

counter at Fiesta Mart but I'm more

excited by the stuff you don't usually

see at the supermarket sacks of still

wriggling crawfish and catfish that's

still alive and trying to make a break

for it

Vivier fresh tilapia your fresh catfish

trying to make their escape so you can

come here and buy a literal sack of

crawfish we're going from fish that's so

fresh that it's alive to fish that has

gone completely other side of its

lifecycle this is so cool

okay this fish has been cut in half and

now it kind of looks like two fish

just like a popcorn stand at a movie

theater there's no way you can walk past

Fiesta Mart's selection of crispy

crunchy pork products without stopping

for a taste and then sticking around to

pick up some house-made chorizo or an

oversized pork shoulder to make into

carnitas at home I can try the ground to

torrontΓ©s without having them in there


warm crispy form what are the

differences here because

right okay so this is more like a meal

or a snack it's not right in the frying

process most of the fat renders out of

it so you're just left with the


and a very slight chewiness kind of

addictive could be really hard to walk

by this station every day so this one

I'm gonna stand by this it's more of a


you see there's still some meat hanging

on to it a little bit of fat in there

too pretty much like biting into a piece

of fried chicken

only instead of fried chicken it's pork

oh boy

carnitas usually takes a pretty long

time to cook in this case it's just

right here for you super tender super

fatty okay they even sculpt their ground

meat into the shape of a pig from five

varieties of Central American sour cream

to cheeses you'll want to crumble over

beans or melt over enchiladas Fiesta

Mart's dairy section goes far beyond

that Cree shredded so-called Mexican

cheese you'd find at most stores it's an

almost encyclopedic selection only

rivaled by their assortment of tortillas

and tamales Oh

corn tortillas in a rainbow of colors

you might be able to find fresh corn

tortillas in your supermarket but you

probably won't find tortillas enchiladas

chili infused corn tortillas chocolate

chip tamale dough you can have an entire

meal of tamales from appetizer main

course to dessert strawberry tamale

dough one more thing that I've never

seen before

fresca Rica's tortillas so this is a

half cooked flour tortilla which means

that you can just finish it up the

cooking right in your own pan right

alongside all the food you'll find

everything else you need to live the

Fiesta Mart lifestyle from Oak ahead

days to exotic variations on bingo to

cowboy paraphernalia and of course

spoons that are taller than most humans

okay so that giant leaf from before I

guess you put it in a pot and you stir

with this I can only imagine how

powerful I would feel like stirring a

pot of beans with one of these tools you

can imagine the kind of cauldron of

bubbling oil that would require that

just loving this general theme of

cooking for a whole bunch of people so

cosmetic toiletry section all the things

you need to look good

including cowboy hats

I really want a pair of these like kids

cowboy boots after all of that exploring

I've picked up quite a thirst

luckily Fiesta Mart boasts a veritable

rainbow of refreshments including a full

line of neon colored cane sugar

sweetened mexican sodas and cult

varieties of super bubbly mineral water

we have the powdery toes in all of their

colors and flavors

okay I'm gonna crack this open coconut

juice with pulp

you see something a drink and something

and shoe at the same time you don't need

a beverage at a snack it's just like all

in one it's almost lunchtime and it's

becoming harder and harder to resist the

snacks that fill the aisle especially

since they all seem to be saltier

spicier and way more tongue numbing than

what on these two it's all just a mere

appetizer before hitting up the taqueria

conveniently located right in the store

so we're here at the prepared food

counter at yes Mart not only can you get

tacos you can get a whole fried fish

here and an amazing assortment of these

agua frescas which I will definitely get

one is that al pastor over there and can

I get a fried fish too the little light

snack with my taco so I chose like

probably the messiest taco ever okay


if anyone's taste like your

grandmother's beef stew but way more

flavorful you dig into this fish here

skin is definitely really crispy from

the frying this is the same tilapias

that were swimming around in the seafood


frist be a little bit salty spicy pretty

much the freshest fried whole fish I've

ever eaten in a supermarket ocean nine

yes yummy funny Mayo this is really like

a meeting place people of all cultures

all looking for a good meal and that

pretty much does it all I've had my

horizons expanded my tongue scorched and

my ego humbled by the vast selection of

foods here at Fiesta Mart it's a welcome

reminder about how much I still have to

learn about Central American and tex-mex

cooking but thanks to the genuine

welcome I've received here I won't be

shy about diving right in and if I

experienced any bouts of anxiety I'll

always be able to calm myself with a

couple of pieces of crispy fried pork