Weird things about Mexican supermarkets

7 Weird Food Items You’ll Only find in a MEXICAN SUPERMARKET

¿Alguna vez has estado en un supermercado mexicano? (Have you ever been in a Mexican supermarket?) As a foreigner, you might find some of the items you can buy weird… and you might be thrown off by some of our “supermarket etiquette” too! 

En este video yo, Paulísima de Spring Spanish, te voy a llevar a un tour por un supermercado mexicano (In this video, I, Paulísima from Spring Spanish, will take you on a Mexican supermarket tour), and show you a bunch of weird and interesting things you’ll find in Mexican supermarkets! Let’s take a look…

1. Carnes raras (Strange meat)

  • El primer paquete que viste eran pescuezos de pollo. (The first package you saw were chicken necks.)
  • El segundo eran mollejas. (The second was chicken kidneys.)
  • El tercero era chicharrón prensado. (The third one, “pressed chicharrón”.)
  • El cuarto era chorizo verde. (The fourth one, green chorizo.)
  • Y el último era panza. (The last one, beef belly.)

Because in our regular diets we have some strange meats that it’s no surprise that you’d find those at the supermarket too. 

Sometimes the pre-packed meat can weight too much pero no te preocupes porque las amables personas que trabajan en la carnicería te pueden ayudar a empacar exactamente la cantidad que tú necesitas  (but the lovely people who work at the butchery area can help you pack give the exact amount you need). 

Learn this: Disculpe, me podría dar ____ (Excuse me, may I have ____) 

And then you insert the amount and the type of meat. Remember we use the metric system.

  • Disculpe me podría dar medio kilo de milanesa de res. (Excuse me, may I have half a kilo of beef milanese.)  
  • Disculpe me podría dar un kilo de costilla de cerdo. (Excuse me, may I have half a kilo of pork ribs.)  

Díganme en los comentarios cuál de las carnes raras que les mencioné debería de comprar la siguiente vez que vaya al supermercado. (Let me know in the comments which one of the meats I mentioned I should buy next time I go to the supermarket.) 

2. Está bien si no puedes esperar (It’s ok if you can’t wait) 

¿Se acuerdan de mi amiga Kai Cin? (Remember my friend Kai Cin?) I told you about her in my other video, the one about weird things that Mexicans do. If you haven’t watched it, go watch it right after this one! 

When I was doing research and I asked Kai Chin about things she found weird about Mexican supermarkets, she said this:

La gente puede abrir los snacks y comer mientras hacer compras y antes de ir a pagar. Siempre pienso que sí la gente se acaba el snack y tira el empaque pues… ¿Ya no es necesario pagar? 

(People can open the snacks and eat while they shop and before paying. I always think that if people finish the snacks and throw away the packaging, well… Iis it no longer necessary to pay?) 

In Mexico people sometimes open drinks or snacks and eat them before paying. I’m not saying everybody does this or that is a super common thing to do, but it does happen, especially around the cashier area. Some people will grab una coca y unas sabritas y se las comen en lo que esperan a pagar (a Coke and Lays and have them while they wait to pay) 

I’m not encouraging this kind of behavior alright? Especially now that we have to wear masks indoors. So for now, this is off limits! You could tell them:

Disculpe, el tapabocas. (Excuse me, the mask.) Bien puesto. (properly worn.) 

But then one day everything is going to come back to normal and we are going to be eating our Sabritas en el super antes de pagarlas. Si lo vas a  hacer, por favor no tires el paquete, y págalo. Hay un código de honor que tenemos que respetar. (Eating Lays inside the supermarket, before paying them. If you are going to do that, don’t throw away the packaging, do pay for it, there’s a code of honor we gotta respect.)

3. Servicios extras en la caja (Extra services at the cashier)

En México no se tienen que pesar las frutas y las verduras antes de pagarlas. En el área de frutas y verduras vas a encontrar algunas pesas para verificar el peso de tus productos. Pero a diferencia de otros países, no tienes que imprimir una etiqueta antes de pagar los productos, las frutas y las verduras. Eso se hace directamente en la caja. 

(In Mexico, you don’t have to weigh your fruits and vegetables before paying for them. In the fruits and veggies area you’ll find some weights to check the weight of your products but unlike other countries, you don’t have to print a label with a price before paying for it. This is done directly at the cashiers.) 

Other things Mexicans can do at the cashier in a big-sized supermarket? Withdraw cash from debit or credit card, pay utilities and buy data for a mobile. Not bad right?!

Pay attention because at the beginning of the transaction the cashier might ask : 

¿Tiene tarjeta de puntos? 
(Do you have a fidelity card?) 

Sí, claro. 
(Yes, please.)

While at the end of your transaction, the cashier will probably ask you if you want any of the additional services that you need.

¿Va a retirar? 
(Any cash withdrawal?)

No, gracias
(No, thank you.)

¿Alguna recarga? 
(Any recharge for your mobile?)

Sí, por favor al 9981070707. 
(Yes, please for 9981070707.) 

4.  Salsas y frutas y verduras maravillosas (Salsas and amazing fruits and vegetables) 

It’s Mexico, so there will be lots of chilies everywhere. And the supermarket is not the exception. Look at this:    

Tenemos chile pasilla, chile de árbol chile, chile habanero, chile jalapeño, chile poblano ¡todos los chiles!  (We have pasilla chiles, tree chilies, habanero chilies, jalapeño chilies, poblano chilies. All the chiles!)

Expert tip, bottled salsas are an excellent souvenir to bring back home, and you can buy them at any supermarket. Just remember to pack them properly. 

Una de las mejores salsas embotelladas es la salsa Chimay. De verdad sabe como a una salsa hecha a mano y lo mejor de todo es que ¡en la etiqueta viene un poema! (One of the best bottled salsas is Chimay. It truly tastes like a hand-made salsa and the best part of it all is that there is a poem on the label!) 

If you want to tell someone what your favorite sauce is, say it like this:

Mi salsa favorita es la Chimay. 
(My favorite salsa is Chimay salsa.)

Uy sí, ¡me encanta! ¡A mí también me encanta!
(Oh, yeah, I love it!)

Other than all kinds of peppers you’ll find mameyes, jamaica (dried hibiscus flowers), nopales (Mexican cactus), the best mangoes in the world, mi fruta favorita, el mango Ataulfo. ¡Miren esta maravilla! (My favorite fruit, Ataulfo mango. Look at this marvel!) 

5. Etiquetas de advertencia, el impuesto del azúcar. (Warning labels, sugar tax) 

This is a new thing. Mexico is among the top countries when it comes to obesity, metabolic disease and child obesity. 

Y como eso no está nada bien. En un esfuerzo para informar mejor a la gente sobre lo que consumen (And since that is not good at all. In an effort to better inform people about what they consume) now in Mexico it is mandatory that all processed foods come with these warning labels. 

For example we have my beloved Valentina that I put on popcorn and everything else, butand it has an exceso de sodio, it has una etiqueta de exceso de sodio , too much sodium but I’m still going to eat it. 

Also, it’s now against the law to have cartoon-like images on the packaging of foods that are aimed at children. Así que olvídense de ver al elefante Melvin o al tigre Toño en las cajas de cereales en México. (So forget about seeing Melvin the Elephant or Tony the Tiger on cereal boxes.)

6. ¡Tortillas frescas y más! (Fresh tortillas and beyond!)

Cuando yo era una niña iba todos los días a las tortillas, o sea, a la tortillería, a comprar tortillas. ¡Mi familia consumía todos los días dos kilos de tortillas! (When I was a child I used to go every day to “las tortillas”, that’s to the “tortilla place” to buy tortillas. My family consumed two kilos every day!)

Las tortillas son una parte muy importante en la vida diaria de los mexicanos. (Tortillas are a very important part of the life of a Mexican!) Supermarkets nowadays have a small tortillería! You can buy freshly made tortillas right there. Also, all kinds of corn based products! 

If you’re not sure about the full range of products you might want to ask a staff member:

Disculpe, ¿aparte de tortillas, ¿qué otros productos de maíz venden?  (Excuse me, other than tortillas, what other corn-based products do you have?) 

  • Totopos (Tortilla chips)
  • Tortillas sabor a nopal (Nopal cactus flavored tortilla) 
  • Sopes para preparar (Sope shells) 
  • Tlacoyos para preparar (Tlacoyo shells) 
  • Tortilla en juliana (Tortillas Julianne stripes)
  • Tortilla de harina (Wheat flour tortilla)
  • Tortillas taquera (Small tortillas special for making tacos) 

And while you’re there, grab this:

And get yourself some pan dulce (sweet bread). 

En México, la tortillería y la panadería, siempre están juntas. (In Mexico, the tortilla place and the bakery are always next to each other.)

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