One of the many benefits of living in Ecuador is the low cost of fruits and vegetables. In Cuenca if you go to super mercados like Coral or Supermaxi I think the prices are comparable to what you would pay in North America.
The savings here comes when you go to Feria Libre (free market) or the mercados in el centro. Another good source are urban farmers that sell their produce on the sidewalk like the one pictured here.
Another nice thing about living in Ecuador is that fresh produce like this is available all year round. What’s also interesting to me is that at farmers markets in North American which are seasonal the prices are higher than in the super markets. Here it’s just the opposite.
I bought some carrots, apples, and tomatoes this morning at Feria Libre. Here’s a photo.
The apples, tomatoes, and carrots you see above cost me $3. At the super mercados here or in North America that would probably be about $7.50 – $8. When you see produce packaged like that it’s always $1 per package which makes buying it easy.
Occasionally though, you’ll see packages for $.50 each like these carrots.
What many people do here after they buy produce is rinse it off with water to remove any pesticides and I do that also. I know a number of people that also soak it in a mixture of water and vinegar to kill off any parasites.
That’s a very inefficient and costly way to accomplish that. A much better way is to put the water/vinegar mixture in a spray bottle and just spray it. I use use four parts water, one part vinegar. Then just rinse it off with water after a minute or two.
All of that takes a little time of course but the cost savings is well worth it and part of living in Ecuador.