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Carlos Roman Gutierrez Solis of Casa Granada Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The food in the markets in Granada, Nicaragua is pretty basic.  The locals enjoy the pork, tortillas, beans, rice, and mashed yucca, so we combine all these ingredients into a mix, such as Vigoron, Chancho con Yuca, rice and beans.  Delicious!!!! I know, I know...you are thinking "What words are those?"
 
But if this is your first trip to Granada, Nicaragua I would not recommend you try the market's food right away, because the cooking oil we use or the way that we prepare the food could be pretty strong for your stomach. Also, the water is not always easy to digest the first time when you are here.  Over time, however, after you get adjusted, you'll be able to enjoy these foods just like the locals. 
 
My suggestion for a first trip is to try a local restaurant and then, little by little, go to the market.  What we have here in Nicaragua is pretty normal, but you know, at least in the beginning, we have different weather and customs.
Paul Daemen of Aurora Granada – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Paul Daemen's haul from the Mayasa food market, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWe shop outside of Granada, at the Masaya food market. We usually arrive around 7am on a Monday or Friday. We can buy many different fruits and vegetables and purchase enough food to last almost 2 weeks for 2 people and the cost is around US$16.
 
Its very safe to venture at the market early am. We also park by a parking vendor that watches our car.
 
If it rains we suggest you bring boots. We also suggest that you make sure you carry enough bags and small local currency, and do not take a lot of money.  Why flaunt your wealth? Enjoy your shopping experience.
 
We have a long list of prices which we will add in our next post. Prices do change by the season but this gives us a guide to local prices.
 
(Pictured: Paul Daemen's haul from the Mayasa food market, Nicaragua.)
Carmen Sequeira of Avenicaraguita Spanish School – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
vigoron, street food Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe food in the markets in Granada are very typical Nicaraguan food, such as vigoron (pictured), which is made of yucca and chicharon, which is deep-fried pork skin and salad made of cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes. It is very salty, but it is very good. They will give you a banana leaf from a tree, add the yucca and chicharon, and lastly top it with the salad.
 
We also buy fruits, vegetables and rice in the markets, but we also go to the supermarket for other things, like cooking oil and cleaning supplies. Markets and supermarkets here in Nicaragua are not the same as the ones you are used to in the US. The supermarkets are like the western style stores where there is only one owner and it is a closed building. We have four supermarkets here with the biggest one being La Colonia. La Colonia is very American-style with air-conditioning and lots of merchandise from the US, Canada and other countries. That is where we buy cleaning supplies, baking and cooking utensils, etc. Other people go to smaller supermarkets like La Union because it is cheaper compared to La Colonia. Even expats go to La Union.
 
The local market is an outdoor, open-air market, which is where we buy fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables cost twice as much in the supermarkets than in the open-air markets. The quality of the produce may be even better in the open-air markets than in the supermarkets because the open-air markets always sell them fresh. Prices change depending on the season. It is papaya season right now, so  in the open air markets, papaya costs around 40 Cordobas, which is around US $1.70. If you buy papaya from the supermarkets, one papaya would cost around 110 Cordobas, which is almost $5, and it may even be smaller than, or not as sweet, as the papaya that you buy in the open-air market. 
 
A dozen bananas in the open-air market costs around 10 Cordobas, which is about 40 cents; while in the supermarkets, each banana costs 250 Cordobas. You can also buy chicken and meat from either the open-air market or the supermarket and the price difference is still the same. You can get them at half the price from the open-air markets versus the super markets.
 
I do not buy meat from the open-air market, instead, I go to the butcher shop. The cost of meat depends on what kind of meat you want to buy. If you are buying a steak, it costs around 70 Cordobas per pound in the butcher shops and it will be around 80 Cordobas per pound in the supermarket.
 
We buy eggs in dozens and it costs around 45 Cordobas. These are super fresh eggs, just from the chickens. A loaf of bread is around 20 Cordobas. A liter of milk is around 25 Cordobas, which is about $1 per liter. A regular bottle of beer is also about $1.
David Smith of Farmland Assets – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
In Granada, Nicaragua, you have the normal fare.  You can buy all different kinds of fruits and vegetables and grains.  You can buy meats and similar items.
 
The local market (the central market; not the American-style grocery store), however, is much more extensive than just having food.  For example, you may have shoe repair service, clothes, leather; a mishmash of everything.  It’s an open area with stalls.  Produce is stacked everywhere and lots of people are shopping.  You’ll also have other food items.  It’s a typical South American-style environment of a general market.   This is where the native Nicaraguans shop.  In addition to the local market, there are pharmacies everywhere.
 
In Granada you also have established grocery store chains like you would be familiar with in the US.  In these grocery stores the prices are slightly higher than in the US on imported things and lower on local items.  I may go there if I want, for example, some American cereal or some other item they don’t sell in the market.  They don’t sell imported items in the market and they don’t sell alcohol. 
 
For the purchases you would make for normal, every day living, you’re pretty self-sufficient here in Granada.
 
If you want to buy locally grown items like bananas, there’s people walking around the neighborhoods in Granada who sell them.  I, personally, will buy at the grocery store and from the street vendors.  If the street vendors happen to be coming by my place and I hear them, I’ll just walk outside on the sidewalk, and buy my items there.  If you want, the street vendors will come by when you want them to, and you’ll just meet them on a schedule and make your purchases. 
John-Marc Gallagher of Granada Property Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Granada, Nicaragua has two American-style Local woman and daughter at market in Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livingsupermarkets with a version of just about anything you could want.  There’s always a spice we can’t find or you may not have four types of beans and four brands of ketchup, but you’ll be able to find pretty much a version of everything you want in Granada.
 
If you buy your fresh produce in the American-style supermarket as opposed to “the market” or from a street vendor, you’ll probably pay two to three times more than you would at the market.
 
If you want a specific imported brand or item, you’ll probably only find it at the American-style supermarket and you’ll pay more in Granada than you pay in the States.  For example, I wanted to make a cherry pie recently, and they had these little 16-ounce cans of cherry pie filling, which cost $8 here.  Anything imported is going to be a lot more expensive than other items in Granada.
 
In addition to the supermarkets, there are mom and pop shops everywhere in Granada where you can get the basics.  Living in Granada, Nicaragua is a lot like living in the States in the 1930s and 1940s where, on every street corner, there was a little grocery store and mom and dad live behind it or above it.  I grew up in a small town in Vermont, and on the street corner, half a block from my mom and dad’s house, there was this little, tiny grocery store; not a huge supermarket you would find today, but you could always get your rice, beans, eggs, flour, snacks, candy bars and cokes.  There are lots of those kinds of places on every street in Granada.
 
What we call “the market” here in Granada, but what North Americans think of more as a street market or farmer’s market (lots of individual stalls in an open area), has every sort of fresh fruit and vegetable you could think of and priced very, very inexpensively.
 
There’s one large “market” here in Granada that has expanded over the years and has now flowed out two or three blocks away from the central market itself.  In Latin culture, there is usually a “Mercado”, or central, or farmer’s market, where everyone brings their produce.  And they usually house it in some large building somewhere, sometimes a city block or so in size.  Well, we have one of those, but Granada has grown so rapidly that there are dozens of these farmer’s market type booths that have spilled out of the market, onto the street, going two or three blocks in every direction.
 
In addition to this, in Granada there are people who have baskets or wagons pulled by horses who drive around the streets selling vegetables out of the backs of their carts.  So, "the egg guy" will come by your house once a day.  The milkman doesn’t have bottles of milk.  Rather, he has a five-gallon pale of milk on the back of a horse drawn cart, and he rides his cart up and down the street yelling “leche, leche, leche” (“milk, milk, milk").  If you need a gallon or a cupful, you stop him, and he dips your cup or gallon in his pale and you’ve got fresh milk from a cow that was probably milked just two hours before.
 
If you don’t go to the “market’ or you don’t go to the grocery store in Granada, the people with the baskets or wagons come to you.  They’ve got fresh flowers, mops, brooms, disinfectant, clothing, all being sold on the street.  There’s an avocado woman who goes up and down the street and sells nothing but fresh avocados.   There’s a woman who goes up and down the street and who sells only papayas and bananas.  It’s fun.

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