Trip to a Mexican market

RosemaryDW

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Feb 17, 2016
Messages
4,148
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
We don’t have Mexican markets close to us but I was near a popular one in “North County” and stopped in to buy some cheap spices and meat; Mexicans eat the whole cow so you can find some interesting things for not a lot of money. Beef neck bones anyone? They cook up like oxtail but with less fat. Or so I hear; it’s my first time cooking them. As always, my caveats are living in a very high cost of living area, what seems cheap to me may seem outrageous to you. I live in Southern California, so some of this food is locally sourced and more easily available. YMMV.

Naturally I looked at the produce section to see what might be useful for tortoises.

The first thing I noticed was this aloe. I have never seen aloe priced this low, not even close.

576CC95F-7A7F-4CBE-BA41-C4957FBA8FDC.jpeg

Just above them were turnip leaves, at a pretty good price.

D02E24C1-796F-4E66-90BA-C697C846B47A.jpeg

Squash blossoms, another good price. That price is for two bundles, not two flowers!

E7A2772E-D0E4-4FE2-8379-FBA6F2B63FFF.jpeg

There are several kinds of cactus here, cleaned and cut for salads. The price is fair but not as low as my farmers market.

0D724C8A-351F-4F47-9DB7-0E0B2789FEA3.jpeg

CE72C0A8-DDC5-4EEB-8F17-C86083BECC57.jpeg

Aha! Here’s the cheap stuff. It’s got the prickles still on it but I don’t take those off, just feed the whole thing to my Russian.

023A1E3F-BAFA-4498-826E-6B0B58CACE6B.jpeg

Winter squashes are a pretty good deal here and not too large for a household the size of mine (our small tortoise is only going to get a few bites.

D76B8F8A-6E29-4CF5-B18F-71AEE7070201.jpeg

Russians don’t eat mangos but other tortoises do and this is a very good price around here.

08D94F43-1781-4450-A5EE-6602160614B6.jpeg

I forgot to take a picture of dried jamaica—hibiscus flowers—it’s made into a drink. You can find a small one or a very big one for a good price, fit the bag to the tortoise!

I wouldn’t buy them for a tortoise but had to take a picture of these weird seed pods to figure out what they were: guajes. They are peeled to get to the seeds, which can be cooked or dried for a snack. Seems like a lot of work for very small seeds so they must be delicious! On second thought, there is a lot of pod there relative to the seed so perhaps they are a better choice than some of the legumes I occasionally feed.

DA9F7F21-0473-474D-882C-777493696B3E.jpeg
 

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Maro2Bear

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Yep. We have pretty much the same produce here at our “International Market”. I’m surprised that you didnt find dandelions as well. Or the cactus fruit aka “tuna”. ?✅
 

RosemaryDW

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Newport Coast, CA
Yep. We have pretty much the same produce here at our “International Market”. I’m surprised that you didnt find dandelions as well. Or the cactus fruit aka “tuna”. ?✅

You know, they did have tunas now that you mention it! I’m so used to thinking people overfeed them to their desert tortoises I completely blocked that out. :eek: No dandelion though.
 

ZenHerper

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New Jersey
That cactus pads are high in calcium is pretty much verified by its WIC status!
 

Toddrickfl1

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Looks like a great resource to have nearby!
 

Maggie3fan

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PacificNorthWest
Well, I'm poor, so I grow cactus in Oregon, in the tort shed under UVB lights...I also grow in above ground planter boxes most of the greens they might eat. If I still lived in California I'd have a giant freakin garden with only tortoise food...we have Mexican stores here, but I don't work, so I have the time to grow stuff...why pay for it...
 

PhxSulcata

New Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA
We don’t have Mexican markets close to us but I was near a popular one in “North County” and stopped in to buy some cheap spices and meat; Mexicans eat the whole cow so you can find some interesting things for not a lot of money. Beef neck bones anyone? They cook up like oxtail but with less fat. Or so I hear; it’s my first time cooking them. As always, my caveats are living in a very high cost of living area, what seems cheap to me may seem outrageous to you. I live in Southern California, so some of this food is locally sourced and more easily available. YMMV.

Naturally I looked at the produce section to see what might be useful for tortoises.

The first thing I noticed was this aloe. I have never seen aloe priced this low, not even close.

View attachment 287150

Just above them were turnip leaves, at a pretty good price.

View attachment 287149

Squash blossoms, another good price. That price is for two bundles, not two flowers!

View attachment 287151

There are several kinds of cactus here, cleaned and cut for salads. The price is fair but not as low as my farmers market.

View attachment 287154

View attachment 287153

Aha! Here’s the cheap stuff. It’s got the prickles still on it but I don’t take those off, just feed the whole thing to my Russian.

View attachment 287158

Winter squashes are a pretty good deal here and not too large for a household the size of mine (our small tortoise is only going to get a few bites.

View attachment 287157

Russians don’t eat mangos but other tortoises do and this is a very good price around here.

View attachment 287155

I forgot to take a picture of dried jamaica—hibiscus flowers—it’s made into a drink. You can find a small one or a very big one for a good price, fit the bag to the tortoise!

I wouldn’t buy them for a tortoise but had to take a picture of these weird seed pods to figure out what they were: guajes. They are peeled to get to the seeds, which can be cooked or dried for a snack. Seems like a lot of work for very small seeds so they must be delicious! On second thought, there is a lot of pod there relative to the seed so perhaps they are a better choice than some of the legumes I occasionally feed.

View attachment 287156
 
Last edited:

Lwilliams

New Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
19
Location (City and/or State)
Fremont, California
We don’t have Mexican markets close to us but I was near a popular one in “North County” and stopped in to buy some cheap spices and meat; Mexicans eat the whole cow so you can find some interesting things for not a lot of money. Beef neck bones anyone? They cook up like oxtail but with less fat. Or so I hear; it’s my first time cooking them. As always, my caveats are living in a very high cost of living area, what seems cheap to me may seem outrageous to you. I live in Southern California, so some of this food is locally sourced and more easily available. YMMV.

Naturally I looked at the produce section to see what might be useful for tortoises.

The first thing I noticed was this aloe. I have never seen aloe priced this low, not even close.

View attachment 287150

Just above them were turnip leaves, at a pretty good price.

View attachment 287149

Squash blossoms, another good price. That price is for two bundles, not two flowers!

View attachment 287151

There are several kinds of cactus here, cleaned and cut for salads. The price is fair but not as low as my farmers market.

View attachment 287154

View attachment 287153

Aha! Here’s the cheap stuff. It’s got the prickles still on it but I don’t take those off, just feed the whole thing to my Russian.

View attachment 287158

Winter squashes are a pretty good deal here and not too large for a household the size of mine (our small tortoise is only going to get a few bites.

View attachment 287157

Russians don’t eat mangos but other tortoises do and this is a very good price around here.

View attachment 287155

I forgot to take a picture of dried jamaica—hibiscus flowers—it’s made into a drink. You can find a small one or a very big one for a good price, fit the bag to the tortoise!

I wouldn’t buy them for a tortoise but had to take a picture of these weird seed pods to figure out what they were: guajes. They are peeled to get to the seeds, which can be cooked or dried for a snack. Seems like a lot of work for very small seeds so they must be delicious! On second thought, there is a lot of pod there relative to the seed so perhaps they are a better choice than some of the legumes I occasionally feed.

View attachment 287156
Wow, thanks for the tip! I’m thrilled to see all the yummy selections, especially the prickly pear cactus!
 
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