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While grocery shopping is probably last on your list of things to do on vacation, visiting a Mexican grocery store can be extremely enjoyable and inspiring. There are so many things to buy at a Mexican grocery store, many of which you cannot buy at home, that you may find it one of the best experiences of your vacation. When you shop at a Mexican store, you’ll find fruit you’ve never seen, more types of salsas than you ever could have imagined, and most importantly, a window to the Mexican culture that you might not have realized otherwise. When you visit a Mexican store, you’ll learn new Spanish words, you’ll see the way Mexicans run things, and your eyes will be opened to an incredible array of foods you probably aren’t accustomed to eating. Check out these essential items to buy from the Mexican grocery store and put a distinct twist on your Mexico vacation.

Salsas


Of all the things to buy at a Mexican grocery store, salsa is definitely one of them. There are so many different types of salsa, that you may be stuck in this isle for a while. Salsas in Mexico range from mild spices to scorching hot, but all add flavor and pizzaz to any dish. If you’re up for trying something new, buy a few different salsas at the Mexican grocery store to try throughout your stay. You may even want to pick up a few bottles to take home with you as gifts for friends, family, or to keep for yourself.

Fruits and Vegetables


When you shop at a Mexican store, you may notice a number of produce items you’ve never seen before. Fruits and vegetables in Mexico are diverse and can open your eyes to a wealth of new flavors. If you are up for trying something new, purchase some jicama (which goes great with lime and tajin), nopal, nanche, chayote, pitaya, tuna (no not tuna fish), and guanabana. These fruits and vegetables have unique flavors and appearances, and you’re not likely to find them elsewhere. If you’ve ever traveled to Mexico before, then you probably already know that produce is not only cheap, but it’s also among the most essential items to buy from the Mexican grocery store because it is both fresh and ready to eat.

Candy


When buying candy at any Mexican store, be prepared. You probably won’t find the same sweet flavors and common brands you’re used to. Candy in Mexico takes on a whole different flavor profile with most hard candy and chewables having some sort of spice added to them. When you’re looking for unique things to buy at the Mexican grocery store, take a stroll down the candy isle. Pick up some De La Rosa Marzipan (Peanut Candy), Vero Rebanaditas (watermelon lollipops), Pelon Pelonazo (tamarind flavored candy), and Pulparindo (tamarind with chile). These candies are so different, yet so good, that you might change your idea of what a good candy should taste like.

Fresh Tortillas


Among the essential items to buy from a Mexican grocery store, fresh tortillas are a must. Just like a loaf of freshly baked bread, fresh tortillas are simply the best. While the best place to get tortillas is the tortillaria (the tortilla store), you can almost always get a freshly made batch at the local Mexican grocery store. Tortillas are usually sold by the kilo, which means you’ll have enough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, because well… when you’re in Mexico, do as the Mexicans do.

Soda and Beer


When you decide to shop at a Mexican store, be sure to stroll down the refreshment isle where you’ll find a variety of Mexican beers and sodas. While you are shopping, you’ll likely find Coca-cola, which has a different flavor profile in Mexico, in addition to a number of flavors of Jarritos, a national soft drink brand that comes in pineapple, mandarin, guava, tamarind, and more. These non-alcoholic beverages and alcoholic cervezas (beer) are a great way to refresh on your vacation.

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