An Organic Market Oasis in Downtown Oaxaca - Culinary Backstreets | Culinary Backstreets
Sign up with email

or

Already a member? Log in.

Trouble logging in?

Not a member? Sign up!

El Pochote (named after a thorny, flowering tree native to Central America) is an organization of local organic producers in Oaxaca that was founded in November 2003 by local artist Francisco Toledo.

The market offers all kinds of products, from vegetables and fruits to prepared meals and juices. The main objective of the market is to support those who grow or make healthy products of excellent quality, who interact with the natural environment in a way that respects local ecosystems and who maintain and increase the fertility of the soil and land.

Founding member Rocío Guzmán, an organic coffee producer for more than 25 years, sat with us at her stand, Café Maravilla, while we waited for our coffee – a very robust high-altitude coffee from Pluma Hidalgo, Oaxaca – to finish brewing. “We are 22 producers now,” she told us back in 2015, “and we all work hard to bring the best products and food to our customers in accordance with our objectives.”

El Pochote is set up in a large lot in downtown Oaxaca. The vendors have fixed spaces lined up around the venue, and in the middle, surrounding a large pochote tree, sit wooden tables and chairs.

Customers order directly from the food vendors and seat themselves at any of those tables, the vendors bring the food to them when it’s ready, and the customers pay up at the individual stalls when they’re finished.

On our visit, we ordered an omelet stuffed with mushrooms and spinach and served with a large green salad from Mamá Lechuga, which became our favorite stall right away. We returned there for lunch and had a delicious chicken breast stuffed with cheese, accompanied by a specialty green juice from El Pochote.

We shopped for jams, jellies, cookies and a few sweets and also left the market with a kilo of organic coffee to brew at home. When shopping at the markets in Oaxaca, you feel a special connection with the earth and the producers who grow the goods you’re buying. At El Pochote, however, that connection is even stronger because you get to meet the producers face-to-face and get a taste of what real, local, seasonal food is supposed to be like.

This article was published on October 30, 2015.

Ben Herrera

Related stories

Food tour in Azcapotzalco, Mexico City
September 22, 2022

Mexico City Food Tour: Azcapotzalco Walk

Mexico | By Yagmur Baki
By Yagmur Baki
MexicoQuick Bite: On this 5-hour food tour in the unexplored district of Azcapotzalco, we will experience the wild range that defines dining in Mexico City – from sophisticated huevos at a destination restaurant, to iconic street tacos – on a journey through time and space framed by monumental and hidden reminders of this city’s layered history.…
May 25, 2021

Layer by Layer: A Mexico City Culinary Adventure-trip

Trips | By Madeleine Roberts
By Madeleine Roberts
TripsMexico City has a complex and fascinating cultural identity, a place where pre-Hispanic, Colonial, and contemporary influences collide in a riot of street food, bustling markets, Cathedrals built atop Aztec ruins against the backdrop of a megacity thriving with regional migrants as well as a stylish modern set. There are tens of millions of souls…
January 6, 2021

Mexico City Layer by Layer Add-On to Oaxaca Trip

Trips | By Madeleine Roberts
By Madeleine Roberts
TripsMexico City has a complex and fascinating cultural identity, a place where pre-Hispanic, Colonial, and contemporary influences collide in a riot of street food, bustling markets, Cathedrals built atop Aztec ruins against the backdrop of a megacity thriving with regional migrants as well as a stylish modern set. There are tens of millions of souls…
Select your currency
USD United States (US) dollar
EUR Euro