Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - One of the perks of visiting Mercado Los Mangos on Saturdays is the unique opportunity to meet vendors from many parts of the world who have chosen Banderas Bay as their home.
Such is the case of Argentineans Marcelo Walter Martin and his wife, Pamela, who moved to Vallarta some 10 years ago. They operate a very successful Argentinean Steakhouse in Marina Vallarta and learned about Mercado Los Mangos through a friend. "We loved the project from day one and have been successful selling our homemade edibles since the very first Saturday," comments Marcelo.
At Mercado Los Mangos, Pamela and Marcelo feature two traditional mainstays from their homeland: empanadas and choripan. "Empanadas are stuffed pastries that are fried or baked," explains Marcelo. "The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, which means, to wrap with bread."
While empanadas are quite popular throughout many Latin American countries, those from Argentina stand aside due to their flavorful, savory fillings. "We make everything from scratch, the pastry, fillings and sauces to complement them" he comments, proudly.
Three of their four varieties-beef, lamb with mint and spinach and cheese-come from Argentina. Given the local abundance of marine products, they introduced a local flavor: marlin. "We came up with a wonderful combination of flavors that includes butter, garlic, onion, tomato sauce, chipotle pepper, cheese and, of course, marlin." The empanadas are small enough, such that one can easily try one of each to pick a favorite filling, or two.
Their other offering, choripan, is a type of sandwich with chorizo, or Argentinean sausage, as ubiquitous back home as tacos are in Mexico. The name comes from the combination of chorizo, and pan, or bread, specifically a bolillo, or Mexican baguette. "Just about any corner of any city in Argentina features a choripan stand," he comments.
Pamela and Marcelo offer their products at several mercados around the bay but are quite taken by the ambiance at Mercado Los Mangos. "We love the variety of people that shop from us, from locals that live in the neighborhood to expats that have chosen this area of Vallarta to live. We are better known in Riviera Nayarit, but thanks to Mercado Los Mangos, we are increasing our client base in Puerto Vallarta."
Mercados Los Mangos is open every Saturday from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm through the last Saturday in May. It is located at Av. Francisco Villa 1001 in Colonia Los Mangos, just before the turn to Costco.
Interested in becoming a Mercado Los Mangos vendor? Pick up an application at the information booth on Saturdays. You will also find plenty of copies of the Vallarta Tribune and P.V. Mirror.Questions? Email mercadolosmango(at)gmail.com. To learn more about Biblioteca Los Mango's academic and cultural offerings for children and adults, please visit BibliotecaLosMangos.com.