Plaza Minorista is the second largest market in Medellín and is located in El Centro. The market is incredible and has experienced a massive transformation in recent years. What was once a place of crime is now a safe and beautiful gem of the city.
Real City Tours specifically brings their trips to Plaza Minorista, rather than Medellín's largest market (Plaza Mayorista) in an effort to help shift local perspectives about this market, which for some still holds the stigma of its past.
[Spoiler alert: If you're thinking of going on the tour...don't scroll down! It's fun to be surprised when you see the different fruits cut open for the first time!]
This tour was phenomenal. Fun, delicious, exciting, and filled with just the right amount of information to keep you engaged without it feeling like a class. As someone who has a limited attention span and likes moving around, this was perfect for me.
1. Tomate de Árbol (Tree Tomato)
Tip- Look for the soft ones. Tastes- A mix between passion fruit and tomato.
2. Guayaba (Guava)
Tip- Look for the best color. Fun fact- There are 100 different types of guavas in the world. Medicinal use- Digestion.
3. Chontadura (Peach Palm)
Taste- A starchy texture like yuca withed with the taste of a dried sweet potato. How to eat- Boil with the skin on for 3 hours. Eat it plain, with salt, or with salt and honey.
The green fruit it in it's original form. At the market most people buy it in the gooey paste form, which is high in protein. Fun fact- The fruit is an aphrodisiac ;)
5. Algarroba (West Indian Locus also "The stinky toe")
Fruit Selecting- Search for the stinkiest fruit! Opening- Smack it 3 times with a hammer if you don't have the special tool. Taste- A bit like dried powdery banana paste. Medicinal- High calcium and iron. Winning Quality- The fruit is very unique and a little intimidating when you first put it in your mouth because the fruit smells so funky, then to your surprise, it tastes sweet! A fun little game for your palate.
6. Higo (Prickly Pear)
Of the cactus family. Medicinal- Good for cholesterol, lowers blood sugar levels, helpful for curing hangovers (I will need to give this a test.)
7. Lulo ("Little Orange")
Grows on a bush and when first picked is covered with little brown hairs. Medicinal- Helps you sleep.
8. Uchuva (Cape Gooseberry)
An expensive fruit in some countries but affordable in Colombia. At a bar, take a shot of aguardiente and chase it with a bite of the fruit.
9. Pitahaya (Dragon Fruit)
Fun fact- The fruit is 95% water. It's absolutely delicious and refreshing, but also a diarrhetic, so pace yourself.
10. Mangostino (Mangosteen, "queen of the fruits" + "fruit of eternal youth")
This is not a common household fruit because it's expensive. Medicinal- High vitamin E. Taste- Very luscious.
11. Curuba (Banana Passion Fruit)
12. Maracuya (Yellow Passion Fruit)
13. Gulupa (Passion Fruit)
This is this the variation of passion fruit that most foreigners are used to seeing. It's an affordable fruit because the ones that are sold in the market are the export rejects due to being "less perfect" in appearance.
14. Granadilla (Sweet Granadilla Passion Fruit)
A common lunch snack for kids. To eat- peel off the skin, then hold the stem and break a hole at the top so you can eat it like a lollypop.