How To Understand Buying Produce In Spain – Markets vs Stores


This is something most people wouldn’t even think to learn before visiting Spain.  It isn’t complicated, but there is a system to buying produce in the Spain, depending on where your are.  This may not be valid across the entire country, but as a general rule it holds true in Almuñécar.  Follow the guide below and it will help ease any little bit of culture shock you may have.

Buying Produce in Spain Markets vs Grocery Stores. This is something most people wouldn't even think to learn before visiting Spain. It isn't complicated, but there is a system to buying produce in the Spanish Markets, depending on where your are. Read more on AlmunecarInfo.com

If you are looking to buy some produce in Almuñécar, you have a few options at your fingertips.  Each of which has a slightly different process for buying produce.  Some you may weigh it yourself and others they do it for you.   I know it seems silly to cover this, but it is good to know they system so you aren’t that “pesky tourist” holding up the checkout line.

 

Buying Produce In Spain – Markets in Almuñécar

Municipal Market – Buying Produce

Mercado Municipal - Municipal Market in Almuñécar

Ah the wonderful Municipal Market, also known as the daily market.  It operates Monday through Saturday and you can read more info on the Almuñécar Municipal Market here.

Buying produce at the municipal market is as easy as pointing!  Yes, they don’t want you to touch the nicely stacked produce.  You just point and let them know the amount in weight or pieces and they will do all of the work for you.  If you try to pick out your own, you may get scolded.   If you have specific pieces you want just point them out or tell them what you are looking for.

They will gather your entire order, weigh everything and let you know the price to pay.

Mercado Municipal Almuñécar

 

Fruteria – Buying Produce

A fruteria is a small shop selling produce.  These are typically local farmers selling their own goods and local products.   We have our favorites in town for individual things.

Almunecar Fruteria

As far as picking out and weighing your produce, this one is a bit tricky, as it depends on the fruteria.  Most staff will weigh your produce for you.  Now as far as selecting your produce, this is mixed here.  If it is behind the counter that attendant will select and bag for you.  If it is out in the shop, then you likely will select and bag it yourself.  Then you would bring it all to the cashier to weigh and charge you.

Supermarket – Buying Produce

There is a bit of a difference from many American or UK stores, where the cashier weighs your produce at the checkout and charges you accordingly.  In Spain there is a process you should follow, to ensure you will have an easier checkout.  This is the process for Mercadona, but the other stores in town are similar too.  Read more about the supermarkets in Almuñécar.

  1. First of all, it isn’t looked highly upon to touch all of the produce to find the perfect item with our bare hands.  You should first put on one of the plastic gloves (guantes) provided.  They are usually near the plastic produce bags.
  2. Once you have your one glove on and a plastic bag, moonwalk your way over to the produce you desire.
  3. Select the desired pieces and close your plastic bag.  Make a mental note of the item number or name on the sign above your produce.
  4. Make your way over to one of the central scales and place one bag of produce on the scale.
  5. You will then select either fruits or vegetables (make note that avocados are fruit!)
  6. Find either the name or item number on the list of items.
  7. Pres that item and a sticker with a barcode should come out the side of the machine.
  8. Place this sticker on the outside of your plastic bag.

How to buy produce in Spain - Mercadona

Believe me this will expedite your check out process and ensure all of those in line behind you won’t have to wait for “tourist blunder”.

On a side note:

How to buy baked goods in Spain - Mercadona

Why not have some eco-firendly produce bags on hand as well.  Click here for pricing

Spanish Produce vocabulary

Fruits

  • la cereza (lah seh-reh-sah) (cherry)

  • la ciruela (lah see-ro-eh-lah) (plum)

  • la fresa (la freh-sah) (strawberry )

  • la guayaba (lah gooah-yah-bvah) (guava)

  • el higo (ehl ee-goh) (fig)

  • la lima (lah lee-mah) (lime)

  • el limón (ehl lee-mohn) (lemon)

  • el mango (ehl mahn-goh) (mango)

  • la manzana (lah mahn-sah-nah) (apple)

  • el melocotón (ehl meh-loh-koh-tohn) (peach [in Spain])

  • el melón (ehl meh-lohn) (melon)

  • la mora (lah moh-rah) (blackberry)

  • la arándano (blueberry)

  • la frambuesa (raspberry)
  • la naranja (lah nah-rahn-Hah) (orange)

  • la papaya (lah pah-pah-yah) (papaya)

  • la pera (lah peh-rah) (pear)

  • el plátano (ehl plah-tah-noh) (banana) and also banana

  • el pomelo (ehl poh-meh-loh) (grapefruit)

  • la sandía (lah sahn-deeah) (watermelon)

  • la toronja (lah toh-rohn-Ha) (grapefruit [in Mexico])

  • la tuna (lah too-nah) (prickly pear)

  • la uva (lah oo-bvah) (grape)

  • la mandarina (tangarine)

  • el tomate (tomato)

Vegetables

 

  • las acelgas (lahs ah-sehl-gahs) (swiss chard)

  • el aguacate (ehl ah-gooah-kah-teh) (avocado)

  • el ajo (ehl ah-Hoh) (garlic)

  • el brócoli (ehl bvroh-koh-lee) (broccoli)

  • la calabacin (lah kah-lah-bvah-see-tah) (zucchini)

  • la calabaza (lah kah-lah-bvah-sah) (pumpkin)

  • las cebollas (lahs seh-bvoh-yahs) (onions)

  • el chile (chee-leh) (hot pepper)

  • a coliflor (lah koh-lee-flohr) (cauliflower)

  • a espinaca (lah ehs-pee-nah-kah) (spinach)

  • el espárrago (asparagus)
  • la berenjena  (aubergine, egg plant)
  • la lechuga (lah leh-choo-gah) (lettuce)

  • las patatas (pah-tah-tahs) (potatoes)

  • el apio – (celery)

  • la zanahoria (lah sah-nah-oh-reeah) (carrot)

  • la seta  (mushroom)

Heidi

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Heidi is passionate about travel (50+ countries) and loves experiencing the world with hubby Alan and their 2 kids. In Aug 2012, they left the “perfect American life”, quit their jobs, sold their belongings and moved to Almuñécar. She likes to share all of her favorites things about the area, as well as practical information too. You may also view their family travel blog, Wagoners Abroad, at http://wagonersabroad.com