The Mercado’s Herbman

This morning I went to the mercado for albacora for our dinner tonight. I am getting a bit tired of serving it blackened so I decided to visit the Herbman and see what wonderful concoction he has for albacora. He has a very small kiosk area filled with dried whole and ground herbs, seeds and spices. Small plastic bags containing ingredients for your seco de chivo or seco de pollo or whatever you are feeding your family today. As well as flour, bread crumbs and even peanut butter.

This man is so proud of what he does and the entire area where his stand is located went crazy when I asked to take his picture, hooting and whistling like a bunch of teenagers. It was so funny to see his neighbors supporting him in such a wonderful fashion.

I asked him what he would suggest to make my albacora, first he opened my bag to be sure it was albacora and then he proceeded to tell me to make ceviche with it. If I want ceviche I will go out to eat it, I would prefer to have someone else do all the work, ha ha and I told him that. He then suggested this bottle of garlic and onion sauce he told me it was all natural and that I should put it on the fish after I had coated the fish with a little flour.

This was packages in a used juice container. We have never had any problems with buying in a recycled container as these folks know that it is their livelihood if someone gets sick they would be out of business. I used it this evening and WOW it was so flavorful, a bit salty for me as we do not use a great deal of sal, but exceptional. I will use it again but probably only a small amount unless I can get my friend the Herbman to make it with less salt.  Tomorrow I will see what magic he has for shrimp!!!!!

9 thoughts on “The Mercado’s Herbman

  1. Pingback: Morning Update – Sunday, March 25, 2012 « South of Zero

  2. You are very bold Nancy but for the sake of safety to my GI sytem I will make the sauce at home with the water that I know is pure–It is not vey difficult to do and you feel secure with the ingradients that you use fresh and you know what you are putting in–My 2 cents worth–Regs–Yusuf

    • Yusuf, If I knew what to put into the sauce I would do it at home also but since I don’t my Herbman is the guy for me!!! I made the fish last night and today I feel fine. This morning I delivered a copy of the picture I took yesterday to the Herbman, his grin was hysterical he probably doesn’t have too many photos of himself now what I need is some photo paper from Guayaquil. Thanks for your comment. Nancy

  3. One of the greatest pleasures of our time in Ecuador was enjoying crafted food products like the above. Between Monsanto and the US government, you don’t get that much in the USA. We so look forward to returning for good in June 🙂

    • Hi Mark, well I do enjoy all the goodies that we can buy here from folks like the Herbman…I do understand the issues with our food supply in the US. An article I read stated that the President of Ecuador has outlawed the use of genetically modified seeds so maybe we will be okay for a while. I do recommend to folks looking to bring seeds into the country from the US to be cautious due to all the genetic modified seeds on the market currently, please don’t bring them here to compromise our food supply. It is against Ecuador laws to bring seeds into the country anyway. Nancy

      • The GMO ban is actually enshrined in Ecuador’s constitution under Section 2 Article 15. So if anybody would bring in a genetically modified seed/plant, you might get yourself in trouble. It spreads thru cross pollination so please never bring one to Ecuador.

        Nancy, have you seen an herbman in the Salinas mercado near the Barcelon Hotel? I have tried most restaurants operated by Ecuadorians in Salinas and I have not encountered gastro ailments at all.

        • Hey Rolie,
          I knew that I read something about the ban on genetically modified seeds, thanks for sharing. There are folks that sell lemon grass, chamomile plus a host of medicinal herbs and a bunch of other seeds and spices but I don’t recall anyone selling bottled spice mixes like this man does. You need to ask around, my friend Birty who runs Love n Oven (on the malecon, Doral building next door to Oh Mar restaurant) should know, she shops in Libertad several times a week. She is a sweetheart if you talk to her tell her I was thinking about her. Also, while you are there her restaurant makes the most wonderful Alfredo and also anything they make with coconut milk is exceptional…as well as anything with seafood, she and her brother Alfredo know how to cook!!! Nancy

          • Thanks Nancy!

            When I come back, I’ve got to go there and try their seafood in coco milk. I like anything cook in coco milk.

            • Rolie – not that many places in Salinas do the coco milk thing, we found in Puerto Lopez everyone did coco and mani — my two favorite things in the world. Be well, Nancy

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