I love to explore new food spots and to try different cuisines, recipes, and products that I have never experienced before. Although I jump at any opportunity to go to a local farmer’s market, since I am very new to the Poughkeepsie area, I have found myself relying on the nearby Stop&Shop or Target for my culinary needs. Personally I enjoy planning my meals for the week and rely heavily on certain foods that I incorporate into recipes in diverse ways. I usually have a plethora of bananas on hand, a key ingredient for almost any occasion, whether it is breakfast, lunch, a snack, or even a dessert. But to my dismay, I found myself in need of more bananas last Tuesday morning. I unfortunately did not need many other items, and was frustrated by the thought of venturing out onto Route 9 at 5pm on a weekday through traffic lights and congestion, expending large amounts of time and gas for a bundle of bananas.
Instead, I ventured down to Middle Main Street and decided it was time to explore the local supermarket in town; La Poblanita. Apparently, I am not the most exciting food shopping partner in the world since it usually takes me twice as long as a typical shopper to get through any aisle, enthralled by ingredients, new foods, and health-proclaiming food ads. At La Poblanita, I did just this. Slowly walking up and down the aisles, I read over the different options. There were your typical foods like Cocoa Krispies, rice, and milk, but there was also a large selection of products tailored specifically for Mexican recipes. There must have been more than 10 selections of Goya Rice – Arroz Mexicano, Arroz con Sabor Pollo, Arroz con Frijoles Carita, Arroz con Frijoles Pintos, Arroz con Tomate, etc. I also found interesting variations of products similar to Doritos or Fritos, but these were called Takis Nitro chips and Churritos – chile and lime flavor. Apparently the Takis Nitro Chips are quite addicting spicy corn chips, similar to deep fried taquitos. Although I was only on a mission for bananas, I was tempted to pick up one of these bags, but will have to return to get my chance of tasting what is an intriguing product. Finally, among many of the spicy sauces, beans, and interesting seasonings, there was an isle that was dedicated to religious scented candles with pictures of various saints and the Virgin Mary. As I approached the counter, bananas in hand, the store clerk greeted me with a friendly “Hola,” rang up my item, and I was on my way out the door.
As I left the little local market, I looked back at the product-congested window that blocked any sight of the interior of the store and found myself asking how many people they typically have walk through their doors every day. At first glance, this simple market doesn’t look like much, but it truly has tremendous local character and has enticed me to return for something other than bananas.