Adventures at BuenosAires verdulerías

There are 10 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Rice.

  • I love buying vegetables at our numerous small verdulerías, but strongly favor the ones that post their prices. Last week the prices for lechuga in our immediate neighborhood varied from 20 to 40 to 59 to 100 pesos/kg, the last being at a shop staffed by a woman with a big friendly smile and no posted prices, who apparently changed her response according to the customer’s appearance and accent.

    But generally I am pleasantly surprised at the friendliness of the people who staff these small shops. When we are in Las Cañitas, where we lived in 2005, we still get hugs and warm greetings from Irma, at the verdulería across from our old apartment.

    I’m glad these small shops haven’t been put out of business by the huge supermarkets, as the person-to-person contact is very pleasant.

  • I agree although I got a bit of a shock yesterday when I went into one yesterday. Apart from the weekly visit to the supermarket my wife usually does the shopping but as she was driving I jumped out the car and popped into one to get 3kg of potatoes and six apples. 152 pesos in all it came to which took me by surprise. I handed over a 100 and a 50 note and when she saw me struggling to find two pesos she said not to bother. My first thought was she had ripped me off but not so according to the wife.

  • We walk 10-12 km/day, and try to take different routes in order to explore different barrios and see new things. Today, we saw a woman in Almagro carrying what looked to be a huge bouquet. Upon looking more closely, I realized the bundle was carrot greenery, not even wilted. I asked where she bought the fresh carrots, and she directed me to a very clean shop with vegetables nicely displayed in racks made of wooden boxes.

    Address: Diaz Velez 3761.

    Armed with my beautiful carrots, I returned to the apartment and started chopping.

  • Fruit and veg shops where I live, even the 'good ones', don't seem to be capable of delivering a consistent quality product especially on the veg side. I understand they may have to make do with what they're offered from the wholesalers but I can't help but think they're taking the mick.

  • I know what you mean, UK Man . There seem to be no deliveries between Friday morning and Monday afternoon at most verdulerías. Since the shops have essentially no refrigeration (sometimes a small glass-doored unit for only the most perishable few items), the fruit and vegetables, eggs and other things sit, unrefrigerated, in bins for 3 days. We try to buy on Friday afternoons or wait until late Monday.

  • New subtopic: lechuga.

    Can anyone explain the wildly fluctuating prices, both among verdulerias and in the same one? I don’t notice this with other vegetables.

    Six weeks ago, we paid 20 pesos per kilo; the next week, the price at the same place was 80. Over the past month the price has ping-ponged all over the chart, from 40 to 120 and everywhere in between.

    Interesting: To the shopkeeper trying to sell at 120, I asked why so much? His response was that everything was higher because the dollar was so high. When I asked if the lettuce was from Argentina, he said yes; I asked why the dollar exchange rate would affect the price, when no pesos had to be exchanged, he shrugged and turned his back.

    OK, so that guy was just a shameless opportunist, and not a very bright one. But back to the central question: What drives the price of lettuce here?