Sugarcane (or sugar cane) is called caña de azúcar in Spanish. It was brought to Mexico by the Spaniards as well as African slaves to harvest it. Sugarcane sometimes can be found in the market but it is almost always available at times of fiestas. The first image below is of sugarcane that still needs the fibrous outer covering removed. For a larger image click here. You can find the sugarcane with the outer shell removed, almost always in clear plastic bags to keep away the bees. You suck and chew on the stick until there is no more flavoring and then throw the fiberous remainder in the garbage. For a larger image click here.
Panela or piloncillo is the sugar of sugarcane that has been concentrated and crystalized. For a larger image of panela click here.
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) or tamarindo in Spanish, probably originates from Africa and made its way into Mexico during the Spanish colonial period. In Mexico, tamarindo is used to make fruit drinks, some salsas and in some candies. The fruit can be eaten by breaking open the pod and eating the sticky sweet and sour flavored fruit, the seeds and skin are not meant to be eaten. For a larger image of tamarindo fruit, click here. For a larger image of tamarindo tree, click here. For a larger image of the tamarindo pods in the tree, click here.
Tejocote (Crategus pubescens) or manzanita and Mexican hawthorn in English, is native to Mexico and Guatemala. Tejocote can be eaten raw or cooked and is often used in a punch. Tejocote is frequently placed on Day of the Dead alters. For a larger image of tejocote click here.
Tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is also called tomate verde, tomate and miltomate in Spanish; in Nahuatl it is called miltomatl and in English green tomato or "Mexican husk tomatoes." Tomatillos originate from Mexico and were eaten in the pre-Columbian era. There are at least 46 species of tomatillos endemic to Mexico.[tomatillo1] Tomatillos range in color from yellow to green to purple. I have read that they can be eaten raw but I have only seen or eaten them cooked and used in salsas and moles. For a larger image of tomatillos click here.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) in Spanish is jitomate and tomate; in Nahuatl xictlitomatl.[tomato1] Tomatoes originate from South America but were cultivated in Mexico before the arrival of the Spaniards.
Tomate criollo is available year round. Often in the markets they are sold in plastic bags of roughly a dozen for 10 pesos or $U.S. .45 cents (April 2018). Tomate criollo are very tasty when eaten raw or slightly cooked. They last in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days, less than the common type of grocery store tomatoes. For a larger image of tomate criollo click here.
Tomato saladet is the most common type a tomato to be found in Oaxaca. For a larger image of tomatoes saladet click here.
Tomatillos de pajaro are the smallest tomatoes I have seen in Oaxaca. The first image shows tomatillos de pajaro and the second photo is of tomatillos de pajaro and the larger cherry tomatoes for size comparision. For a larger image of tomatillos de pajaro click here. For a larger image of tomatillos de pajaro and cherry tomatoes click here.
Vaporub smells just like the medicine Vick VapoRub that almost all of us were treated to as kids. Soak the herb in water overnight and remove the herb in the morning. Use the vaporub solution on your aches and pains. For a larger image of vaporub click here.
Yuca or tapioca is called Cassava in English. Cassava can be found at times but is not commonly available. For a larger image of cassava click here.
Zapote or sapote is a Nahuatl word (tzapotl) for a soft, edible fruit. The word is "incorporated into the common names of several unrelated fruit-bearing plants native to Mexico, Central America and northern parts of South America."[zapote1]
Chicozapote (Manilkara zapota) is sapodilla in English. Chicozapote is native to southern Mexico and Central America. Chicozapote is ready to eat when the fruit begins to become soft and gives way. This is a sweet and delicious fruit, the skin and seeds are not intended to be eaten. Click here for a larger image of zapote negro.
Gum or sap from the chicozapote tree is harvested to make chicle or in Nahuatl tzictli, which is used to make chewing gum.
Zapote negro are the size of an apple. When they are a bit mushy, they are ready to eat. It tastes like a baked apple. The skin and seed are not eaten. Click here for a larger image of zapote negro.
Zapote naranja or orange zapote is a large zapote, almost as large as an American football, with a large seed. I have only seen it once but it does exist. The fruit was fibrous, dry and without much flavor. Perhaps it was not fresh or even more likely, that is the way the fruit is and that is why I have only seen it once in the market. Click here for a larger image of zapote naranja.
Photos taken by Marc Wilkinson. I, the copyright holder, hereby publish these photos under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0).