On Wednesday, I went to the Latin Meats market in Worcester. When we got to the market, it looked very cozy from the outside. It had lots of signs promoting what was being sold in there like rice, drinks, pastries, etc. Inside the market, there were only three aisles. All three of them were packed with predominantly Spanish foods, but there was some American and other cultural ingredients as well. In the back, there was a small deli area with meats and cheeses.
In the store, they sold lots of grains and rice, ingredients, drinks, fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, and house supplies. The market smelled like fresh bread - like a bakery, which made me think of home. This was unexpected seeing that it's a meat market. The market was pretty quiet but there was Spanish music playing while we were there. When I walked around the store, I noticed that there were foods like that which am familiar with being sold in the market, but the food had more Spanish aspects like potato chips. There were kinds of chips that you would never find in a typical supermarket, like milk chocolate or creamy garlic Lays.
All around the store, there were Latin American flags hung up. In the store, we met the owner, José. He is a nice, quiet man. He is from Ecuador. He said that although the store is small it gets good business every day. Latin meats has been open for five years. José has two kids, and they help out at the store. José spoke some English, but he mainly spoke Spanish to us. Some of my group asked questions in Spanish to José with the help of Dr. Butler. I thought it was cool to speak Spanish outside of school to a native speaker. He answered all of our questions.
In the market, I saw lots of sacks of beans and rice. I knew rice was a big part of the cuisine in Latin America, and I knew beans were included but I didn’t not know markets would sell huge bags of them. There was a small section of fruits and vegetables. It mainly consisted of vegetables that are always used in dishes like yuca. While everyone was looking around, José was bringing in fresh food to restock. He brought in many crates of corn and drinks. When I looked around at the home section, I saw products I could find in a typical American grocery store like Tide and Irish spring soap. But I also found some Spanish products for cleaning. Dr. Butler pointed out a toothbrush with John Cena on it. He wanted to show it because of the American influence on the products being sold in there. That made me realize what a big influence American culture has on Latin America and how much the countries from Central America influence what’s being sold. There were many other products being sold in there with American influence like the toothbrush. However, many of the snack foods being sold in there looked so different than the snack foods being sold in American markets. The snacks actually looked healthy and better for you whereas the snack foods in America are very processed and not the healthiest.
The Latin Meats market was a totally different than a typical market. I learned a lot about the Latin American culture through the foods and how America has influenced the foods there too.
Talia’s Latin Meats essay
During my trip to Latin Meats for the Market Guidebook Project, I had an amazing experience. I was able to visit a Central American market and see what types of food are offered there. I was able to interview the owner of the market, and I was given the opportunity to try some of the delicious foods that my market sold.
One fun experience my group and I had was when we first arrived at the market, and we were able to see what Latin Meats looked like along with everything around it. Down the road we passed a Dunkin’ Donuts, and then we approached the market which was in a neighborhood with many houses. There was barely any traffic in the area which was great, and when we climbed out of the bus we noticed that there were many different types of food listed on the wall before you entered the market. This could be very helpful for someone who is looking to buy something specific or is in a rush. Customers know for sure if the Latin Meats market has it or not even before they walk into the market.
As we entered the market, the pleasant smell of French Bread rushed into my nose, and the market was warm inside so the snow outside didn’t bother us one bit. The market was a small size, but it is a very good quality to have so you know where everything is and you don’t have to search for a long time for something that you want. Everything was easily accessible and not many people were in the store so it wasn’t difficult to get around in the market. Most of the labels on the food were in Spanish, but the market also had many foods with English labels. There are three aisles in the market filled with a large variety of foods and everyday items people use in Central America. The market had everything from foods for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks to everyday things like detergent for your clothes and even prayer candles. It was amazing to see the different everyday items used in Central America, and to see the food that is eaten there as well.
My group and I were able to interview the owner of the store, and ask many questions like his name, where he was from, how long he has been in business, and if business is going well. He replied saying his name is José and he is from Ecuador. He has run the store for five years and said that business has been going great. He also has a family of his own and his kids work in the store as well. José was very pleasant to talk to and it was fascinating to learn some background information about José and his store.
When my group was in the store, we shopped for about 40 minutes just trying to decide what to get between these delicious foods and snacks, but we ended up buying foods like the french bread, a type of cookie called Totopos, coconut waters, Takis, GOYA fruit punch, and mints. When we arrived back at school we were able to eat the food we bought and everything was delicious! My favorite things to eat were the french bread loaves which tasted amazing, and the GOYA fruit punch which was very fruity and flavorful.
This market has great food, a very kind owner, a cozy layout, and was in a very nice neighborhood. I had a great time learning about the market’s background as well as trying some new tasty Central American foods. I would recommend this enjoyable market to anyone.
I am doing my own composition called “Many Marimba” inspired by “Ferrocarril de Los Altos”, a Central American music piece that uses the traditional marimba instrument. The piece also includes staccato notes and a fast tempo. I was inspired by the fast music and classic instrument which I incorporate into my music. I will only be using the marimba in my composition. My piece starts with slow notes and then speeds up, with a lower marimba playing a bass line. I finish the piece with a final chord.
My marimba oriented composition is based on marimba music and train horns. This song was inspired in El Salvador and is a classic piece composed by the Marimba Centroamericano group. I was inspired by the tone and sounds and thought I could also adapt my experiences from the market guide book to make a song using garageband. In my song I use a mini marimba, steam train horn, Pipa and a cinematic from garageband to make a composition. Marimba is the main instrument to be analyzed on in this composition because this instrument is mostly used in many Central American compositions. In this music video the marimba is the main instrument and the train horn is the side instrument but is used for about 15-20% of the song. This is a very fast paced song with a good beat. This sounds very ecstatic and there are some fast notes. This composition is produced by Ritvik Chand
Latin Meats by Ani
In the market
We learned new things
New things about
And culture of Central America
Latin meats had
A compact environment
A smell of the cuisine in Central America
And a lovely store owner
In packages were
That were hard to resist
All describe Jose.
(The owner of the store)
This story is an old folk tale of El Salvador. It is about a man named El Tabudo. He decides that one day he will go fishing. His wife warns him that a storm will occur that night but El tabudo disregards his wife’s thoughts and heads outside. As he’s outside he sees a storm on the horizon as his wife predicted. Before he knows it, all he can see is the blue ocean surrounding him. He then reappears as a fish, but at the same time has the body shape of a human. His knees bulge out of his pants as a new aspect of his appearance. After his transformation he awaits victims for revenge because he is upset that he was the one to be taken and changed by the sea, but no one else was. Everyone who crosses paths with him will be sorry. When he finds his victims he turns the men into fish and women get turned into sirens of the sea. Dalmy is one young victim who is unlucky and meets El Tabudo. She gets lured into his trap because he claims there is a pretty mermaid near the sea. She falls for it and suddenly finds herself as a siren of the sea. (https://www.astadventures.com/blogs/blog-ast/myths-legends-of-el-salvador)(I also used some creative images from the internet to get ideas)
This jacket is the replication of what El Tabudo wears before he is was captured by the sea. The warmth this jacket provides makes it easy to wear and it has enough pockets to store his needs.
This hat is the hat that El Tabudo also wears before his transformation. This hat was passed down from his father so he wears it every time he goes fishing.
These rainboots signify what he would wear when he was planning on going fishing.
These pants are the khakis that he planned on wearing that night. These pants are easy to store worms in a pocket when you are fishing the soft, cozy material is very comfortable.
When Dalmy gets captured she finds herself in this outfit. A seashell top and a mermaid tail and she has no way of getting out.
A Different Place by Elliott
I step inside the small-brick store.
The warmth hugs my frozen hands.
A friendly greeting embraces me.
A new story unfolds.
The aroma of fresh bread dances across the air.
Mountains of pastries packaged with care.
Endless choices of fresh meat wait to be cooked.
Pineapples and chili peppers,
takis and coconut treats.
Bursts of flavor race through my mouth.
Flags proudly wave me towards hundreds of snacks.
Narrow aisles allow customers to interact.
Colorful drinks neatly lined along the wall.
Candles and pictures,
toys and food,
reveal a new culture painted inside.
Spanish phrases drift to my ears.
A different smell.
A different flavor.
A different person.
A different language.
A different culture.