San Juan Market is where many of Mexico City’s top chefs shop. It is known for its exotic meats, fish, fruits and vegetables. It’s where I buy vanilla beans for $1.50 USD each to bring back as gifts to the USA. I made my way there from the Palacio de Bellas Artes, past architectural wonders of the city.
Once I got there and started looking at the food, I realized I was hungry. Then, I noticed a large group of people gathered around one of the stalls. La Jersey has been there for over 85 years. Out from behind the counter came baguettes of crusty French bread filled with layers of exotic, European cheeses and Italian meats.
Three young men, who introduced themselves as lawyers on lunch break, were sitting on stools biting into hefty sandwiches and sipping good red Spanish table wine from small tasting cups. The wine comes gratis with the lunch. They beckoned me over, offered me the empty seat next to
them, showed me the menu and recommended what they considered to be the best sandwich filled with prosciutto, salami, and a rich, smooth German cheese. Order Number 3, they said. A cuarto (that’s a quarter sandwich). When it came, it looked like more than I could possibly consume. There are probably 20 sandwich selections on the menu. And, at least 100 different cheeses are available for sale on the deli countertop and in the cases.
Note: You are surrounded by butchered animals ranging from chickens to hanging legs of lamb, goats and other edibles. I consider it to be part of the food chain, but just a word of warning
Once my sandwich came, they oriented me to using the tamarind savory jam topping to spread over the cheese. The bread was scooped out leaving mostly crusty outside, better to hold the more than ample fillings.
Next comes dessert, also included in the fixed price along with the wine. It is a slice of French bread slathered with mascarpone cheese drizzled with local honey and topped with a crunchy walnut. Two bites, then gone. Mmmmmmm. The man on the left ordered a fresh fig, quartered, and filled with homemade vanilla ice cream, topped with honey. He ate it before I could get my camera focused.
More about it. Where to find it. La Jersey also has a small deli in the Downtown Hotel complex at Isabel la Catolica #30, two blocks from the Zocalo.