Where to get whole foods in Uruguay

My sister posted a video from the TED series with Terry Wahls, a medical doctor with an advanced case of Multiple Sclerosis. After trying every advanced drug and medical procedure, she finally found success reversing her symptoms with a diet of fresh vegetables, berries, grass-fed meat, wild fish, and seaweed.  (I have placed the video at the bottom of this post, in case you would like to see it.)

The video inspired me to eat more fresh whole foods. It also inspired me to write this post on where to get whole foods in Uruguay.

Neighborhood produce market in Uruguay
Neighborhood produce markets 
Most communities in Uruguay have neighborhood produce markets with a broad variety of vegetables and fruit available that usually include:
Green oak lettuce / zapatillas
Greens: green and red oak lettuce (a tender loose-leaf lettuce without a heart) and acelga, which is a chard.
Squash: butternut squash, acorn squash, zucchini, and a round bulk zucchini called zapatillas.
Root vegetables: carrots, red and white potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams, onions (yellow, white, and purple), turnips, beets, radishes, and leeks.
Other vegetables: green and purple cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, eggplant, cucumbers, several varieties of tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, and broccoli when a good batch is available.
Fruits: plums, red and green grapes, peaches, several varieties of apples; and a full range of citrus. They will also have kiwi fruit, strawberries, watermelon, and other melons when they are in season.
Tropical fruits from neighboring countries: bananas, pineapples, and mangoes.

Neighborhood butcher shops 
In addition to produce markets, most neighborhoods in Uruguay have butcher shops called carnicerias. Like the produce markets, most are individually owned and operated. One of the great things about living in Uruguay is that the beef is grass-fed with no hormones or antibiotics.

Meat is cut a little differently in Uruguay than in the U.S., but these are some popular cuts and their correlations: The most popular cut in Uruguay is asado (short ribs). Other cuts are picanhia (rump roast), caudril (top sirloin), bife angosto (strip loin), lomo (tenderloin), vacio (flank steak), entrania (skirt steak), and entrecote (New York steak). Ground sirloin is available with different amounts of fat. Lean ground sirloin has less than 5% fat, and some places will make it even leaner.

In addition to beef, butcher shops also sell lamb, pork, and sausages. Sausages include chorizo, and morcilla (blood sausage that can be either sweet or savory). Various types of organ meat are also available.

Most neighborhood butcher shops also sell chickens and eggs. However, in Montevideo there are shops that just sell chickens and eggs.

Fishermen selling their catch at the dock in Uruguay

Fish directly from the fishing boats 
In addition to large commercial fishing fleets, Uruguay has artisan fishing fleets made up of small boats that catch fish using hand operated gear. They fish year-round and sell their catch directly to the public.

The marina in Punta del Este and in Piriapolis are the places I have personally bought fish directly from fishermen. The most common type of fish is brotola, a light white-meat fish. There are also other types of fish including corvina and sole, as well as mussels, shrimp, octopus, and squid. They will clean the fish for you and charge you just for the fillets.

Fish sold by artisan fishermen in Montevideo, which is further west on the Rio de la Plat (River of Silver) and further from the Atlantic Ocean, will be freshwater fish.

Selling produce at a Uruguay feria
Ferias are markets that set up one or two days a week in a park or on a street. Some just sell whole food like a farmer’s market, others just sell crafts, and some sell food, crafts, and a variety of new and used goods.

Ferias that sell food are a good place to buy produce. There may be six to ten venders selling fruits and vegetables in one feria. The side-by-side competition helps provide the customer with the best quality and price.

In addition to produce, the farmer’s market ferias also have trailers set up selling freshly caught fish, fresh chicken and eggs, and cheeses.

Uruguay also has supermarkets with everything under one roof. The supermarket that has the freshest meat, freshest fish, and freshest produce on the most consistent basis compared with other supermarkets is Tienda Inglesia. There is a Tienda Inglesa in the Montevideo shopping mall, in Atlantida, and in Punta del Este.

If you are from out of the area and don’t know which neighborhood places to get your fresh whole foods, then Tienda Inglesa is probably your best one-stop place to get quality whole foods.


Dr. Simon Atkins said...

Fantastic update, David. TRULY appreciate all the work (and eating of fresh produce) you have done! :-)

The TED video of the doctor with MS and her putting NATURAL health first is terrific!

To your health!
Dr. Simon R. R. Atkins, Ph.D., D.Sc. (Alternative Medicine)
Billings, MT, USA

Dr. Simon Atkins said...

Dear David,

Thank you so much for posting this article and video. It is SO important each of us RE-EVALUATES our source of food, and RE-DECIDES what we ingest into our beautiful bodies and minds of expanding consciousness.

Vibrant best to your health,
Dr. Simon R. R. Atkins, Ph.D., D.Sc. (Alternative Medicine)

Cindy said...

How about organic produce? How readily available is that?

Paradise Uruguay said...

Cindy, Some of the produce is organic and some is not. The grocery store Tienda Inglesa, mentioned in the article, has some foods that are labeled as organic. If you want to be sure all your local produce is organic, you need to connect with an organic farmer and the people who sell their produce. I have a friend in Atlantida who has a source for all organic produce. There is also a supplier of organic produce in Punta del Este that makes home deliveries.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Thank you for this informative page. I’m planning a trip to Uruguay in the next year, and this information is very helpful.

Is it possible for those of us who already subscribe to the Uruguay Insider to get a copy of the “Uruguay in Pictures” report you are offering to new subscribers? It would be very helpful to me in planning my trip.

Thanks again.


Paradise Uruguay said...

Jane, thank you for your comment. When we sent out the previous Uruguay Insider Newsletter it included a link where subscribers could download the report. The link was good for 48 hours. However, I want to make sure you and all other current subscribers get the report. So, just go to the Uruguay Insider Newsletter in your email inbox, and send a "Reply" asking for the free report - and I will send it to you ASAP.