Mercados Latinos – Sabor a Lo Nuestro

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

El fin de semana pasado fuimos a un mercado Latino grande en Falls Church, Virginia que se llama Bestway.

En el momento que entramos por la puerta yo me sentí feliz porque el mercado parecía más a una fiesta que un supermercado. Había decoraciones de Navidad por todos lados, banderas de todos los países de Latino America, piñatas colgadas en la pared y música mexicana tocando en toda la tienda. El ambiente me recordó al mercado en El Salvador.

Bestway - afuera
Bestway - adentro
Mi hijo menor jugando con jaibas

La tienda estaba llena de gente, hasta que una vieja empujó su carrito en mi trasero sin pedir perdón, pero por eso más me sentí como que estaba en El Salvador.

Encontramos pupusas, tamales, y chorizo de Cojutepeque.

Pupusas, Tamales y Chorizo de Cojutepeque

También encontramos este “sandwich spread” que Carlos me dijo que le encantaba en El Salvador.

“En El Salvador?” le dije, “Pero, McCormick es marca americana.”

Él insistió que tienen este en El Salvador y que se llama “pepinesa” – No le creía hasta que ví la etiqueta.

"Manufactured in El Salvador"

Ahora Carlos puede pasar todo el día comiendo sandwiches de pepinesa y estando bien contento.


Last weekend we went to a Latino market in Falls Church, Virginia called Bestway.

The moment we walked in the door I felt happy because the market looked more like a party than a grocery store. There were Christmas decorations all over the place, flags for all the Latin American countries, piñatas hung on the walls and Mexican music playing throughout the whole store. The atmosphere reminded me so much of a market in El Salvador.

The store was really crowded, to the point that an old woman shoved her cart into my backside without apology, but that made me feel even more that I was in El Salvador.

We found pupusas, tamales, and chorizo de Cojutepeque.

We also found this “sandwich spread” that Carlos told me he loved in El Salvador.

“In El Salvador?” I said, “But McCormick is an American brand.”

He insisted that they have it in El Salvador and that it’s called “pepinesa” – I didn’t believe him until I saw the label.

Now Carlos can spend all day eating pepinesa sandwiches and being content.


  1. What kills me is it’s manufactured in El Salvador but the label says ‘sandwich spread’ in English! It looks like it would taste like 1000 island dressing or whatever it is they put on rueben sandwiches. Rueben sandwiches…….that sounds so good right about now. I don’t imagine I can find cornedbeef, sauerkraut, rye bread, or 1000 island dressing here though. I need a Bestway here in Spain!

    Tracy post more recipes! I need more ideas for things to cook. I tried making pasteles and for my relleno I totally used your trick with the achiote entero in oil. It didn’t work so well soaking it in water for the masa though. I haven’t found achiote molido here.

    There is a restaurant that I miss something terrible in Langley Park on Flower Ave called El Golfo. They have the best corn tamales IN THE WORLD. And they make their own crema. If anyone out there has a good recipe for tamales de elote, please post it!

    • I thought it would taste like Thousand Island dressing too, and it does a little bit, but it’s definitely unique and has a consistency slightly thicker than mayo. One of the ingredients is cucumber!

      As for tamales de elote – all you had to do was ask! … I’ll try to post mine for you tomorrow. I think mine are really good :)

  2. Que lugar tan bonito!!! Me encanta que puedes encontrar productos de todo Latinoamerica! Hopefully we’ll see more Bestways popping up all over the country!

    Me imagino lo feliz que ha de haber estado Carlos al encontrar su pepinesa. Me acuerdo cuando mi marido encontraba algun producto Mexicano en los mercados de EEUU y asi me siento yo cuando encuentro un producto gringo aqui en Mexico. :)

    Una pregunta: Cual es la diferencia entre el chorizo Mexicano y el de El Salvador???

    • Hola Leslie!

      There are a lot of Bestways in the DC Metro area – mostly around Virginia. I bet markets like that are a dime a dozen in parts of Texas and California. Our Salvadoran and Mexican population is pretty big in some areas but I still feel happy when we find things like this. LOL… (And I know that if we lived in El Salvador, I’d be happy to find cosas gringas like you in Mexico. LOL.)

      As for the chorizo… Chorizo mexicano – at least in my experience, isn’t cooked in the casing, is it? The ones I’ve found are squeezed out of the casing before cooking, and the flavor is spicier.

      This particular chorizo I found from El Salvador is a really special kind from Cojutepeque. They’re usually more ball-shaped and tied with corn husks between each link. They’re cooked just as they are so they retain their shape.

      • Hello Tracy,

        It’s funny that you say the store looked like a party. In Texas we do indeed have awesome grocery stores, called Fiesta. They have goods from every part of Latin America, and they feel like a party too. Out front you can buy elotes, coctel de fruta, tamales or other snacks, and on the findes there are often mariachi or other musicians performing, and flea market type vendors selling CDs, t-shirts, etc. Its one of the places I miss most now that i moved away!

  3. I was in a Latino supermarket in Milwaukee with my son this fall and he said “Doesn’t this feel more like party than a store?” I wish all my shopping experiences were like that!

    McCormick also makes a “mayonaisa” for Mexico – it has lime in it, is delicious and, según mis amigos mexicanos, doesn’t have to be refrigerated. We can get it here in Wisconsin at some stores. What a fun Friday post. Thank you!

    This is my link for Spanish Friday:

    • I recently found that mayonnaise with lime and LOVE it. (Just what I need, to fall in love with mayonnaise. LOL.) – I do refrigerate mine though and I’m not going to test your friends’ theory!

      Your boy is totally right – Latino markets are much more like fiestas than regular grocery stores :)

      I’ll be able to visit your blog – thanks for playing!

  4. LOL! Now you made me crave pepinesa, hermana. Going to have to go hunt some down to try it and see what it tastes like. From the name I’m assuming it’s some kind of mixture between mayonnaise and pickles… mmmm!

    • Close! It’s got cucumber! The ingredients according to the label are: soybean oil, whole eggs, water, cucumber, distilled vinegar, salt, sugar, spices, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservatives), xanthan gum, potassium sorbate (preservative), calcium disodium EDTA and TBHQ (antioxidants) and FD&C yellow 6 (artificial color).

      It’s sweet and tangy – and I imagine it would make REALLY good tuna salad :)

  5. Cool post. We have so many mercados Mexicanos that I wouldn’t have even thought to make a blog about it. You’re right, they are more fun to shop in and I’m glad you blogged about your experience =)

  6. jajajajaja so Carlos likes Pepinesa! (pepino and mayonesa). Pero en realidad yo creo que es mas pickle que pepino. Y si, es algo dulce; es como una 1000 Islands con más azucar. Aquí en El Salvador la comen bastante; en emparedados claro. habría que probarla con tuna! Pruébala tu Tracy y me cuentas!

    • I used it in tuna salad for lunch yesterday – The tuna overpowered it though and you couldn’t really taste it. Mixed into tuna salad, it just seemed like mayonnaise. I added extra minced pickle and some pickle juice plus salt and pepper. That’s what I’m having for lunch again today because we have leftovers :)

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