Garcia's Latin Market

By Candace Nelson - 8:00 AM

I recently took a trip to Garcia's Latin Market. Typically, "Latin America" refers to areas where Spanish or Portugese languages are prevalent: Mexico, most of Central and South American, the Caribbean, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. So, for Americans, it's usually anything south of the U.S. Hispanic/Latin Americans make up 2 percent of WVU's student population. While that's not much, it is the most of any minority group.

Garcia's Latin Market is located downtown at 117 Pleasant Street. They sell food, spices, pottery, jewelry, coffee and some housewares. Coming up on its one-year anniversary, this unique family-owned business is a great place for those hard-to-find foods or a special gift for a friend. You can check out some of their merchandise and specials on their Facebook page.  And they're open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first walked in, but I was pleasantly surprised. One room full of trinkets, candy, food and spices were on display. A sweet woman was behind the counter and was more than helpful. After circling the room a few times, I finally picked up a handful of assorted goods - mostly candy and a coke.

Why a coke? 1 - Because it was a cool glass bottle and 2 - Because it is made out of real sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup. So, that's cool. The only difference I could really tell with the Coke is that it seemed really carbonated, like so carbonated that I let it sit out a few hours so that I could drink it. The candies were yummy; I had a really fabulous caramel one.

But what I really want to get into is checking out the spices! Does anybody know of any super easy Latin dishes? With maybe some spices that Garcia's sells? It seems like they have a good bit of spices and authentic ingredients to prepare some dishes with, but I want to hear your favorites!

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