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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Oaxaca Central Market

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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Oaxaca is one of our favorite Colonial Cities in Mexico to visit. It's lively, has wonderful architecture, a good restaurant selection, live music, ancient ruins and this amazing central market.

Fresh meats, handmade sausages and head cheese in Oaxaca's central market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Fresh meats, handmade sausages and head cheese

Oaxaca's market is full of vendors with very fresh offerings. Here you see freshly cut meats, head cheese, sausages of different styles, and even barbacoa. Barbacoa, simply put, is like a pot roast style of preparation.

This manner of cooking is originally from the Arawak peoples of the Caribbean. Usually they put whole sheep or goats over an open fire and slow-cooked them. More traditionally, a hole was dug in the ground where the meat was placed and covered with maguey leaves until it was tender.

Needless to say, it's absolutely delicious.

Oaxaca cheese, local chocolate, different moles and a wide selection of mezcales





The market is divided into sections and some of them overlap.

Along with the balls of Oaxaca string-cheese in front here, you will find the locally made chocolate and tubs of different moles.

Behind these vendors are rows and rows of bottles of mezcal, for which Oaxaca is famous.

Notice in the middle right of the photo are one-of-a-kind artistic bottles of mezcal.

Oaxaca cheese and fresh day cheese in baskets, Oaxaca Central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca cheese and fresh day cheese in baskets

Oaxaca cheese is a string cheese celebrated around Mexico, and it is very similar in taste to Mozzarella. The process was first brought to Mexico by the Dominican friars who settled here from Italy. Since there was no buffalo milk available, cow's milk was used.

This cheese is also known as quesillo and melts beautifully for quesadillas.

In the baskets on the left is what is called "day cheese" in Mexico. Made daily, it is crumbly, moist, mild in flavor and is usually added to the top of chiliquiles or sometimes salads.

Fresh chickens at Oaxaca's Central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Fresh chickens for sale

I have shared photos with my girlfriends of whole chickens like these for sale in foreign markets and they have been aghast.

Never in their lives have they seen the head and feet of a chicken attached to the body. Most likely their experience is of pre-cut chicken breasts or thighs wrapped in saran and stacked in Styrofoam trays in the poultry section.

I grew up with my immigrant Grandparents on both sides cooking like they did in "the old country" in Europe. Nothing of the animal was wasted, and huge stock pots on the stove with chicken feet sticking out was a normal sight for me.

I'm really happy about this upbringing and it gave me a respect for food.

Baskets of seasoned fried chapulines in Oaxaca Central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Baskets of seasoned fried chapulines

Chapulines is another word for crickets.

Indigenous cultures have eaten insects for centuries.

Nutritious beyond the imagination, crickets contain niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, iron, phosphorous, and calcium. Crickets also provide a complete food protein because they naturally contain the right balance of essential and non-essential amino acids.

While we are not big on insect cuisine (and have seen plenty of this in Asia), we have eaten chapulines.

Here you see various trays with crickets prepared with lime and salt, chili pepper and salt, without spices and also ground.

Close up of fried chapulines in Oaxaca Central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

A close up of these critters

In our experience, these guys are very rich, and only eating a few will be satisfying. We have had them added to the tops of salads at very posh restaurants like Camino Real Convent Restaurant in Oaxaca.

By the way, Oaxaca is known for it's cuisine.

tasting a fried cricket in the Oaxaca Central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Our friend, Dale, excited to try a fried cricket!

Chapulines are a very common and affordable food source all throughout Mexico, Central and South America.

Thinly sliced meat for the grill in Oaxaca Central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Thinly sliced meat for the grill

This thinly sliced meat is called cecina and inside the Central Market is an area known for cooking on the open fire.

One stops buy, purchases their meat selection and then after it's been cooked on the grill, the waitstaff bring it to your table.

This is not to be missed. 

Cow tripe, cecina, and sausages ready for the grill in Oaxaca Central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Cow tripe, cecina, and sausages ready for the grill

This a better view of a section of this asada - or grilling area.

Pricing is per kilo. Two hundred pesos at this time runs about $10USD.

Having breakfast in Oaxaca Central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Having breakfast in the central market

Here we are in the Central Market at a meetup with other RetireEarlyLifestyle friends, all wearing our RetireEarlyLifestyle hats!!

 We're discussing the menu and getting ready to order a late breakfast, early lunch.

The sign of the restaurant says "Traditional Food, The Little Grandmother, Proud tradition that perseveres."

Chicken Mole at food stall in Oaxaca's central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Chicken Mole

Oaxaca, like Puebla, is famous for their moles.

This was my early lunch chicken mole.


Famous Oaxacan Tlayuda, Oaxaca Central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Famous Oaxacan Tlayuda

Another dish that Oaxaca is known for is the Tlayuda.

It's a large, thin, crunchy, partially fried or toasted tortilla covered with a spread of refried beans, some pork lard, lettuce or cabbage, avocado, meat (usually shredded chicken, beef tenderloin or pork), Oaxaca cheese, and salsa.

Depending on the neighborhood, sometimes the Tlayuda is formed into a stuffed crispy triangle.

Essentially, one gets some very good flavor with a bit of crunch!

Extensive list of ice creams offered

Extensive list of ice creams offered





Ice creams in Mexico can be very unique and flavorful.

Here is a selection of corn ice cream, mescal, toasted milk, cheese and caramel. Notice the "Tuna" listing.

It's not what you think!

In our first experience with "Tuna" ice cream, we were taken aback thinking it would be canned tuna fish, ice cream style. But actually "tuna" is the name of the Nopale Cactus fruit which can be red or green, and very sweet.

Have you ever had a Nopale Fruit Margarita?

Then you get the idea.

Baskets of dried beans, corn and chile peppers in Oaxaca central Market, Oaxaca, Mexico

Baskets of dried beans, corn and chile peppers

Mexico has a wide variety of peppers, corn and beans too.

There are fiery peppers, smoky peppers, and peppers that give sauces body and a mysterious flavor.

Corn can be a multi-colored variety, a style similar to hominy, a sweet corn and a starchy, staple-style corn that is often roasted on an open flame.

And beans... well they run the gamut!

For more stories and photos of Oaxaca, CLICK HERE

For more stories and photos of Mexico, CLICK HERE

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

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