The concept of grocery store it is used in several countries of Latin America to allude to Commerce where Food and various frequently used products are offered . According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE ), the term derives from pulp , since in their beginnings they commercialized fruits and sweets that were elaborated based on them. There are, however, other theories about the origin of the name.
The grocery stores were born in the century XVI and it was the stores more frequent until the beginning of twentieth century . People could find in these establishments everything they needed for their daily lives, from food products to remedies, candles and many other items.
Many times the grocery stores were also constituted as social gathering spaces . People, especially in villages or small towns, congregated in these places to play cards or dices , to listen to singers or just to chat.
It is important to keep in mind that the grocery stores had different characteristics according to the region . In some areas they are almost nonexistent or are called differently, while in other places the term is still popular.
In Argentina , for example, the idea of pulpería refers to rural warehouses that extended over much of the territory of Buenos Aires and of others provinces at the beginning of XIX century . Currently there are a few grocery stores, often converted into another kind of business. New ventures inspired by the pulperías of yesteryear were also opened.
Due to the large area in Argentina, the grocery stores were a meeting point for the gauchos . The artist Florencio Molina Campos (1891-1959) portrayed the atmosphere of these sites in several of his paintings.