Tag Archives: food

Mexican Soul Food

8 Jun

Some of the best Mexican food never appears in America unless it’s in somebody’s kitchen, and I ask myself why all the time.  I no longer live in Mexico, but my mouth waters every time I think about Chiles en Nogada, especially when they are “hecho en casa,” topped with an almond sauce and pomegranate seeds and served with some sangria and a pastel imposible, or an “impossible cake”.

Maybe I’ll just have to start my own Mexican restaurant with a menu full of Mexican soul food.  I’d serve food like Pozole and Cochinita Pibil and drinks like Atole and Agua de Jamaica.  My tortillas would always be made by hand from freshly ground corn masa and my tacos would always be served with queso fresco and never with (horror of horrors!) cheddar cheese.


El Desayuno Mexicano

15 Mar

In most countries I’ve been to breakfast is no big deal, and usually consists of something super light and easy like fruit with yogurt, cereal, or some toast and coffee.  In Mexico, however, el desayuno is a pretty big deal and usually a pretty hearty meal, especially considering the next meal, la comida, won’t come until 3 or 4.  At first I didn’t like the idea of eating such heavy food in the morning, but I have since embraced Mexican-style breakfasts and come to love them.

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Poetry in Motion

16 Sep

Pulling in the net

On a recent afternoon I watched this couple fishing on the shores of the nearby beach. It was back-breaking labor, the man and woman paddled out to throw their net deep in the water, and then slowly pulled it ashore inch-by-inch, leaning back and using every once of strength to reel in the tangled web.

I wasn't the only one mesmerized

I wasn't the only one mesmerized

It was an everyday act for these two people, and yet I was mesmerized by the simple grace and beauty of their movements. At once adonic and brutal, they pulled hand-over-hand waiting for something to emerge from the deep to provide them with sustenance.

Izabal 107smaller

I was reminded yet again of how far removed Americans tend to be from the food they eat. This couple labored for several back-breaking hours just to cull a few fish and shrimp from the deep, and yet at home I casually stroll down long, air-conditioned aisles searching for Alaskan salmon or Chilean sea-bass, toss it in my cart, and drive home. I wonder how drastically we would change our eating habits if we were forced to produce or gather the food we ate instead of simply buying it?

catch of the day

A different take on food

15 Apr


In Mexico, nothing goes to waste.  Take the pig, for example, where tacos are made from it’s snout, ears, cheeks, tail, brains, and even hoofs.  In America, we would never consider doing such a thing, but think about all the food that goes to waste back in the states.  I rarely buy meet in the states that isn’t boneless and skinless, something which is practically impossible to find here.  Not to mention that this boneless skinless food is wrapped in plastic and held in a Styrofoam try and has been cut up and prepared by a poorly paid, overworked laborer in dangerous conditions.

I once went to translate for a health fair at a poultry plant in rural Virginia and I was surprised and saddened at the working conditions I encountered.  Here in Mexico, you can go to a butcher and have your meat cut up right in front of you by a jolly old man who will gladly cut the feet and head off your chicken if you ask because he knows he can sell it to someone else.

My development economics professor just told me that US pork farmers are trying to sell their unused pig parts to Mexico for rock bottom prices and that the Mexican farmers are up in arms about their inability to compete with prices.  While I like the idea utilizing a previously unused resource (such as pig heads), I think I’ll leave it to the Mexicans to enjoy their tacos de trompa and pata (hoof and snout tacos).