Getting into the Mexican groove

I have been visiting Mexico since I was seven years old. On that trip, I threw a temper tantrum when my parents stopped for dinner because I refused to try fresh lobster with my parents in Rosarito. On my next trip I was probably a year or two older and I remember with distinction my first bite of refried beans. They were salty, creamy, fatty: delicious. A couple of years later my dad took me to San Miguel de Allende. I remember the thrill of strawberry ice cream and getting terribly sick from mole enchiladas. As a teenager I spent a week at a homestay in Ensenada learning Spanish and ate fresh baked conchas (sweet breakfast bread) every day at our midday snack. After college my dad and I drove from Newport Beach to Puerta Vallarta and I experienced Mexican fine dining in Guadalajara. The chiles en nogada blew my mind.

Even with all my trips and Carlos´childhood summers spent in Guadalajara, Mexico takes a little bit to get used to. There are comfort things like notoriously terrible beds and loud noises (everything is louder hear, I can´t explain it). But waking up to the traffic and neighborhood construction and the bread man are part of the deal. In exchange, we get to eat street food like it´s our job. Tacos, tlyaduas, tamales, frutas, jugo, paletas, pan, chapulines… you name it we can find it in Oaxaca in a stone´s throw.

As this is an eating trip, Carlos and I went out strong. Our first few days were an eating frenzy. That was followed by boodily reactions and discomfort. No sickness, just a need for some green juice. Stat. I think we have found a balance though. Today started with some fruit, a simple avocado and cheese sandwich, something exotic (my first grasshopper) and tonight we have mezcal on the agenda. Mexico is chaotic. It´s vibrant, it´s smelly in both good (chocolate and mole) and bad (our bathroom) ways. It is everything that Tasmania wasn´t and I guess that´s what we came here for.

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Garnaches (small fried tortillas filled with potato, onion, tomato sauce, thinly sliced steak and pickled cabbage)

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My mezcal and Carlos´pulque (fermented mezcal , in this case sweetened with coconut)

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Sopa (thick masa topped with refried beans, quesillo and tasajo)

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Our urban hike took us to this cross.

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The main street food in Oaxaca; tlyayudas (large corn torillas filled with beans, cheese and meat)

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Mole Mole Mole at the markets. We bought a sampling for a picnic dinner

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Another Oaxacan snack food called moletes de platano (plantain croquettes topped with crema and cheese)

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3 responses to “Getting into the Mexican groove

  1. Also, that lobster you refused to eat wasn’t in Rosarito but in Puerto Nuevo which, ironically enough, means Newport…where you grew up and learned to appreciate local lobster!

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