The post about FOOOOOOD! If you are a lover of tortilla, Guanajuato is the place for you. Unlike more touristy parts of Mexico (Cancun, etc) that caters to the desires of its tourist with chains like margaritaville, Joe’s Crab Shack, etc Guanajuato is littered with street vendors most of which are making some version of a quesadilla stuffed with cactus and chihuahua cheese (I think it comes from the chihuahua district of Mexico). I cannot seem to get enough quesadilla in its many forms, Rhodes and lux are now tiring of the regularity, but lux’s love of engaging the corner quesadilla man is far stronger than his desire for frozen microwave pizza. So I continue to get quesadillas.
Fruit plays a very large part in the local cuisine, even more so than in the u.s.a. Many of us have a constant produce flow into our homes at dollar amounts that would shock these people, but fruit is everywhere here and so reasonably priced. There are street carts selling containers of fruit with creme drizzled on it, fruit for breakfast and the fruit juices are divine. After our brief experience here I will most definitely look at the Hispanic isle of our grocery store in much different light. The other morning lux said “the oranges here look horrible, but they make amazing orange juice.” We had this wonderful conversation about allowing things to ripen the way they were intended. In the u.s. we pick things way too early to ship around the country and appear pristine in stores so that you want to buy them, but here they are harvested when they are actually ripe or when they fall off the tree and they are not treated with anything so when you buy them on the street they look a bit rough, but they’re perfecto!
Our sugar intake here has been interesting. My mother would claim that they just haven’t quite tapped the true potential of sugar here, which I’d have to agree at least in the things we have tried. The ice cream is odd, not very sweet. The candy tends to be spicy. At least by American standards. The boys were so excited to use their pesos to buy something from a candy vendor and they bought what appeared to be a mashed fruit roll up on a stick, but once a few bites in they started using words like; watermelon-ish, spicy-kind of, that seedy thing, it’s too hot. Very odd phrases to describe candy. All of these ‘observations’ could easily be chalked up to the United States’ over use of sugar as well, but it’s just that, personal observation.
Sticky, spicy, hot, seedy, watermelon thing on a stick.
For our long bus ride we tried to buy some snacks. We bought “regular nacho” Doritos. I even asked the girl if they were regular, not hot Doritos. She said yes, no no no. Hot hot hot. Their normal version of our normal is significantly hotter across the board. It was the same with Cheetos. So if those are spicy I can’t even fathom what the things with flames on the labels taste like.
Let’s talk about Rhodes’ bowels for a moment. . .corn (elote or maize) is fairly common here and most places have a corn tortilla option, but it turns out that the flour tortillas do not bother him. After I saw numerous ladies making the flour tortillas by hand this past week, we decided to give it a try and viola! He didn’t get sick!
Lux’s new favorite, refried black beans, are a breakfast staple here. Turns out we’ve been eating them wrong the whole time and they are delicious with eggs!
And just like anywhere else in the world, the best places to eat are where the locals eat. Lunch at Mercado hildalgo (hildalgo market) was wonderful and so inexpensive. We had huge helpings of food made right in front of us for the u.s. equivalent of $3 a plate.
Water and fruit, filtered water is easy to find here and in abundance and dirt cheap. I’m no longer worried about the fruit being contaminated, I wash it anyway with veggie wash just like I do at home in the u.s. but I’m no longer doing it out of fear.
There are so many incredible things about this place, the food is just one of them, but I’ll tell you more about the tourism and people later.