Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mexico, New Foods Taste Good

Veggie food in Mexico is kinda dull most of the time. I've learned not to ask *too* many questions, 'cause I can't always cook, and I'd starve to death if I did.

I've also learned about some shiny new foods. Er, ok, two are actually drinks.

So street food is cheap. It makes life happy. Street food during the day is mostly fresh fruit. In the evenings the bigger, fancy carts come out. They sell just about everything out of them, but strange pork products seem to be the most popular. I don't eat them, so I can't say how they taste, just that they're everywhere.

Then there are so-called "maya crepes", which are pretty much the same as normal crepes, spread with... something.. and folded up. Like nutella, or fish, or something.

After dark, though, the food stalls come alive. Tacos, empanadas, something they call gringas, which I can only assume are sammiches of some sort. And drinks. Cold, of course, to go with the hot food. Coke in glass bottles, or bags of fresh local drinks. Almost always the same three drinks, actually. Horchata, Jamaica, and Tamarindo, in a bag with a straw.

The three drinks are pretty much the non-coke, non-water drink of the Yucatan. Horchata, of course, is basically seasoned vegan-milky drink thing, with coconut and rice "milk". Jamaica (Ha-mai-ka) is sweetened hibiscus "tea"- like lemon zinger, or sweetened pomegranate juice. And tamarindo is just sweetened tamarind water. Yummy, actually.

I've yet to actually try horchata, but the other two are freaking tasty. If you get a chance to drink them, totally go for it. Horchata's on the list for tomorrow.

The third new food is one I've actually been wanting to try, but too wimpy to cook myself.

Nopales. They're the leaves (paddles) of the prickly pear cactus. With the spines removed, cleaned up, and only the young, new-ish ones about the size of the palm of an adult's hand. Fried, it turns out.

See, it comes back to that whole "quesadilla" thing. No one wants to eat them all the time. But if you can change them up a bit, things get much more interesting. And nopales do that. Fried, diced, and tossed in my super yummy quesadilla last night, they are probably one of the better tasting strange foods I've wandered into lately. Srsly, if you see them in the grocery store buy them first, and look up cooking instructions or recipes later. They're worth it.

Super yummy.

Ok, yeah, and I paid 65 pesos for a sammich yesterday. It was worth it. Imported fresh mozz, tomatoes, fresh baked bread... zomg, sooooo good.

Still, try nopales. really.


  1. Love nopales. The perfect comfort food.

  2. I shoulda known you'd had them. I've had some bad nopales since then... or worse, anyway. I learned that my "more salt is better" thing carries over to here, too.