Published: July 25th 2008July 25th 2008
Everything in Mexico seems to come with hot sauce or limon and chili. Here in Oaxaca there is mezcal flavored ice cream with chili in it. The salsa that people eat is either green or red. It is never chunky. Never. Sometimes the red sauce is not too hot, just kind of smokey. The green sauce usually contains jalapeños and avocado. Sometimes the green sauce does not contain avocado and is extremely spicy. When dining with a Finnish couple outside Mitla we were humored with a story of how the caustic green sauce was mistaken to be the mild avocado variety. Used to the later sauce the couple dosed their torta with the salsa. It was so hot that the female counterpart was only able to consume two bites of the sandwich.
A few things that the US lacks are enfrijoladas and tlacayudas. The former are tacos or rolled up tortillas stuffed with whatever-you-please and smothered in runny refried black beans. A bit of some crumbly cheese is usually sprinkled over the top. Delicious. Tlacayudas have a few forms. Some are thick oval tortillas topped with the runny black beans, cheese of the stringy or the crumbly style, lettuce, and possibly meat. My favorite are the Tlacayudas made with a gargantuan tortilla. The said beans are spread over, cheese is thrown on top, both the green and red sauces are slathered on, this is then topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado. If you are a meat eater they will throw a thin steak of beef or chili pork in the middle of this thing.
No burritos! In San Cristobal de Las Casas, our house family told us about a cinema cafe. We found it the day before leaving and were very sad because the place had a awesome vibe. We spent several hours there, drinking two cups of tea or coffee, eating a nice meal, and watching a surreal (or fantasy) film called Holy Mountain and just lounging. The movie was one we picked from a library and view privately in a little room with surround sound, and projector, and a screen. We decided to eat before the movie and were delighted to see they had burritos. We each ordered one: Mario, Tessa, Miles; beef, chicken, veggie. We waited and sipped on our caffeinated beverages. The plates came out and each contained three rolled up tortillas, open ended stuffed with the filling a special sauce. The little medium sized rolls were adorned with lettuce tomatoe, avacado, and creama. Good, but not burritos.
Another time in San Cristobal Mario ordered a burrita. Wow a feminine version of my favorite Californian food. He received melted cheese with ham between two corn tortillas. Hmm. A grilled cheese with ham, Mexican style.
Today we took on Monte Albán. Neat Zapotec ruins that have been restored. The restoration part pisses me off. Archeologists take the liberty to assume what these structures used to look like and then rebuild them and fence them off. Neat to see and climb on, but there is something very fake about it.
Side note... In Mexico city I purchased a cheap little guitar to keep my fingers nimble during the month of travel. This is what I ended up with, JJ Heart
. It was only $60 American. Ha. Mario loved that I bought this guitar and decided to cut out the guitar on the box and save it for some mischief.
At the entrance into Monte Álban there is a statue of the guy who found the place. He walked up a damn hill and "Wow, look! Ruins!". The statue has large hands and a funny looking face. There was discussion between Mario, Tessa, and I about how a native was probably commissioned to make the statue and they decided to smite the explorer with a goofy looking statue. The statue was passed and time was spent walking up and down the steps of the ruins. Before leaving the park Tessa readied her camera, I opened my back pack and retrieved the little pink guitar cut out. Mario grabbed it and placed it in the explorers hands. A few photos were taken and the statue was abandoned with much laughter.
We looked at the statue again fifteen minutes later. People were eating it up. An old man was getting his picture taken pointing to the explorer turned musician. Our practical joke was not seen as sacrilege, but rather as something to laugh about