I think it would be absolutely impossible to talk about Oaxaca without talking about the food. Let's not kid ourselves, most of my free time here is spent going out to cafes, restaurants, bars, food stands, really anything where I can eat or drink something. Given this, I will share with you all some of the most (and least) delicious aspects of my trip.
Tacos al Pastor- the tacos from this little taquería in our neighborhood are fantastic. While you can get just about any type of meat, they are known for tacos al pastor and gringas, two types of tacos that use the pastor meat. This (I think pork?) is roasted nightly on a spit, covered in some delicious mystery orange colored spices and served with onions, cilantro and a chunk of fresh pineapple.
Chocolate caliente con leche (con pan)- Undeniably the best hot chocolate I have ever drank. It is made by grating dark chocolate and melting it into hot milk. Unlike American hot choclate that is super sweet and not very chocolatey, Oaxacan hot chocolate is rich and creamy, but a bit bitter and sometimes even a little spiced. A piece of fresh baked pan dulce or pan yema completes this perfect snack. Note: chocolate de leche can (and should) be eaten with any meal.
Agua de Frutas- already posted about this in Week Three
, but none the less delicious. Also in this category, Jamaica- a tangy deep red juice made from the Jamaica flower and Horchata- creamy rice water, sugar and either melon or spices. Personally, I prefer the cinnamon spice variety.
Mango with chili and limon- fresh mango with chili powder, limon and salt. This spicy, sweet, juicy combo is the perfect mix of lip tingling spice and addicting sweetness.
Churros- deep fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar. You can also get them stuffed with flavors. Lechecilla, or vanilla frosting, is my absolute favorite. There is a little churro shop a few blocks from school, right on the way to the Zócalo, that has become an dessert tradition for us.
Platanos Fritos- Fried bananas. They are soft and sweet with a carmelized outside. Perfect when paired with unsweetened cream or beans and rice.
And some things I won't be missing back in the states:
Milk Gelatin- Still haven't figured out how to describe this dessert other than jello, but made with milk. I guess it is sort of vanilla-y...
Papas Fritas con Atun- potato pancakes/latkes with a secret inredient; tuna.
Spaghetti- Mexican spaghetti is not like American spaghetti. All I want are some toamtoes, basil and olive oil over not overcooked pasta.
"Cosmopolitan" Food- Our entire trip to Mexico City was spent eating food that was by no means Mexican, but not really anything else either. I wasn't a particularly huge fan.
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