07 Mar Mexico, I Love You(r Cuisine)
Let me just tell you something about Mexico’s cuisine real quick: I love it. I love everything about it. I love how everyone soaks it in habanero sauce, I love how you can buy tacos literally anywhere you go, I love that there’s almost always an incredible juice selection as well.
Before I’d come to Mexico, I’d tried Mexican food, sure. But it wasn’t real. It was “fresh-Mex”, or a small little restaurant in my area. But not truly authentic Mexican food. I consider the first time I had Al Pastor tacos as a small spiritual moment for me. These tacos had fresh pineapple, perfectly cooked pork, cilantro, Oaxaca cheese, and of course, a hint of habanero. I was so happy. Seriously, I was so, so happy. And don’t even get me started on their quesadillas and fajitas. Even their vegetarian options are good! How can a culture’s cuisine be so perfect?! Just writing about it is making me hungry!
At one point during the retreat, we had a fabulous woman, Mari, come and teach us how to make a true authentic Mexican meal. I’ll be really honest, I think we spent more time eating than learning, and boy, it was good. She made us fantastic sopes, empanadas, and so many other dishes that none of us remembered the names of, but we definitely remembered the tastes of! The whole day was mouth watering and incredibly filling. I swear, by the second dish we were all in a Thanksgiving-like food coma.
I cannot believe how many amazing drinks there are here! My favorites are jamaica (a hibiscus tea), horchata (a rice based milky drink), agua de tamarindo (a tangy juice), and aqua de chaya (a Mayan superfood, Chaya, juiced and usually mixed with OJ). 4 beautiful drinks I’d never tried before coming here. Each more refreshing than the last, most can be found at every restaurant and small tienda (store) in the area, and for super cheap, too. I’m probably 70% aqua de chaya at this point.
When I visited Ecuador, I wasn’t very impressed with their cuisine. They stick to a lot of seafood and empanadas, which were great, but not life changing. Mexico has actually blown me away, and it will definitely be hard leaving their tacos and juices in the dust as we travel on.