Friday, April 8, 2011

Am I From Lilliput?, or: Oversized in Mexico


I'm no dwarf. In fact, I'm around 5'8, if you're wondering.

When I eat a sandwich, it usually fits into my mouth. And when I have a drink, I can usually hold it in one hand. Usually. I was quite convinced of it, until our trip to Puebla.


As most of you probably do, we stop in markets whenever we're looking for authentic, fresh local food. Well, we got a lot of it in one sitting. When I say a lot, I do mean very, very much. We stopped in at Las Poblanitas in the Mercado El Carmen for some lunch, eager at the prospect of tasting the traditional cemitas, the Mexican version of a sandwich. Cemitas can have any sort of filling: the ones on offer here were pork, ham, avocado, chiles, and cheese.


We opted for the vegetarian option, but definitely not vegan. Read: cheese, a lot of it. 



See that? That's our cemita. I had trouble actually biting into it, and had to set aside some of that stringy cheese. It was good, though, and I was hungry, so it was actually quite simple to ignore comments like "This cheese looks like dog hair". It's difficult to make me put food down with words. 

What would be better to wash down a cemita than horchata? Rhyming aside, I could drink horchata all day long. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Mexican horchata is usually made with rice water, sugar and cinnamon. It's sweet, refreshing, and has a double action as drink-cum-dessert. We ordered horchata, one each for my sister and I, and ended up with liter-sized cups. I guess they anticipated that a big sandwich needs a big drink, but I definitely felt like I had entered a world where everything is larger than life.


(That didn't stop me from drinking the whole thing.)

Before you start believing all food in Mexico is as large as a table, let me reassure you. Markets are also a place where you can have light (sort of), simple meals. In Taxco, a small historic town surrounded my silver mines, the market was a wonderful place to try different versions of pozole.


Made with hominy, pozole--verde or rojo, made with tomatillos or red tomatoes--is a hearty dish, filled with flavor. Spicy, fresh with avocado, and texturally interesting thanks to the hominy and fried tortilla, it was a wonderful example of Mexican cuisine that can be made at home.


Pair it with fresh mango-carrot juice, and you've got yourself a perfect lunch under the sun. Why, oh why, isn't Mexico next to France?


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11 comments:

claudia said...

this juice looks so good..the "cemita', not so sure about it! But it is always fun to try new foodS!

Barbara said...

Funny, I was just reading about horchata in the new cookbook I just got. It sounded wonderful....think this recipe had sweetened condensed milk in it, which always attracts me. :)
You certainly were having a good time with Mexican food!

Cooking Gallery said...

The burger looks delicious with the cheese! I wish we had more Mexican restaurants here in Germany....!

sweetpeaskitchen.com said...

Wow! Looks like you had a great time! That sandwich is huge! :)

Mary said...

It looks wonderful, but you may never have to eat again :-). You must have had a fabulous time. I hope you have a good day today. Blessings...Mary

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

OH MY GOODNESS! That cemita is HUGE. And yummy looking! But huge!!

Looks like your enjoying yourself :)

grace said...

that food looks amazing, particularly the oh-so-hairy cemita! i can't believe i've never tried a taste of horchata, but that's the sad truth. one day...

Reeni said...

I love Mexican food - bring on the huge food! Everything looks insanely good!

K8teebug said...

All of this looks amazing! Do you have the cookbook "Mexican Everyday" by Rick Bayless? I think you would love it!

Kris Ngoei said...

Such a refreshing trip, I am sure the local food is so delicious. Those photos are alluring :-)

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