A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Mexican food offers an amazing variety of regional specialties, delicious sweets, and bizarre items you may want to try. Even if you are quite familiar with most of the items on a Mexican restaurant menu back home, there will be a lot of mysteries once you arrive in Mexico.

That’s where The Hungry Traveler: Mexico, a handy little guidebook can help out. At 6 inches by not quite 4 inches, and 3/4 of an inch thick, it fits easily into even a small pack, purse, or pocket. Numerous Mexican foods, drinks, and ingredients are described succinctly, and in alphabetical order for easy reference. I don’t carry it with me all the time, but I do take it when we go out in search of culinary adventures in restaurants or markets.

It’s enjoyable reading too, so it’s a good thing to have along for the inevitable dull moments on a trip. (And with no plot to speak of, I don’t mind if I’m interrupted!) For example, here are some entries:

  • Chilaquiles (che la KEE lehs). A casserole that’s a popular, robust breakfast choice. It’s sometimes made with scrambled eggs and chorizo (sausage), but always with day-old tortillas cut in strips or wedges, white onion, melted cheese, sour cream, green chiles, and is sprinkled with crumbled cheese. It can be primarily green if made with a green sauce, or red if a red sauce is the cook’s choice. It’s a staple of breakfast buffets, although it’s also served for lunch with chicken substituting for the eggs.
  • Sopa xochitl (SOH pah SOH chee tl). This brothy soup can startle the unwary with its featured sliced serrano peppers floating on top. Xochitl is the Aztec word for flower, and perhaps at one time flowers figured in this brew — but no more. Now its firepower is aimed at innocent diners who suspect nothing so hot could lurk in this harmless-looking broth.
  • Torta (TOHR tah). What a sandwich is called in Mexico. Or it can be a desert. You’ll know by its placement on the menu. As a sandwich it’s usually made with a bolillo roll. Sometimes it’s served with fresh, cold ingredients of meat, avacado, tomato, and cheese. The bread may be spread with mayonnaise or fresh thick cream. But Mexicans seem to favor a warm sandwich, so the meat and bun are fried or warmed on a grill first and the whole sandwich is served warm — making the tomato, lettuce, and avacado a bit limp.

Having this book along is like having a knowledgeable and opinionated friend along… one that you can set aside to have your own Mexican food adventures!

Organizing all this information is quite a challenge, and the book is divided into several sections. (I took a colored marking pen and marked the main section on the outside of the book, for easier reference.) Here they are:

  • Menu Primer A to Z (Spanish to English)
  • Beverages A to Z (Spanish to English)
  • Comfort Foods (things you are mostly likely to ask for, English to Spanish)
  • Regional/Seasonal Specialties
  • Market Buying Tips
  • Useful Words Quick Reference Guide (English to Spanish)

You can see why this is my favorite Mexican food resource guide! It’s usually available at Amazon:

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