Monday, September 21


So Mexico turned 199 last week (September 16 for you nogoodnicks that think cinco de mayo is independence day). I had this big plan to list 199 things I love about Mexican food, but I got to 38 (1/5.24 of 199. .that's significant, right?) and decided I would rather go eat all these things I was talking about, drink mezcal, and get decked out in red, white, and green garb than finish this list. I made the right choice. But here are the 38 I got to.

  1. Chiles Rellenos
  2. So many different varieties of things I had previously thought of in single-fixed terms like "mango" or "banana." I'd never thought about the answer to (or question) "What kind of mango would you like?" Thank you, God, for inventing fingers and their ability to point at things.
  3. Spicy peanuts (especially when they are free with beer)
  4. Oaxacan Mole! And all the 27 ingredients that go into it. And how people defend mole from their region like their mother. I've met a lot of poblanos that poo-poo the Oaxacan mole in favor of mole poblano. I totally understand. If there was an Iowa mole, it would be so much better than any other state's.
  5. Chocolate.
  6. Mezcal. Once referred to as "tequila for grownups and hobos" it can be fierce, but is generally smoky, smooth, earthy, and intoxicating. Enjoy with chile salt and citrus wedges.
  7. ¿Con todo?
  8. Fruit water
  9. Lime and spicy with everything
  10. Tomatillo tanginess
  11. Los Danzantes
  12. Ceviche
  13. Ice cream and paletas near La Soledad in Oaxaca and from dudes pushing carts in Miahuatlán
  14. Nanche, chayote, chamoy, epazote, and other mysterious things that I'd never heard of before and now know and love.
  15. The Spanish word for pomegranate is grenada, which answers my query of why pomegranate syrup is named "grenadine" . . .which, yeah, I probably should have got from the "granate" part, but. . .I didn't. And now I do. And I find it very satisfying.
  16. Cilantro's prevalence.
  17. How my students almost always respond to the question "What is your favorite food?" with "My favorite food is Mexican food."
  18. Spicy pork! Chorizo, cecina! So red! So luscious!
  19. Chilaquiles
  20. Squash flower soup
  21. Al pastor or shepherd's style--pork cooked gyro-style. And the accompanying joke Al pastor alemán (german shepherd) that it is made of dog. Also the fact that if that joke is at times true, I don't care, because it's sooo good.
  22. Licuados
  23. Atole. A hot, sweet drink made from corn. It kind of reminds me of a runny Cream of Wheat in texture and has some vanilla and cinnamon flavors to it. Sold from carts in the morning alongside tamales. Perfect rainy day breakfast.
  24. Tamales.
  25. Quesillo and its amazing elasticity.
  26. Tostadas
  27. Nopales
  28. Eating breakfast in the clouds in San Jose del Pacifico.
  29. Hot chocolate.
  30. Flan.
  31. Buying grilled chicken in the street.
  32. Huevos Rancheros from The Pelican in San Agustinillo.
  33. Goat.
  34. Mangos cut to look like flowers (or pine cones), sprinkled with lime, chili powder, and served on a stick.
  35. Tortillas. Corn tortillas.
  36. Enchiladas Verdes.
  37. Tasajo. It's like the offspring of beef jerky and a ribeye. I didn't eat it for the first bit I was here, because of the cafeteria's tasajo's resemblance to shriveled ears. Now it's a highly enjoyable accompaniment to enchiladas or chilaquiles.
  38. Tortas.

There are tons more, but that's as far as I made it. What are your favorites? Can you think of 71 more?


  1. I echo numbers 5, 7 (we're talkin papas here, right?), 12, 13, 18, 19, 24, 35, and, of course, 36.

    Does 14 include vagina-fruit? I forget what that's called :)

    I would add to the list: palomas, papas (if not included in #7), tlayudas, entomatadas, chupa-dedos (those phallic lollipops), beer-mug lollipops (fondly remembering that Teen Wolf once gave me one), fresh avocados, fresh OJ.. I can't wait to be there!!

    Can't wait to share some 36 with ya soon!!

  2. Hungry. So hungry. ........

    Miss you, Margee mou :)