A few weeks ago I had to visit Guadalajara on business. It had been over 15 years since I had last set foot on Mexico. Having said that, I was not yet a vegetarian at the time, so I was a bit preoccupied with my meal choices once I would arrive…
I ate sooooooo wonderfully and deliciously there… I am telling you I was left wanting more. Many of the typical dishes in Mexico are very vegetable-centric, but in their typical preparation, they use lard and stuff that we need to be aware and try to avoid as much as we can. And, in the event that we place something in our mouths that have been ages since we last tasted it… don’t fret about it. Just try to get it out of your mouth or swallow it…. What the heck!!! That’s what fasting and detoxifying diets are here for.
Let’s start by my afternoon in Tlaquepaque, a section of Guadalajara dedicated to crafts from the region… I met in a tour bus my friend Ana, from Puebla. She was spending a few days in Guadalajara with her friends too. Because she’s a local, when we got hungry, she directed me to the “kioskos” in the Tlaquepaque Plaza de Mercado. There, you can find many stands serving very typical food, as eaten by the locals. This is as far of a tourist-trap as you can get…
We ate at El Almuerzo Feliz and ordered the Chiles Rellenos with Cotija Cheese. It comes with a sauce that had chicken broth, so I ordered it dry. I ate it with a tomato salad and freshly made tortillas. The woman there was making tortillas right on front of us. She never stopped, while we were there, making tortillas not even for a second. She was amazing. I asked, and the tortillas were made with vegetable shortening… They sure did not taste like lard, or what I remember lard used to taste like. The chile poblano was delicious… and not spicy at all. This is when I started learning that my heat/spiciness threshold is much wider than before.
After wards, we took a stroll thru the plaza. It was so colorful… the red tomatoes, the beautiful tomatillos, the pitahayas… and the “tunas” . This is the fruit of the cactus plant. Certainly a fruit I have heard of, but never ever tasted before. It is super sweet with kind of big seeds inside, similar to a guava. Just ignore the seeds, chew the fruit a bit and swallow. They’re eaten best super cold from the fridge, I was told… these are sold all over town in fruit stands by the road side. I was lucky enough to buy them a few times to enjoy.
Then we were on to the Mexican candy store… funny that I was visiting Guadalajara for a confectioners’ trade show, yet I was buying typical candy at a store outside. I got to try a few local delicacies, as recommended by my new friend Ana:
- Arrayán– very similar to the tamarind balls I have mentioned to you before, but the seed inside is very little.
- Amaranto – this is very similar to sesame seed candy, but lighter. They say it has many health benefits. I must check them out.
- Guava Paste – it looks like regular guava paste… but this is Mexican guava paste, so it’s not sweet as it is spicy. Not a lot, but it gets you in the back of the throat when you take that first bite and expect super sweetness and can’t get it immediately.
- Glorias – a goat’s milk candy… really good.
This is It for now… I’ll keep you posted on my Mexican eating adventures soon enough…