More on my series of installments on the cuisine of Mexico, more specifically to Guadalajara, where I got to spend a few days now in August. You can read my first post here.
I was in Guadalajara on business and my friend and colleague Salvador López Solerssi was not only my trade show and store-check guide, but in many ways my culinary guide as well. I promised him I would include his full name so it would be easy for him to Google himself and find this post without the link…
Salvador was very taken with the fact I write this blog and was super eager to show me all the culinary delicacies Guadalajara has to offer…
We first went to lunch after having walked the trade show a few times over… I was starving!!!! Look at what we had for lunch: Queso Fundido, Guacamole and Chips, Fried Quesadillas and for dessert, Crepas with Cajeta. Everything was excellent, but this was the first time I’ve had Fried Quesadillas or Quesadillas Fritas, as stated in the menu… I had a sampler of these with one filled with strips of jalapeño peppers and cheese, another one with mushrooms and cheese and the last one filled with zucchini blossoms and cheese. Superb!!!! These come like little “pastelillos” of fried, but never greasy, tortilla and the cheese just oozes out of them when you cut them open. My mouth waters just writing about them.
Flor de Calabaza/Zucchini blossoms
Crepas de Cajeta
I don’t have to tell that after that lunch, dinner was pretty much out of the question… I had to take a nap, just like the ones you take after Thanksgiving lunch/dinner. I was full, but happy as a toad.
Another Guadalajaran delicacy is a Torta Ahogada– a sandwich made with shredded pork or beef and dunked in a spicy tomato sauce. I guess this would be considered the Mexican version of a Reuben. The thing… we needed to find a place where we could order a vegetarian version because no one in the street would dare make me a vegetarian torta ahogada. So Salvador took me to a tourist trap… but a super fun one at that, with mariachis and everything. The only place in all Guadalajara I was received with hand sanitizer… typical, to please tourists’ panics.
We ordered a Torta Ahogada with panela cheese and sautéed mushrooms. Salvador prepared the sauce for me… it was tomato based, a bit of the spicy version and lime juice. You then take your sandwich, made in a special salty crusty bread, and you dunk it in the sauce and eat away. I really, really liked it. Maybe because I am a sandwich girl… but the stuff was very, very tasty. Not the stuff you want to order on a date… just so you gals know.
We also ordered Breaded Panela Cheese in a Green Sauce. It was presented in a molcajete, a stone version of a pilón or mortar and pestle. It was delicious too… imagine offering fried breaded cheese to me, the cheese lover. The sauce was a cilantro and tomatillo based broth. You cut a piece and eat it inside a tortilla. How else??
Then, one our way to do more store-checks, Salvador wanted to show me the typical breakfast of Guadalajara – Tacos al Vapor or Steamed Tacos. I saw that the hotel breakfast offered tortillas, refried beans and the like for breakfast… but, I stuck with the fresh fruits, cottage cheese and whole grain toasts, craving the more typical fare from home. But Salvador insisted I needed to try the local version of these tacos filled with mashed potato. They are sold in these street carts and you order as many tacos as you want… you then dress them with a tomato/onion salsa, some “pique” and eat away. They’re light and delicious. Not heavy at all. I ordered only one at first, but had to have another one, because they were so tasty. With a side of freshly squeezed orange juice – I wished the hotel breakfast was this tasty every morning…
That’s Salvador, right there next to the tacos al vapor cart… enjoying his tacos. I want to thank him soooooooo much for embracing my search for great vegetarian Mexican food in Guadalajara. I am certain, than when I return, we will be enjoying more and more delicious food all over town… ¡¡BUEN PROVECHO!!