Now, after having my friends Ana and Salvador guide me through the culinary delicacies of Guadalajara, I felt confident enough to break out on my own. I mean, I speak the language indeed, but there are many things to learn about the Mexican ingredients I am totally new to…
When you think about concession stands at a trade show, you really do not think about great tasty food. Well, not at ConfitExpo. One of the things I learned about was nopales. I had seen them in Mexican restaurant menus, but really never tried them.
One of the lunches I had while at the trade show was a Taquiza of Rajitas de Nopales y Maiz Tierno. Basically, 4 tacos with a concoction of nopales strips with sweet corn and pieces of cheese. The nopales/corn stew was a bit spicy, but nothing I could not handle. I am sure there were some jalapeños cooked in there too. You get these 4 tacos on a plate and then you direct yourself to the fixins bar to dress them with your choice of lettuce, tomato, onions, parsley, shredded cheese, lime wedges, salsas and cream. The Mexican cream is not as sour as our sour cream… very tasty and delicious.
These tacos were awesome!!! Creamy, a bit spicy, some sweetness from the corn… really nice. I wish my stomach was larger so I could have eaten some more. My only problem… it showed I was a tourist because the sauce from the tacos kept spilling out and I made a mess… the waiter helping in my section told me that I needed to visit Mexico more often to get a better hang of how to eat a taco properly. I was so embarrassed by the mess I made in my table!!! I used up almost all the napkins on the holder in front of me… I am sure I was a spectacle. But the tacos were so good, I did not care in the end.
I had to drink an agua fresca… they were made of lime/limón, Jamaica or rice horchata. I had tasted lime/limón before, but the Jamaica was new to me. It’s what’s called hibiscus flower. I had seen the flowers at a stand that morning and they look like dried, wilted rose petals for potpourri. I wished I had known I would like it so much, I would have photographed them. Well, for next time. Super refreshing – perfect to offset the slight spiciness of the tacos.
Another afternoon I dared to venture by myself to the Mercado de San Juan de Dios to see if I could find some silver jewelry. But I can’t shop properly on an empty stomach, so I decided to go to the kioskos to eat something… here I visited the stand of this nice lady, Marisol, who prepared me another Chile Poblano Relleno de Queso. This time was another cheese I forgot to write down and this time I ate with a tomato sauce with nopales strips cooked in the sauce. She assured me the sauce did not have any chicken or beef broth and that she cleaned the poblanos very well so they were not spicy until you get close to the stem part. Of course, she mace the tortillas on the spot, to order. She was super interested in me being vegetarian, so she sat next to me and talk while we both ate her delicious food. I drank an horchata made with rice and cinnamon. All this cost me about $3USD – Amazing food, extremely delicious and dirt cheap.
When I got back from my trip I was still craving Mexican food, but I do not dare try the food here in PR, because I know I will be disappointed if I eat it right away. It’ll never be as authentic as the food I had in Guadalajara. I can’t wait until my next trip there… if our business is successful, I may have to return in the near future. I am very much looking forward to tasting more and more authentic Mexican, and still vegetarian, fare… ¡¡DELICIOSO – VIVA MEXICO!!