The typical schedule for eating here has taken some getting used to for me. Before we leave the house in the morning we eat. So around 7 or 7:30 a.m. we have a very hearty breakfast. On the table we have been served fresh fruit, oatmeal, tortillas, or maybe even some pancakes. You can have a light snack around 11 but it’s nothing formal. Then our next big meal is around 3 or 5 in the afternoon. This is “la comida”, the largest meal of the day. But for my American stomach it’s a long wait from breakfast. My housemother and housemates are vegetarian so we have been having wonderful meatless dishes. Sometimes she will make me a separate entrée with meat. These are some of the meals Pilar, our señora, made us:
- Enchilada Minas (Miner’s Enchilada) a very tasty local plato. Corn torillas wrapped around a cheese (or chicken) mixture, this is then topped with a mixture of parboiled potatoes and carrots.
- Chili Rellenos – but not stuffed with cheese like I’m used to, these were stuffed with hamburger (or soy), onions, raisins, and nuts. Very delicious.
- Nopales – sautéed prickly pear cactus pads
- Lentil soups with banana (she swears that it is very common here to add the banana to the lentils)
If you have the time, the meal is very leisurely, easily lasting an hour. You go back to work after la comida, not returning home until around 8.m. So around 9 or 10 p.m. we eat a very light snack. In our house, we often end the day with a fruit smoothie or toast with jam and butter.
There are also many wonderful restaurants here. It is very diverse. You can get Italian, Chinese or even some Japanese Sushi. The most common of course is Mexican but central Mexican, not northern. For example I haven’t even seen burritos listed on a menu since I got here two weeks ago. They just don’t exist. And they don’t have flour tortillas, only corn.
They do love their ice cream here, which I’m okay with. There are ice cream street stands in all the plazas and then little ice cream stores tucked in the side streets. My current favorite is a store that sells fresh fruit popcycles. They have over 50 flavors on their menu. I’m in love with the fresh pineapple one but wouldn’t say no to any of the others.
Not everything I have eaten here has been my favorite but I’m loving trying all the new things.