Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Maltrata experiences: Food

As I mentioned previously, one of my favorite things about Maltrata was living with a family there. Part of that experience was joining the family for meals. Though I've been in Mexico for a year now, I tried a variety of new foods and combinations/preparations during my two weeks. This was partially because I was visiting a different part of Mexico, but more so for living in a family atmosphere as opposed to 1. me cooking in my apartment or 2. eating in a restaurant.

In Maltrata -- and much of Mexico -- breakfast and lunch are the most important meals of the day, with lunch as the largest meal, usually around 2:30 or 3:00. (In Mexico they use the word "comida" for the afternoon meal -- literally "food" or "meal" as opposed to a word for lunch). Most days part of the extended family joined us for breakfast and/or lunch. 

The family acknowledged they enjoyed and often prepared spicy foods -- so sometimes prepared my food without the sauce, chili, etc (though I always at least tried some of the spicy version!). Variations of rice, beans, soup, chicken, beef (and always tortillas!) were common. One of my favorite meals included zucchini stuffed with Oaxaca cheese. One day we had shrimp and crab (tasty! though not quite the same without Old Bay). 

After lunch we usually had coffee. Later on in the evening, family often came over for coffee and pastries / bread. Or if we were hungrier we might have tacos or a sandwich -- but something light compared to the US version of dinner. 

Maltrata is known for avocados and grows various kinds. I enjoyed avocado with various meals -- but my favorite combo was tacos (corn tortilla) with avocado and salt -- yum! They sent me home with a box full of avocados to enjoy back in the DF. One of the "uncles" (if I adopt myself into the family) has multiple trees in his yard, growing avocado, limes, grapefruit, pomegranate, oranges, etc. I helped pick the avocados, including using the hook to cut down the avocados out of reach (hopefully I'll have pictures to share later!).

Also in Maltrata I tried nanches (a small yellow fruit I'm not a big fan of) and jinicuil (it comes in a pod and looks like cotton around the seed, but is very sweet).

pomegranate- picked from the tree in the "uncle's" yard

Jinicuil -- one closed (green) and one opened in two halves.
You eat the white part, avoiding the seed in the center

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