On Saturday I joined a friend for lunch, with ingredients brought from his hometown in the state of Veracruz. The base was a totopo (similar to a tortilla but baked; typical in Oaxaca), with beans, Oaxaca cheese and chinameca meat on top (peppers are optional). Chinameca is pork marinated in achiote (an organge-red dye obtained from the seed coat of a tropical fruit; used for coloring foods; "annato" in English) and then dried and smoked. It is cooked in a frying pan with a little bit of oil before it is served.
|totopo with beans, Oaxacan cheese and Chinameca|
Saturday night I went dancing at a Cuban salsa place. It was a bit strange to see the normal Cuban-themed decor mixed with Mexican decorations from Independence Day.
On Sunday I joined a classmate at a gathering of family and friends. I helped prepare the chiles en nogada -- made both with the traditional chile poblana as well as others with chile ancho. I had to leave for a bit for choir rehearsal, but went back after to enjoy the chiles they saved for me (one of each) and they were delicious! My classmate and some of his family members play a style of music called son jarocho, which is from the state of Veracruz. I caught the end of their jam session and even sang along to "El Cascabel," which I sing with the choir. They play guitar-like instruments called jarana jarocho and requinta jarocho. Another instrument is a wooden box that you sit on to play the metal prongs (sorry, not sure how to describe it better!). And finally there's a percussion instrument called quijada, which is made from the jaw bone of a donkey or horse. You strike the large end of the jaw with the palm to make the teeth rattle and/or scrape along the teeth with a stick.
Overall, a great food and music-filled weekend!