Tuesday, May 31, 2011

La Comida: The Meal, According to Brittan

*Brittan Plante is adventuring in Mexico and runs the most amazing blog. Here she provides a comprehensive guide to host-family eatery in Tehuacan. Thanks Brittan!*

I know you've all been dying to know what I get to eat here in Mexico on a daily basis. Let me show you.

First we have my spot at the table:

This is where I sit every single day for every single meal. It really is my designated spot. If someone is in it when it's my eating time, they must move. And it's obviously not by my orders. It's basically a law and everyone is fully aware. Please note my water bottle. I brought it all the way from Utah to have this awesome experience with me.

Next we have the cereal. Every morning for breakfast I eat a bowl of cereal. Except once I had a tamale and some sort of drink thing. But other than that I have cereal. And then every night, before I go to bed, I have another bowl. I know, Heaven, right?

Azucaradas. A.k.a. Frosted Flakes.

Nesquik. A.k.a. Cocoa Puffs.

Other cereals I have regularly include: Choco Azucaradas. A.k.a. Chocolate Frosted Flakes. And Corn Flakes. No translation necessary.

Don't forget the milk:

Now let me tell you something. This is magic milk. It does not need refrigeration. Well, I know for sure that it doesn't need it before opening. I'm not positive about the after opening part, because it's all in Spanish, but believe me, I've tried to look because I'm obsessed about that sort of thing. Either way, each container is pretty tiny, so even if it does need refrigeration after opening (which we never give it unless I am the one to place it in the fridge, which I do do on occasion), we go through it quickly enough so it probably wouldn't matter. It tastes different than American milk obviously, but it's still good. I like it. But it's always warm with it not being refrigerated and all so I kind of miss cold milk in my cereal. Other than that, super delicious. I like.

Please note the blue bowl. There are exactly five of these bowls in this house, and they are the only bowls allowed to have cereal placed in them. All the other bowls are for other things. The first time I tried to get myself some cereal, I just picked a random plastic bowl and everyone had a little freak out session. "No, no, these bowls (pointing to the above species), these bowls are for cereal. That is for soup."

Ooooh. Got it. I'll remember that next time.

After breakfast comes lunch, as we all know. I am at the school for lunch, so mi madre packs me a little lunch everyday. It's really quite cute. It has a sandwich or two, a drinkable yogurt (I love those things) and sometimes an apple or something. The sandwiches come with a variety of insides. Sometimes it's just cheese (called quesilla or quesillo or something and it's delicious). Sometimes it's cheese with onions and tomatos. Sometimes it's eggs and ham. Sometimes it's this strange crystally jam stuff that is also good. Sometimes it's ham with other items. I never know what to expect. It's like a little present at lunch time when I open my sandwich and see what's inside. I've never had one I didn't like which is fabulous, no?

And it's so cute, because it's always wrapped in a napkin. That's what everyone does here. All the other teachers that get sandwiches packed for them have a napkin around theirs too. And I've seen it on commercials, too. I don't know why, but they just do. It's not like it's just a napkin, either. They put it in a plastic bag, but first is the napkin. Adorable.

Side note: There is one teacher who always gets hotdogs on bread and she hates hotdogs. It's hilarious.

In between classes I come home for another meal. I guess we could call it dinner since it's at like 4 and it's the last big thing I eat for the day. This is where the legitimate, homemade Mexican food comes in.

You may have seen some common themes, but in case you didn't, let me point them out to you.

1. Did you notice the green, slimy looking stuff? It's called nopalis, a.k.a. cactus, and I find it to be delicious. I don't know why, because really, it's green and slimy. The other teachers hate it. But I like it. Lucky me.

2. If you see nopalis, then there will almost always be beans nearby. They basically go hand in hand into a tortilla.

3. Speaking of tortillas, they are served with every single meal. Just trust that if they were not in the picture, they were nearby and I was about to be handed a stack. They are basically used as a utensil. You have your spoon, but really, it's unnecessary because you have your tortilla to put your food into and then you eat the whole thing and it's just great. I didn't realize this in the beginning, so I would eat my food with my spoon and then eat a tortilla along side it. They thought I was weird and that I didn't really like tortillas or something. So I've slightly adapted, but I still eat like an American, and they have accepted my strange ways. They still give me tortillas even though I basically disgrace them.

4. Did you see that salad in a couple of pictures? We eat that almost everyday as well. It has basicallly everything you can possibly think of including, but most definitely not limited to: lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, meats of some sorts, sunflower seeds, cheeses, nuts of all kinds, corn, green beans, etc. It's really quite delicious.

5. And then there is the bowl of soup. With almost every meal comes a little bowl of some sort of soup. It always has a red color to it, but it doesn't always taste the same. It is always good however, so it doesn't really matter. And just a note, you must always finish all the broth. And they give you a lot of broth. I don't know why, it's just what you do. (When I say broth, I am meaning oily water that is flavored. But I'm fine with it because it's really not bad. )

6. They also squirt lime onto everything. I love the smell, but I have discovered I hate the taste. So I just don't squirt lime onto anything of mine and it's just fine. However, I do like the lime and suger in water drink we have. That's good. Plus it's cold, which I like.

My favorite thing we have eaten thus far:

Now. I have been lucky. I have liked nearly everything I have been fed. Okay, I guess it's not luck, because really, I'm not even picky, so I basically like everything. And if I don't absolutely love it/like it, then it's at least edible and I don't have a prob. However, yesterday I was fed something that I really could not handle, and I had to stop eating it:

It's sheep in some sort of broth stuff. It was just the worst-tasting thing I have ever voluntarily put into my mouth. I tried and tried to just deal with it, so you should be proud that I full on ate four whole pieces of sheep before I had to stop.

So guess what I had to do. I had to pull the "Too Spicy" move. They told us about it in training. They said, "The mothers over there are really worried about the food being too spicy for you Americans so if you don't like something, just tell them it's too spicy and they will understand."

But guess what. Nothing I have eaten here has been spicy. I'm quite surprised. I thought everything was supposed to be spicy, but it's false. Well, LUCKILY for me, this truly was spicy. It was the spiciest thing I have eaten since being here, and it was actually the first thing I noticed in that first bite. Even Elvira said it was very spicy. So I said, "I'm sorry. It's too spicy, I can't finish it." And they were like, "Oh yes, that's fine, here let me take that from you." Not in those words, but you know what I mean.

I lied. But it was 100% necessary if I did not want to vomit.

As for the drinks, there is a lot of this going on around here:

That's right. Apple soda.

Everyone drinks it. It's delicious, that's why.

Thus is my life in food.


Post a Comment