In the land of carnivores

One of my biggest fears coming to Mexico this time around was being around my all time favorite foods and having to pass them up! Tacos de carne asada, tacos de tripa, tortas ahogadas de carne, buche, lonche de jamon, pozole, “dogos”, birria, carnitas, tostadas de pollo, wings…..to name a few! Can i do it? Yeah, i think so….was it going to be tough? Ooh yes!

Today was first day in Mexico…it wasn’t too bad.

I started off my day by going to the local “mercado” and purchased a freshly squeezed carrot, orange and green juice.

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I satisfied my craving with TWO corn tamales…so yummy!

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As a snack I had pineapple and cucumber.

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For lunch, a meatless “torta” with quezo fresco, aguacate, cebolla….etc.

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I even made my favorite, guacamole!

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My grandmother (my cooking inspiration) gave me this book…

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She promised to pass on some of her famous vegetarian recipes.

First day down, a few more to go!

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Weekend Hike

In Northern California and in the Santa Cruz County, I am surrounded by some of California’s utmost beauties. Perfect weather, with a beach breeze, I try to take full advantage of this Central Coast’s nature by going on bike rides, beach runs, and hikes!

On sunday, I along with some family members decided to try a new hike…we came across, Forest of Nisene Marks State Parks, one of the largest state parks in Central California, and also, a few miles away from home. 2,3,4  mile hike? Ok! We decided to give it a shot.

We arrived at the park around 11am, paid a parking fee of $8, gathered our hiking gear and off we went. Boy, were we in for a hike! Surrounded by trees, dirt, green, hikers, we were all in for an adventure…first hike we came across, West Ridge Trail, a six-mile hike. We all agreed we’d give it a shot, if we got too tired we’d easily,go back!

As we began our hike at approximately 11:30am, time quickly passed… sure enough, it was 1pm so we decided to take a break and have a snack.

We continued with our hike for another hour before we decided it was time to finish the hike….when we wanted to complete it, we realized that we’d completed the six-mile hike but no exit was nearby. We came across a fellow hiker, he said, “keep going, you’re almost there…3 miles more”. We all agreed and continued. I am not sure if we were given inaccurate estimations or if we simply, missed the exit, got lost? But we finally came to the end of the hike at around 4:30pm. Coming across a sign listing the different trails, we estimated our hike to be more than 8 miles long.

I’m sure the others would agree when I say, it was one of the longest and most exhausting hikes I’d ever completed.

In the end, it was also one of the most rewarding. I loved the scenery! We came across it all, banana slugs, poison oak, a swarm of bees :p I recommend the park to anyone interested in taking a hike, whether it be a mile long or eight miles, it’s a great place to get a workout in! My next goal is to try mountain biking!

Anyone interested in visiting the park, visit http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=666

They describe the parks as the following:

With over 30 miles of trails, hiking, jogging and biking are some of the activities to be enjoyed here. Picnic tables and barbecue pits are available. A trail camp is located six miles from the nearest parking lot.

CHAMORRO

Year after year, coming to Mexico, I find myself eating foods I have never eaten before. It’s as if the Mexican Menu is never-ending. Every state has different foods, drinks, and snacks to offer…  If you currently live in the United States, never have travelled to Mexico (border doesn’t count) and your favorite food is Mexican, you have yet to experience real Mexican food! If your favorite food is already Mexican, once you try Mexican food from down south it will go from being your favorite food to your new obsession.

I always wonder and ask myself how a Mexican person could be a Vegetarian or Vegan…. I like my greens, veggies and fruits but staying away from meats, in my eyes, is impossible (although I know many can do it).

Whenever we come to Mexico, first thing on our minds are… Tacos! Yuummm….. Tacos in Jalisco taste NOTHING like tacos anywhere else (at least from my experience). Aside from tacos from the streets, Birria, Pozole, Micheladas, Vampiros, Camotes del cerro, Tostadas, Papas, Ceviche, Camarones a la diabla…These are just some of the DELICIOUS options Mexico has to offer.

So after coming year after year and experiencing something new every single time…This past weekend, I, along with my extended family went to “Casa Club” to have lunch. My grandfather owns partnership at a social club that hosts events and in this case lunches for the other partners and their relatives. We all sat along the round table, chatted, while the servers placed these big plates (as the main course) wrapped in foil. I had never seen such a thing… I seemed to be the only one confused (nothing new) and while everyone began to unwrap and season their plates I asked, ”what is this?” Grandmother sitting besides me explained that it was “Chamorro”. In other words, cooked pork legs.

I am a very picky person when it comes to many things but food is not one of them. I love food and I am very open to variety, from all places, cooked, raw, with utensils and without, spicy, dry…you name it, I’ll try it. At least once!

In this case, I unwrapped the meat, seasoned it, and ate it… It was delicious! My grandmother said, “It’s very much like birria” (a common Mexican dish). I think it was better than birria…It was juicy, tasty and soft in texture. Thank you Grandfather for introducing me to yet another tasty dish.

After just a few days living in Mexico, I was introduced to one dish; I can’t imagine what else I will be introduced to in the months to come. Whatever it is, bring it on because I am one girl who will be more than willing to give it a shot…even if it’s just once!

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Año tras año, de visita en México, me encuentro probando algo nuevo.  Es como si el menú de los Mexicanos fuera eterno. Cada estado en México tiene diferentes platillos, diferentes botanas y bebidas que ofrecer. Si vives en los Estados Unidos y nunca has visitado México (la frontera no cuenta) y tu comida favorita es la mexicana aun no has probado la verdadera comida mexicana! Si ya consideras que la comida mexicana es tu favorita, necesitas probar la verdadera sazón mexicana para que se convierta en tu nueva obsesión.

Me pregunto que cómo es que una persona mexicana puede ser Vegetariana o “Vegan”…Aunque a mí me encanta la fruta y la verdura, no podría vivir sin comer carne,  para mí el dejar de comer carne sería una misión imposible (aunque sé que muchos lo han logrado).

Cada vez que estamos de vacaciones en México, lo primero en lo que pensamos es en…comer tacos! Yuuummm….. Los tacos jaliscienses son los mejores y no se parecen en sabor a los tacos de otros lugares (Por lo menos así lo considero yo). Además de tacos, hay birria, pozole, micheladas, vampiros, camotes del cerro, tostadas, papas, ceviche, camarones a la diabla… por nombrar algunos de los antojitos DELICIOSOS que México ofrece.

Así que después de visitar año tras año y de tener la oportunidad de probar algo nuevo…Esta semana pasada acompañé a mis familiares a comer a la “Casa Club”. Mi abuelito pertenece a un club social en el que se organizan eventos y se ofrecen comidas de vez en cuando. Los socios del club social invitan a sus amigos y familiares más cercanos. Así que mientras platicábamos amenamente en una mesa redonda, nos sirvieron comida en unos platos grandes cubiertos con papel aluminio. Créanme que nunca había visto un platillo como éste…pero tal parecía que yo era la única que no sabía lo que era (nada fuera de lo normal) y mientras todos empezaron a desenvolver y a sazonar sus platillos, pregunté que qué era. Mi abuelita quien estaba sentada a un lado me explicó que era “Chamorro” o pierna de puerco.

Aunque me considero una persona delicada, mi delicadez no aplica cuando se trata de comida.  Me encanta comer y me gusta probar de todo, me gusta tanto la comida cocinada como la cruda, me gusta usar utensilios o comer con las manos si es necesario, me gusta la comida enchilosa tanto como la comida seca, ustedes la nombran y yo la pruebo.  Aunque sea una sola vez!

En este caso, desenvolví el platillo, le agregué los condimentos y me lo comí…Estaba delicioso! My abuelita dijo, “Es parecido a la birria” (un platillo muy común en nuestra tierra). A mí se me hizo mejor que la birria… la carne estaba jugosa, sabrosa y muy suavecita. Gracias abuelito por haberme invitado ya que pude probar otro platillo delicioso!

Después de unos pocos días en México, probé una comida nueva y no puedo imaginarme que otros platillos voy a probar en los meses que vienen. Lo que sea, estoy lista! Soy una persona que está dispuesta a probar de todo…aunque sea una vez!