Slow Food Mexico
is part of the larger, international organization Slow Food, which supports organic, sustainable eating around the world. Yesterday one of the Mexico chapters sponsored a gourmet food fair in Coyoacán.
Local restaurants and small-business owners from all over the country had set up dozens of items under a white tent: artisan mescal, Mexican wine, Querétaro and Jalisco cheeses, tamales with various fillings, fruit jams, dried and candied xoconostle
, heirloom beans, seeds, fresh fish from Michoacán. I wanted to eat it all, ALL ALL. But I settled for 60 pesos (about $4 USD) to taste three dishes. My friend Emily did the same, and we decided to share. First up were the tamales, made by
Chef Adriana of Cafe El Popular
in the Centro. The filling contained quelites, a dark, hearty leaf; nata and requesón, a type of mellow Mexican ricotta. It was served with a little olla of salsa. I took a picture before I got to the quelites, because I was too hungry to wait.
Then we tried a strawberry tamale, which had strawberries mixed directly into the masa, and a few bits of gooey strawberry pulp. Yum.
We tried trout from D.O.,
an upscale Mexico City restaurant. It came with a citrus syrup dotted with orange rind, a toss of pepitas, and a scoop of lentil-wild rice salad. Utterly divine.
Then there was the decadent gut-bomb, in a good way, of a turkey tamale wrapped in hoja santa leaves,
doused in tomato sauce and topped with a dollop of nata. God. Can you imagine? It tasted as rich as it looked. I loved the idea of serving it in a cornhusk. Update:
Ruth of Alegria in Mexico
says these were made by Gerardo Vazques Lugo of Nico's restaurant.
He's also the Chapultepec Slow Food convivium leader, and one of the Sunday event's main organizers, along with Alicia Gironella De'Angeli
of El Tajin.
We also tried a wonderful selection of cotija cheeses, aged and crumbly, each sitting in its own little pool of marmalade. (The pineapple marmalade speckled with vanilla bean outshined them all, and I wanted to spoon it into my purse and take it home with me.) In another aisle, a soon-to-open Condesa bakery called Acento had set up a basket brimming with concha rolls, muffins and chocolate croissants. I watched two people in a row walk by, gaze at the bread and murmur, "Qué bárbaro. Qué delicia!" Bought a chocolate concha, and it was fine. A little dry. (I'm sticking to my belief that conchas must be tried within an hour or two of baking.)
At the end of the day, I came away with a package of fresh trout, a jar of tecojote marmalade from Michoacán, a bag of heirloom pinto beans, and my favorite, a lead-free clay bean pot, which I bought after being inspired by this refried beans post on Mexico Cooks.
I'm in love with my new pot, which is now sitting on top of my kitchen cabinets. It's round and chubby and so cute. I plan to make some beans on Saturday, so I'll definitely have to take a few pictures and show you. Update:
Forgot to mention that the beans and bean pot came from Xoxoc,
a husband-and-wife team based in Hidalgo state that make wonderful xoconostle products,
and also seek out small-batch bean producers in Mexico. They've provided beans to Rancho Gordo,
the well-known heirloom bean producer in Napa, California. (Check out the New York Times article on Rancho Gordo here.