I'd originally planned to write this detailed, year-end blog post full of mouthwatering food photos. But then in December, Eat Mexico started booking lots of tours, and I got a few freelance assignments and didn't have much time to blog. I really only came up for air a few days ago. So I wanted to tell you: I'm so, so grateful to each of you for reading. And honored that you keep commenting. (Really -- the Tlacolula comments made my entire week.) I'm just really glad that I have this space and that you're a part of it. I hope you have a fantastic 2011, full of peace and good food. Here is one mouth-watering photo, just to start the year off right. It's a tlacoyo and a quesadilla de quelite (edible Mexican greens), from a street food stand off Rio Lerma. Abrazos from el DF!
The chocolates at Que Bo!, a shop in my neighborhood, are almost too pretty to eat. They look like marbles, almost. One bite and it's over. You want to eat all of them at one sitting, preferably with a big glass of wine. Que Bo had a booth at the Chocolate Experience, and I happened to see the store on my way home from the supermarket today. I bought a slice of chocolate-dipped, chilied mango (how could I not?), and horchata, jamaica, mole, green tea and goat cheese chocolates. (I saved the saffron and red-wine flavors for next time.) They also sell gigantic brownies and chocolate cakes. Since, you know, my glass of vino was already out, I went ahead and ate the horchata one while I was typing this. Creamy, sweet... mmmmm. She is officially blissful.
This was my biggest question before I moved here. So far, it's been cheaper than Dallas, but not "we can live like kings!" cheap. (Because, um, only one of us has a steady income.) A quick run-down of stuff I've bought recently, using about 14 pesos to $1 USD: Groceries: Box of cereal $2 to $3; 1 lb. chicken breasts, less than $3; gruyere cheese, $6... that was a moment of weakness, I'm sticking to Mexican varieties in the future. Coffee: At a nice cafe, less than $2 for a cappuccino. Same place charged $3 for a veggie sandwich. Beer: Around $2.50 at a trendy cafe in our neighborhood. A giant torta spilling with grilled meat: About $1.50 in Condesa. Gym: Double what you'd pay in the U.S. Taxis: My fetish-taxista ride cost less than $8 and it took about 30 minutes. (Not including the foot massage.) Big bottle of water at the convenience store: Less than $1 Rent: Can't really gauge this yet, but the neighborhood we're looking at, Condesa, seems at least $200 and $300 cheaper than what you'd pay in Dallas. (Which is also pretty reasonable, as far as big American cities go.) Other places in Condesa are way out of our price range. In Polanco, where we're staying now, I think we're pretty much priced out for what we want. On that note, our apartment search continues. Today we've officially been in Mexico City one week.
My current favorite morning/afternoon/whenever snack in Mexico City: Hot bisquets with butter and jam. They're pronounced like "bis-KET" and they don't really taste like biscuits at all. They're dense and sweet, slightly crisp on the outside, and made with either white or wheat flour. They pretty much blow bland English muffins out of the water. Here are the ones I got at The Break, a coffee shop near my house. (If anyone's wondering, "wireless Internet" is the same in English and Spanish.)
Went with my friend Joy yesterday to The Chocolate Experience, a trade show extolling the magic of chocolate. We got free candy bars (Cadbury Fruit & Nut!) and free chocolate milk from Hershey's. We gazed at clothes fashioned out of chocolate by Mexican fashion students, and chocolate paintings. A giant chocolate-covered strawberry walked around, and so did his cousin, a chocolate bar. I also bought some kick-ass chocolate marzipan from Oaxaca, made with peanuts instead of almonds. On our way out, walking to the restroom, we spied the strawberry in a far corner, his back turned. A girl kneeled in front of him. What the...? Tawdry behavior at the chocolate show? No me digas! Just when I was about yell at Joy, "Avert your eyes!", I realized the girl was only fixing his COSTUME. We laughed about it and got pictures with the strawberry on our way out.
Lime-flavored mayonnaise! Pre-cut jicama! Perfect for salads. Or snacking. Or whatever. They also had huge, tube-shaped purple radishes; bags of pre-cut, shredded beets; dried papaya cubes dusted in chili powder (and dried apricots prepared the same way). I wanted to get all that but didn't. Our fridge is only so big. Surprisingly, a lot of the products were in English. The cereal aisle was pure General Mills.