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Thursday, 15 April 2010


Like many cities, the centre of Puebla ("El Centro) comprises sections which specialise in different things. So whether you are after new pair of cowboy boots, a bicycle or seafood to name a few, there will be a street in El Centro dedicated to what you require. One of the most attractive and interesting of these streets is the one devoted to sweets and lollies, including Camotes which are a specialty of Puebla.

Camotes are made from a kind of sweet potato, they come in an array of flavours and colours and are wrapped in a waxy paper. Difficult to describe, their texture is akin to a cross between a jube and a potato and they have a delicate sweet taste.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Pan de Dulce

As much of my love of Mexico and Puebla revolves around food, I will have to be very careful not to put on too much weight while I am here. This task is made all the more difficult though due to pan de dulce (sweet bread or pastries) which are prolific in Mexico. Every home has a pan de dulce shop within walking distance and whenever you wander through the town you pass at least two or three of them.

They can be eaten anytime, but typically as comida (or lunch) is eaten late by Australian terms at about 3pm, cena (or dinner) is also eaten late. Also as comida is a large meal which typically consists of 3 courses, cena is smaller and is often a hot sweet drink like hot chocolate or avena (like a porridge drink) and pan de dulce.

Pan de dulce comes in all shapes and sizes and they are all good. Check out the selection in this shop.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Comida en la Mercado

One of the best places in Mexico to eat comida (or "lunch" which is eaten at about 3pm) is in the local market. The food is delicious, the people friendly, the surroundings colourful and interesting and the price great.

Today we enjoyed chicken soup, Pi Pi An Verde (kind of a chicken curry in a green/sesame sauce), frijoles (beans) and tortillas for approximately $3. We washed it down with a litre of orange juice, freshly squeezed whilst we waited, for $1.50. So for under $5 we ate like kings and waddled away from our market stall between the aisles of fresh fruit, chicken, meat and any kind of dried chilli or frijole you could imagine.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

My Memela Lady

Memelas are one of Mexico's simple pleasures. They are simple, filling, tasty and between the hours of about 11am and 3pm, seem to be being made by a village lady on what seems like every second street corner in Mexico. Luckily for me, this friendly and talented lady sets up her stall at the end of our street everyday.

My favourite Memela comes in its simplest form of a freshly rolled, pressed and tortilla cooked on a hot plate with a little oil and topped with salsa verde (green sauce of green tomatoes, coriander, a little salt and jalapenos), a little diced onion and some crumbed white cheese. Hopefully before I return to Australia I will learn how to grow or obtain the essential green tomatoes for this wonderful salsa and also locate the cheese. If anyone out there already knows, please let me know.

Memelas also come with salsa rojo (red sauce), mushrooms, chicharon (a version of pork cracking), zuccinni flowers and no doubt many other variations.

For some reason, the only people who seem to make memelas are ladies like this one who travel to town from their village to set up their stalls. They are immediately recognisable by their aprons, long hair (often plaited) and hardened finger tips from years of flipping tortillas on the hotplate.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Easter - Semana Santa

Easter or Semana Santa is taken very seriously in Mexico. I was woken yesterday morning to the sounds of singing. The singing was coming from a loud speaker attached to one of the vehicles in a local parade to the church for Good Friday. The previous evening more than 10 blocks had been blocked off to be decorated by metres and metres of coloured wood shavings in the shapes of doves, flowers, crosses and vast areas of colour. That morning, along the coloured streets, lined with hundreds of followers, floats carrying Jesus and the Virgin Mary were accompanied by people dressed as Jesus and other criminals carrying crosses, Herod, wise looking men, soldiers and such. The poor fellows playing Jesus and other prisoners were literally being whipped by the soldiers who were leading them along.