Friday, February 13, 2009

Oaxaca: Impressions

I met a young Japanese couple at breakfast this morning. They own a restaurant in Tokyo and she came here to do a cookery course. I've been snacking rather than eating since I arrived so am looking forward to trying out some proper local nosh tonight.

I bought some quesillo in the market and drank some tejate which sparked a coughing fit. According to this recipe it has ash in it.

Am yet to feel brave enough to tackle the chapulines (crispy little red grasshoppers).

They put chile on most things here. I bought some coconut strips in the market this morning which came with lemon juice, powdered chile and Valentina (basically more chile). They even serve chile flavoured helados (you can have a cone with that and a ball of tuna-flavoured ice-cream!) and the nuts they serve with the beers are sprinkled in chile grains too. My lips hurt.

Nice to have a bigger selection of cervezas again. Gallo kind of disagrees with me and Brahva is nice and all, but after eight months of near exclusivity it begins to taste a bit like Piss One Chango. Here my favourites are Bohemia and Victoria. XX is OK too.

The handcrafts are a bit disappointing. I suppose that living where I do I'm bound to be a bit spoiled in this respect. In fact a significant proportion of the típicos appear to have been imported from Guatemala.

Hadn't seen any street dogs or tuctucs in the centre but today as we ascended to Monte Albán through hills on which ugly domestic buildings have been strewn like litter, they both started to appear in abundance. Tuctucs are called 'moto taxis' here. I wonder what the local term is for chucho?

There are three well stocked bookshops of a serious nature but I'm yet to locate a copy of 2666. Sadly it seems that its author's reputation has soared a bit higher in the anglophone world. And to be honest these places stock far too much Paolo Coelho codswallop and CD compilations of ethno-lift music. And this a university town....

1 comment:

scott said...

Fascinating. Keep it coming--and more on the food. I assume you're getting pictures?