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ruthless compassion
01 October 2003 @ 08:21 am
food  
I've had a request to talk about the food here, so, here goes:

The food here is not exciting, for the most part. With my family, breakfast and dinner are beans and eggs, beans and eggs. Some days, for variety, we have eggs and beans. Fortunately for me, the beans of choice are black beans, which are probably the only variety of beans that I could eat every day without going batty. A couple of weeks into being here, I asked my host mom to start giving me fruit for breakfast, and I bought some yogurt, and I think that's done my digestive tract wonders, so I get the eggs and beans at night, but not for breakfast.

Lunch is the big meal of the day, and usually includes a fair amount of starch, like potatoes and corn (the corn here is a dry, starchy variety) and squash, or a noodle soup and some of the above. Occassionally, we have liver and onions (NOT my favorite, although at least the liver isn't the texture of leather, which much of the other meat is), or a chicken stewy thing that's very tasty. Meals with chicken are far and away my favorites. The corn, too, while a bit dry, is typically eaten with lime and salt, and WOW is that yummy. You can buy grilled corn on the street and they'll give you some lime and salt for it. Tasty, tasty.

Every meal is served with either tortillas or tamalitos. The tortillas may be white, yellow or blue corn. When they're good, they're better than anything you can get in the US, and when they're bad, they're worse than anything you can get in the US.

Salt is usually on the table in a bowl, and people reach in to take a pinch for their food. Sometimes people lick their fingers and just take some salt to eat alone. There's always picante sauce for meals, and sometimes it makes all the difference.

Food here is fairly salty, beverages are taken very sweet (coffee, tea, etc) and there's a lot of bread but mostly sweet breads or muffins.

When I move out of the house at the end of this week, I'll get to start cooking for myself, which will be something of an adventure because I tend, at home, to make a lot of microwavable foods, and/or baked foods like bread or lasagna, and here, very few places have ovens. Also, handling the food is, or can be, tricky because it's really important to cook it thoroughly or wash it really well, of course.