Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

Fruit salad, of sorts

June 8, 2008

We had our first real rain of the rainy season last night and I am looking forward to the thunderstorms to come. The lights only flickered once, so we cannot count this one in the “serious thunderstorm” category. But, I’m ok with that as we were having an impromptu party. (My friend called yesterday at about 6:30 to tell us that the former location of the party we were going to attend needed to be changed and she was nominating our house.)

In the morning, I went to the Abastos market with another friend while we left her 7-month-old baby with Adolfo. We were able to find all kinds of treasures and I got up the nerve to buy my first two guanábanas! I will soon try to make them into guanábana juice. I also purchased some pitayas (which are in season now), several tunas, a papaya and a bunch of baby bananas. (Hopefully, Adolfo will post some photos soon…)

(Also, I’m not going to link to the Wikipedia definition of Pitayas because they’ve got it all wrong. They are confusing two different fruits – here, one is called Pitayas and is the fruit of the Organ Pipe cactus and the other is called Pitahayas and I’ve never seen one in person. Of the second, the name in English is supposed to be Dragon Fruit.)

I’ve also recently re-discovered a cheese that I once had a taste test of, bought it, ate it, and could never find it again. My problem? I was describing the cheese to the cheese lady as “it was a lot like Mozzarella, but wasn’t called Mozzarella.” What was the cheese actually labeled? Cheddar! Of course, it tastes nothing like any cheddar I ever knew. So, if you need a mild, creamy, Mozzarella-like white cheese – ask for Cheddar.

Also, I found (with the brilliant assistance of the party-moving friend) a great bakery. I bought about 8 or 10 cups of croûtons and two small loaves of bread (like for sub sandwiches) for about $3 USD. Sadly, I cannot remember the nifty name of this bakery! I do know where it is located, so not to worry, I’ll be back.

Tapalpa

March 22, 2008

This past week we skipped town with the rest of Guadalajara and headed out into the countryside. More specifically, we spent most of Semana Santa in Tapalpa, Jalisco. During Semana Santa, most of the big cities in Mexico empty and the beaches are packed with all the people from Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Tapalpa is about an hour and a half from Guadalajara and up into the mountains. Tapalpa is known as a place with really good cheese and very large rocks. There are quite a lot of cabins for rent and most people seem to stay outside the town and in cabins in the pine forests. We stayed at the cabin of my friend’s aunt.

The first day we arrived we unpacked the car and then headed into town. By chance we stopped in front of a house with a sign proclaiming “Productos Lacteos”. We entered off the street into the sitting room of the house. The smell of boiling guavas filled the room, we walked through the sitting room, filled with family photos into a small room with a refrigerator and stove opening onto the courtyard. The room was filled with preserves and rompope, and the guavas boiling on the stove. The owner, Carmelita, came through the courtyard to give us the big sell. She showed us the various kinds of cheese she had – queso fresco, panela, aged panela, aged queso fresco. Carmelita told us that she aged the cheeses for more than a month before they were ready to sell.

We were given taste tests of the cheeses and samples of the different flavors of rompope; we smelled the guavas and opened our wallets. We bought fresh and aged cheeses, two different flavors of rompope and peach preserves. I felt like I was operating with great restraint.

After the shopping spree, we wandered around the center of town and checked out the market and the church. We sampled the local specialties, which included tamales de acelga (or chard tamales) covered in cream and queso fresco. Across the street from the woman selling the tamales, there was a family selling churros. So we had desert, too!

I eyed the pots for boiling beans in the market and bought a new wooden spatula. We bought honey from a man loaded down with honeycomb and surrounded by bees. My friend laughed at the people asking the man if the honey was “all natural”.

We relaxed at the cabin and ate good food and played dominos while keeping warm by the fire. On our last day, we returned and left town loaded down with more cheese.

We also went to visit the big rocks, or Piedrotas, which were impressive to some people, but I was more impressed by Carmelita’s. We took her card which reads:
Productos Lacteos
Quesos, Panelas, Pegostes, Conservas, Rompopes, Ponches y Repostería
Carmelita’s Toscano
Hidalgo no. 248, Tel. 43 200 57, Tapalpa, Jalisco.