I created this little altar (ofrenda) from some of the stuff I’ve been buying these past few weeks.
In the center is pan de muertos — a delicious, lemon-infused pastry doused with sugar. The top of each pan has a design that looks a bit like a skeletal spider. They are for sale all over the place right now. If you’re a bit shy of trying new “ethnic” foods, it’s a good one to try — it’s a simple pastry. Just make sure to get fresh ones.
If you didn’t like pan de muertos, but were craving pastries (who doesn’t crave pastries??), you’d be out of luck in a lot of bakeries and grocery stores right now. It’s basically one of the few things for sale.
Which brings me to my point: When you go grocery shopping in Mexico City, or when you eat out at a restaurant, you’re often treated to a whole new way of eating, and you have to be ready for anything.
Last night, for example, we ate at a restaurant that served their little tiny pastor tacos in corn tortillas, with shredded radishes, onions and hot thin slices of pineapple. That’s right — hot thin slices of pineapple. How was it? Incredible! Once you’ve had it, you wonder why wasn’t it always served with grilled pineapple.
And, right now, I’m drinking “flavored” diet water — there are more flavors of diet water than you could possibly imagine. This bottle, at first glance, looks like lemon-lime flavored water. But once I took a sip, I thought “is that cucumber?” and I checked the label more closely and spotted the tiny cucumber slice.
How does it taste? Also incredible. Brendan and I also have become big fans of jamaica (hibiscus) flavored water and tea. Who knew that hibiscus — which grows all over the place in tropical areas — was so delicious?