Moving to a foreign country has its good points and its bad points. And while this is a pretty dumb observation, and is true with just about anything life dishes out (from “waking up in the morning” to “eating a candy bar”), I try to keep this balance in mind, especially if I’m feeling particularly frustrated with my ex-pat life.
Here, in Mexico City, the fine art of food preparation definitely falls into this good/bad, thrilling/frustrating conundrum.
Good: The amazing abundance of perfectly ripe, delicious fruits and vegetables, some of which appear to come from outer space.
Bad: You can’t just sink your teeth into these puppies without first soaking them in water, adding anti-bacterial drops, stirring, and letting them sit for 20 minutes. (We’ve been told we’re a bit overly cautious with this, but I’ve twice had another “bad” food experience with absolutely no “good” counterpart — lengthy, gut-wrenching food poisoning — so I’m not yet ready to dial it back.)
This means that for every meal you make with fresh ingredients (delicious, ripe ingredients), you have to add at least 20 minutes to the time it will take to prepare. You frequently have giant bowls of this sitting on your counter, which is pretty, but a giant hassle, if you’re a Type A personality like me, and just want to get on with it already….
(Waiting to be soaked and devoured: Tomatillos, tomatoes, limes, cilantro and flor de calabaza)