Tuesday, March 06, 2012

You never know what you'll find...

...in Mexico City. Like the Pasterlería Ideal, known not only for its pastries but also its enormous wedding cakes:


The upstairs of the bakery is entirely devoted to wedding and other celebratory cakes.



This sucker was HUGE.



Want a clown cake?



Or how about 10 kilograms of sweet dolly love, aka Bride of Chucky?



I thought this one was quite pretty! If you want to see more of their famous cakes, visit their online gallery.


If the cakes were too much for you, there's always beer..


I like it dark. Negra Modelo!



Mexico City is a bit of a foodie paradise. I enjoyed my shrimps in lime sauce.


 

Gordon had shrimps in a chipotle sauce with nice helping of black beans and guacamole.

On another day, there were enchiladas...




...and blue corn tortillas with avocado and huitlacoche! What is huitlacoche? Yep, a pathogenic plant fungus that infects corn, aka corn smut. Where I live, farmers don't wanna see it on their crops but in Mexico, they turned it into a delicacy.

 And ya know what? I liked it so much, I had it twice on my trip. It makes for a very black tortilla filling, but to me it tasted like earthy mushroom!

Here's a hilarious blog post on this Mexican treat.

Don't tell my hens, but Mexicans also eat a lot of POLLO, aka chicken...



And what snack is the red-haired lady holding in the styrofoam cup?


Chicken feet. With the claws removed! Yeah, I'll pass on that one.

But not on this..


Strawberry cheesecake.

 

Gordon had a cappuccino with his. 


Lots of things go on in Mexico City...

 

Like the Cat in the Hat standing on a street corner. There were cartoon characters all over the place, including Batman and a very sexy Catwoman. People pay to have their photos taken with them.



Our very own Canadian Scotiabank was everywhere. When my mother was pregnant with me, she worked as a teller at Scotiabank, then known as the Bank of Nova Scotia.



Here's a shot of the Zocalo (main square) and presidential palace (the president lives elsewhere these days) from the rooftop restaurant where we had our cheesecake.


I think the only thing worse than driving in Mexico City would be hauling around passengers in a pedicab!


It's always nice to be serenaded!


And on the way to the bus station, we found an entire store devoted to drinking chocolate. Why can't we have these in Canada?



This machine grinds up the cacao beans.


And here's Gordon waiting for our order of chocolate caliente: hot chocolate! With a little cinnamon. Yum.


We'll be moving onto Oaxaca soon, where I sampled these:


Chapulines aka grasshoppers. Ugh.


Gordon chowing down on a forkful of insect. I tried a few myself and didn't vomit, but I couldn't get past the fact that I was basically eating the food of choice of our pet leopard gecko. I once had a chocolate-covered cricket and it was marginally better. Marginally. I think chapulines are one of those things you have to grow up eating in order to truly appreciate their, er, unique flavour. Like seal flipper pie (which I will never try!)

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about chapulines

After being thoroughly cleaned and washed, they are toasted on a comal (clay cooking surface) with garlic, lime juice and salt containing extract of agave worms, lending a sour-spicy-salty taste to the finished product.

Yup, agave worms. Because what's an insect snack without a little added.... insect?

Beer really helps wash these suckers down.

I think I'll just stick with corn smut....
More to come on Mexico!

28 comments:

  1. Had me hooked at the chocolate store...lost me at the lizard food!!
    Jane x

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    Replies
    1. Just stay in the chocolate store (and the bakery!) and you'll be fine! :)

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  2. Wow what a lot of nice pictures and so much exciting food! I have never seen such incredible pastries before. Thank you for sharing.

    Hugs
    Elna

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    Replies
    1. Mexicans love food, and they do food well. It's always an adventure eating there!

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  3. I'm thoroughly enjoying the food-related adventures you're sharing with us. The enchiladas and tortillas look inviting. Alas, I only have boring ravioli to eat for lunch.

    I learned about corn smut as a Mexican delicacy on BIZARRE FOODS WITH ANDREW ZIMMERN, and I was intruiged. Unfortunately, when I found some smut growing on a friend's corn plant last summer, I couldn't muster up the courage to cook it and eat it.

    Can you describe the flavor of grasshopper in more detail? I'm curious.

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    1. I wasn't really keen on eating grasshopper, but I didn't want to wimp out and not try a Oaxacan delicacy! I thought they were okay. I mainly tasted the garlic, chili and lime they were cooked with. The texture was softer than I expected; I thought they'd be crunchier. I thought I detected a slightly fishy taste. Gordon and Andrew thought they'd be good bar snacks, and said they'd eat them if someone put out a plate, but wouldn't bother ordering them otherwise!

      You might like this article:
      http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/youngandhungry/2011/06/29/poder-de-chapulines-how-grasshopper-tacos-can-save-the-world/

      I thought the smut was good and mushroomy, with some corn taste. The second tortilla I had was really messy and I was dripping black liquid all over the place. :)

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  4. I liked the cakes. Those look good to me. We will leave the insects to you and your geiko. I just don't think I could do that. Take care.

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    Replies
    1. Marg, I can't say I'm in a rush to eat more grasshoppers. :) More pastry, YES!!

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  5. First weeding cake...extremely ornate!!!Wow! Great shots of food and more food.

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  6. And there's more food coming! :)

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  7. How fun! Food, travel, cats, dogs, ducks - must sign up to follow as well!

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    Replies
    1. Welcome Susan! I need to post some more duck and chicken photos. It's been a while.

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  8. Lots of food, lots of fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of beer. You forgot lots of beer!

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  9. I could pass on most of the sweet stuff but the shrimps and lime sauce with dark beer looks great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loooooove shrimp! Loooooove seafood in Mexico!

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  10. I love food posts! That first cake - exquisite. I'll take a Negra Modelo. Pass on the insects though.

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    Replies
    1. I like Bohemia Obscura too.

      How about mezcal with a worm in the bottom?

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  11. Definitely a foodie paradise!
    I think I would try the grasshopper (with lots of alcool beforhand) but not the chicken feet!

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    Replies
    1. I'm with you, Elisabeth!! No chicken feet!

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  12. Thanks for these great pictures and descriptive comentary. What a cosmopolitan city with great-looking food! (I'll never get over the shrimp in lime sauce picture!) I'm looking forward to more of your posts.

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    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it! More coming! Mexico City feels quite EUropean to me, probably because of those SPaniards razing temples and rebuilding in the 1500s!

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  13. I made the mistake of reading the "Steve, Don't Eat It!" post on corn smut at work, and burst into loud, raucous laughter. Corn that forgot to wipe? Best line ever!

    All my coworkers were wondering why I was spontaneously laughing.

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    Replies
    1. Wasn't that just hilarious? I laughed out loud myself. But really, I thought the smut was tasty! I just don't think I'll be buying any in a can... :D

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  14. I wish we had pedicabs in Toronto for old ladies wanting to go shopping 4 corners away!

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    1. I think that would be great for young ladies too!

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  15. The cakes look gorgeous, and a whole shop for drinking chocolate? Heaven.
    The corn smut on the other hand does not sound so appetising, especially after reading Steve's post, which had me laughing out loud!

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    Replies
    1. THey ware BIG on drinking chocolate there. It's great. But corn smut is not for everyone! :)

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!