A day without chili is like a day without sun
Trying out the local cuisine when traveling is one of the most delicious ways of getting to know a new culture. With my obsession with hot food I found one of my favorite spots last year: Mexico! I was lucky enough to spend some time with my Mexican buddy’s family, and his mother whipped up fantastic dishes for me every day. If you’ve eaten at Tex-Mex/Mexican restaurants in other countries before, let me tell you now, nothing compares to the real thing!
If you’re not lucky enough to have your own favorite Mexican mama to cook for you, don’t worry, you won’t have to retreat to overpriced “gringo menus”. It might take a few days before your belly gets used to its new environment (aka Charlotte’s food poisoning incident in the first Sex and the City movie), but it’s definitely worth it. I still dream about tortillas, quesadillas, chocolate-chili sauce and the homemade chipotles (smoke-dried jalapeño) that could be added to every dish for some extra spice.
We also spent two weeks road tripping, and if you’ve been on the road before, you know how challenging it can be to get a good and healthy snack on the way. Drive-through fast food restaurants with greasy food tend to kill every attempt to eat healthy, but in Mexico we found cheap, fresh and delicious fruit and vegetables along the road. And of course you can have your mangoes with chili, salt and lime!
Now that I’m back home, I regularly get the urge for some hot Mexican food, which I normally solve by making a delicious salsa. This is my favorite recipe:
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 orange pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 2 large cloves of chopped garlic
- 1 jalapeno (seed and dice, use more if you want it to be hot)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1 can black beans
- 1 bag of corn (roast with olive oil/salt/pepper)
- 1 lime (squeezed)
- cumin or cumin seeds (secret ingredient, try it)
mix it all up, and if you want, add some mango and more pepper!
And don’t forget the beer! ¡Salud y viva México!
She loves cities with imperfect facades, photography, traveling by bike, vintage hunting, and everything that comes with cheese. Follow her visual diary at anchoredpaperplane.com.