Friday, May 10, 2013


When I lived in Mexico, there were many things that surprised me, one was the fact that EVERYONE in the country 'dresses'. Suits, ties, skirts, heels EVERY day. My casual, cute traveling wardrobe soon had me feeling like a hobo and even though Mexican people are very kind, I could tell they felt sorry for me unless I was 'dressed'. I very quickly adopted the practice of getting ready for every day as though I was going somewhere- even if it was only to the flower market and dinner.  Another thing that was surprising was tequila. I had no earthly idea that there were as many different types of tequilas as stars in the sky and once I tasted the smooth, crisp (sometimes peppery) alcohol it became my personal mission to sample any tequila that was described as 'the very best'. Zomg.... THAT was smart ( and fun!!). I was also lucky enough to be introduced at the same time to Sangrita- which literally translates "little blood". It is a deep red, non alcoholic beverage comprised of a mysterious multitude of fruits of the earth (usually to a base of orange or sweetened lime, you can find tangerine, cucumber, papaya, mango, jicama, and pomegranate all mixed together with fine pepper powder and spices) and is served as a partner to a shot of straight tequila. Even thinking about it now makes my mouth water! Number three on my very long list of surprises was mole.

As an almost native Californian, I had (what I thought was...) a well developed love of Mexican food (Tip; when in Mexico DO NOT ask for 'chips' with any meal as they will NOT know what you mean AND they will look at you as though you are a chimpanzee. FRENCH BREAD ONLY, please...), but after a couple of gorgeous meals I quickly understood that I had not eaten any true Mexican cuisine- the central feature of which was an ever changing galaxy of deeply flavorful and complex moles'.

Alas, when I left Mexico, I also left mole. I thought, well, I have my memories.... but then my friend Fatima surprised me!

 Photo;Shandra Beri

Fatima had the hook-up! Straight from Mexico City, made with loving hands (it takes DAYS and dozens and dozens of ingredients to make it!); deep, rich, complex and wonderful mole!

 Photo;Shandra Beri

So sorry about the insanely poor quality of the photo, but it was low light and my cell phone was being cranky! Anyway, you can still see her beautiful presentation plus it was DELICIOUS! Fatima also suggested some slices of fresh plantain over my rice (you would not think that combination would work- but wow!). The plantain gave the rice a mild sweetness and once you had it in your mouth, it coalesced into something reminiscent of a red rice pudding. It was the perfect compliment to the savory goodness of the shredded chicken, spring onions, cilantro, crema (a fresh buttery-rich table cream ) and mole!

Thank you Fatima!!!!!!


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