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Old 01-25-2011, 08:34 PM   #196
DocAxeYarYar
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Tricepilot's Oaxaca

Wow, the mole looks positively mind-altering and intense! Here in the US our food is so bland, packaged, and sanitized...its a shame that we eat so much processed foods with no soul or heart. (except Texas BBQ) Thanks for the wonderful food travelog!

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:18 PM   #197
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The Big Cheese

The Culinary Side of Oaxaca (continued)

7 Moles

Chocolate

Cheeze

Coffee

Mezcal

Chapulines

Markets

Tlayudas

In addition to the moles and the chocolate, I would love for you to try some Oaxacan cheese. Stringy, roped into a ball. Nice and chewy. Kind of tastes like mozzarella blended with Monterrey Jack. It has to be on your list as you wind your way around the city. You can ask for it in a restaurant or buy some to try with bread at any of the markets. Perhaps the latter is better, its more authentic. Ask for Quesillo Oaxaca. Oaxaca cheese makes a nice queso fondido, or melted cheese. But unless you bring it back on your bike, you probably won’t get to that down there. Look for signs for asadero cheese – it means the same thing. The closest thing you’ll get to in the U.S. is unaged Monterrey Jack cheese. The production process is interesting, it involves stretching the cheese into long ribbons and rolling it up into a ball.

A couple things about cheese in Mexico:

Cheddar Cheese is unknown
Can’t find U.S. style cottage cheese
Mexican cheese is almost always white
Widespread cheese production came with the arrival of the Spanish
The head of every major crime syndicate is known as the "Big Cheese"



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Old 01-26-2011, 01:22 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripletreat View Post
One of the things I miss most is a traditional Oaxacan breakfast. The huge mug of chocolate, perhaps a pan dulce but most of all one of those big, delicious tamales! Yum! Now that's the way to start the day!
In Oaxaca, tamales are often much larger than the typical Mexican tamales. Extremely large tamales elsewhere are known as zacahuiles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buell78753 View Post
Wow, the mole looks positively mind-altering and intense! Here in the US our food is so bland, packaged, and sanitized...its a shame that we eat so much processed foods with no soul or heart. (except Texas BBQ) Thanks for the wonderful food travelog!
That's right - except Texas BBQ
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:31 PM   #199
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Queso

Last time I flew out of Oaxaca City (pre 9-11) we were sitting in our seats waiting for push-back when several indigenous women (Chinentec?) boarded and proceeded to walk the aisle selling softball-sized cheeses.

Only in México.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:48 PM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizzMan View Post
Last time I flew out of Oaxaca City (pre 9-11) we were sitting in our seats waiting for push-back when several indigenous women (Chinentec?) boarded and proceeded to walk the aisle selling softball-sized cheeses.

Only in México.
Should the TSA be on alert for cheese bombs? We had a cheese bomber in out group one time. Everyday he had the huevos rancheros for breakfast
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:52 PM   #201
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All Amped Up

The Culinary Side of Oaxaca (continued)

7 Moles

Chocolate

Cheeze

Coffee

Mezcal

Chapulines

Markets

Tlayudas


Most moto adventurers I travel with love coffee. The best days on Mexican roads often start with at least three cups, and often more. In Oaxaca City, you’ll be able to find coffee shops and restaurants to supply you with your brew, or you can make your own with your favorite on-motorcycle coffee making device. My latest in this department is a Bialetti, made in an octagon shape in Italy and sort of a poor-man’s espresso maker. I even have a portable burr grinder for the road. In Oaxaca, I highly recommend Café La Antigua on Reforma, not too far from the Santo Domingo Church and the Hotel Maela.
Many coffee aficionados claim that the best coffee in Mexico comes not from Veracruz state, but from Oaxaca and Chiapas. That said, when Big Jim received his huge bag of coffee in Tlapacoyan, I was green with envy and very jealous of such a fine haul. I made up for that by paying attention in Oaxaca and drinking some of the more exotic local roasts. Oaxacan Fair Trade Organic coffees are grown between 3,000 and 5,000 feet under shade tree canopy and brought down the mountains and hillsides on the backs of burros.

Some coffee shops you can check out in Oaxaca:

Xiguela
Café Brújula
Comala
Café Los Cuiles
Café del Borgo
Café Gecko
Nuevo Mundo

Coffee cups at Mercado de Abastos (I brought one home):






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Old 01-26-2011, 01:53 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
Should the TSA be on alert for cheese bombs? We had a cheese bomber in out group one time. Everyday he had the huevos rancheros for breakfast
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:01 PM   #203
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Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien también

The Culinary Side of Oaxaca (continued)

7 Moles

Chocolate

Cheeze

Coffee

Mezcal

Chapulines

Markets

Tlayudas






What is the difference between tequila and mezcal?

Why is mezcal the "drink of Oaxaca"?

What will happen to you if you overindulge on mezcal?

(I'll answer these, just seeing if anyone already knows the answers to these questions)
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:15 PM   #204
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The Culinary Side of Oaxaca (continued)

7 Moles

Chocolate

Cheeze

Coffee

Mezcal

Chapulines

Markets

Tlayudas



That right there is my bag of chapulines from Mercado de Abastos. Of all the things on the list, moles and chapulines are MUST TRY items in Oaxaca.

What do chapulines taste like? Well, have you ever cleand out the porch light and found a moth? Eat that, and you'll have an idea of what chapulines are!

You can buy these in any quantity you want, all over Oaxaca but especially in the large markets.




Here is the BIG HINT!

I ate my first ones whole. Mistake!

Hold those critters by the legs, and eat only the body of the grasshopper. That way, you won't get the legs stuck in your teeth and have to go find dental floss.

Don't freak out....they only dead bugs. You'll get over it. Go have a shot of mezcal if you're squeamish. If you get a little you'll be able to amaze bystanders with feats of chapulines intake.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:32 PM   #205
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Everything Including the Kitchen Sink

The Culinary Side of Oaxaca (continued)

7 Moles


Chocolate

Cheeze

Coffee

Mezcal

Chapulines

Markets

Tlayudas

The two huge markets in Oaxaca are:

Mercado 20 de Noviembre

and

Mercado de Abastos

Here's where you can find them:



and a little more focus on my favorite:



No matter where you are in Oaxaca, you can walk to these markets. You may need a taxi back, depending upon how much you buy. More tourists are found at 20 de Noviembre due to its location nearer the zócalo, but the real reward is Mercado de Abastos. It's mostly people from the city and the surrounding areas. A much more authentic experience. Don't be afraid to go there. Do go there with a sense of adventure and be willing to get lost in the maze of pathways, and especially the sensory experience of it all. If it can be sold in Mexico and its smaller than a car, you'll find it there.













and of course everything colorful is for sale...












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Old 01-26-2011, 02:44 PM   #206
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Don't forget, all the surrounding towns have their market days as well, such at the great one at Etla. But check your guide book as not all markets are open on all days! Do not be reluctant to visit the markets...one of the best insights into the culture of Oaxaca you can find. Plan to spend a lot of time there, and have lunch.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:49 PM   #207
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Meanwhile....

If you're still on the fence about chapulines....

.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:01 PM   #208
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The Last Bite

The Culinary Side of Oaxaca (finale)

7 Moles

Chocolate

Cheeze

Coffee

Mezcal

Chapulines

Markets

Tlayudas

We've arrived at the last item on your checklist for bites and sips in Oaxaca: The Tlayuda. This is kind of like a giant tortilla, a bit thicker, and baked or toasted on a grill or comal. Usually spread with refried beans, asiento (pork lard), lettuce (or cabbage), Oaxaca cheese, and various toppings (even chapulines - Andrew Zimmern ate one that way in Oaxaca) like chicken. Remember, this is very Oaxaca do don't make a trip to the city without trying a Tlayuda!

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Old 01-26-2011, 03:10 PM   #209
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.... aveces me parece que conoces mi pais mas que yo .... !!!!!!!!!

saludos y felicidades por documentar cada detalle con tan buen estilo !!!!!!
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:27 PM   #210
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Well done (,) grasshopper!

Best chapulines I've had were served on a grilled flat tortilla (like a chalupa) with melted Oaxacan cheese and chorizo seco. Also a little celantro and cebolla. My friend pulls all the legs off before serving.

Yummy!
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