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8 Jun

Tequila is one beverage that serves a propagandistic function for Mexico.  Tequila’s production is limited to limited areas in Mexico.  Tequila is very famous nationally and internationally.  Also, tequila, with its differnt flavors is one item that carries the Mexican pride.


Tequila is made from the agabe plant and this product is so well renown that even tevenovelas (mexican dramas) have been made with it as an important part of the story.  By the way, most of my knowledge comes from them, but upon research it turns out the information in the novelas was very accutare.

Tequila is still an acquired taste for me (it is very strong) so I can only assume that that is the reason this drink serves as steotypical for Mexican culture, we are good drinkers, apparently. Or perhaps, that if Mexicans can withstand beverages with 40% percent alcohol it means we have strong determination.  I cannot speak from personal experience since it is still kind of new to me (the taste). However, friends and family seem to like it a lot.

I would really like to learn more about it myself but it seems like it will require quite a lot of dedication to get used to it.  However, I have met many people that are familiar with the different tequila’s brand names and where they come from so I think it is very popular.

Authentic Yucatan Peninsula Experience

27 May

El Portal outside area and a little bit of the façade to the left

During one of my outings in Pasadena, I came across a Mexican restaurant that specializes in food from the area I come from in Mexico, so I had to go in and try it out.  The name is: El Portal – Yucatan Mexican cuisine.  It is located east of Paseo Colorado Plaza inside a small plaza on Green Street. Looking at the menu I see: panuchos, cochinita pibil, tamales de Yucatan, enchiladas de mole, among many others, and I think “If I could only eat them all; I have not had any of these dishes in such long time!”  So I methodically check the ingredients of each dish, thought back on how long ago I had those meals…mmm… cochinita and tamales were pretty much even by the end; however, since I generally can eat pork (though not in the same delicious form) I decided to have tamales.  Ok, tamales are easy to find in LA, but not tamales wrapped in banana leaves that just have this green tint to the masa.  So I order it with a glass of horchata (I was just a little disappointed that they don’t have tamarindo drink or Jamaica, but horchata also places high in my list of favorite drinks).  By the way, horchata is a rice based drink.  I finally get my horchata, yes! It is so refreshing, sweet, and it is in a family size glass (my opinion) so I cannot possibly drink a lot before the main dish or I would not be able to finish.


Finally, there it comes my tamales!  Oh, wait a second, what is this plate the size of a center piece?  No worries, I will finish it no matter what.  There they are: tamales, fried beans, and Spanish rice.  Ohhh! tomato sauce on top of my tamales… oh, well it has been such a long time that I might as well eat it, and failure is not an option!

They are as tender as I remembered them to be and to my surprise, tomato sauce does enhance the flavor!  Now I begin with the fried beans, though I never had them in a plate but in a bowl before it does not detract from the flavor when it is mixed with the rice.  By now, it is becoming slightly difficult to start eating the rice and finish the tamal, so wait, maybe a sip of horchata will accommodate things better in my stomach.  Yes, it works, onward I go.

And this was the story of my close encounter with typical food from my home town.  I will definitely go back for more!

Going to a food truck…

22 May

I certainly did not know that there were food trucks dedicated to juice, so when I found one on line that happened to be near my house I decided to go there.  The name of the truck is Mambo Juice truck.  On an empty parking lot I found the truck along with two other food trucks.  The juice food truck was the third to the right.  There was music playing that I did not recognize but it seemed like rock.  I approached the truck and started looking at the menu. Another person was looking at it too. There were smoothies and juices with different ingredients each.  “Are you waiting for me? Please go ahead” said the man in front of me. “No, I am still looking at the menu, thanks” I replied.  He ordered a Mambo mango.  “Do you want a smoothie?” asked the cashier.  “No, I am in the mood for a juice. What do you recommend?”I asked. “Well, people have been ordering Mambo Mango”; “Then, I’ll have that one.” “ Have you eaten, yet? “The cashier asked me glancing at the other trucks. “Umm, yes.  Are you guys always here?” “No, this is for a fund raiser, so it is only for today. There was even a live band until a while ago;” “Ah, I missed it.” Then, the people preparing the juices called for the number previous to mine, but no one answered.  I turned and saw the guy in a group and called him over.  Soon my own juice was ready.  It was really delicious.  They were already leaving but I still saw many people around the other trucks.

I tried to describe going to a food truck as I experienced it because I like this type of narration.  Also, because it shows what was right in front of me, as any customer would experience it.  I was not taking notes at the time, but I did right after.

Evelyn Espinosa