Thoughts on Puerto Vallarta and Mexican Cuisine
On my last night in Puerto Vallarta, I wrote down some of my thoughts on my week stay in my journal. I thought I’d share it with my readers:
I underestimated the amount of corn that is really in the Mexican diet. It is in everything! Rice with corn, soups with masa, fresh made tortillas and tortilla chips; corn is everywhere. No wonder the Mexican government banned GMA seeds and USA corn in their country, and are trying to protect their national crop from them. Everyday, breakfast is a bowl of hot soup (menudo, chicken and squash, or beef parts in a heavy broth) with onions and cilantro, green chilies, and corn tortillas on the side; or a casserole of fresh corn tortilla chips slathered with salsa verde or salsa roja, some onions, and some cojita cheese; or breakfast tacos with stewed meat and some eggs; or simply some fried eggs on a corn tortilla. Out in the streets, everything seems to be tacos. At the restaurants, they serve a basket of warm corn tortillas rather than bread. As we drove around, there seemed to be a masa or corn tortilla making shop every square mile. On the beach, deep fried corn treats and/or popcorn with chili and lime is everywhere. The Mexican’s love their corn. And why not…..it’s delicious!
The other thing I discovered on this trip is that Mexico’s dairy is better than ours up in The States. Their milk seems richer and better tasting. Their cheese is extra buttery and smooth (the Gouda nachos at Los Veranos for example), and their cottage cheese is to die for. That cottage cheese, with it very large curds, is very dairy farm tasting (think grass and cow smell), and is swimming in a thick milky cream. It seemed to me like it is small-batch homemade. Is their dairy pasteurized? Is it better because it is not? I don’t know. But I do believe that the USA’s stringent processes, added chemicals, added gums, and mass factory productions do really destroy the flavor and quality of our foods.
I was surprised to find that there were much fewer beans in the diet than I expected. Maybe that’s only true in this part of Mexico. But I have to say, the few beans that were prepared and put on my plate were exceptional.
But the thing that surprised and interested me the most about my week of experiencing Puerto Vallarta’s/ Mexico’s cuisine was how many different flavors and textures they can get out of such simple ingredients as corn, chilies, dairy, meat (mostly seafood and pork, a lot of beef too, but not much chicken), onions, limes/citrus, and garlic. Very good indeed. This trip has rejuvenated my interest and appreciation for Mexican food. My favorites of the trip where the saucy tacos and molcajetes on the street, the breakfast tacos, and the amazing soups. For as quick, easy, and inexpensive as it is to get to Puerta Vallarta and stay for a week, I think I’ll be returning many times in the future.
The Bald Gourmet falls in love with Mexican food again during a week vacation in Puerto Vallarta.
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