If New Years is cancelled…

If New Years is cancelled….then so are all the New Year’s resolutions, right? Okay, then throw out the diets..… LET’S EAT!!

Determined not to let the cancellation of the New Years Eve celebration dampen our spirits, we took to the streets on New Years Day to sample what Oaxaca is famous for…..from its notorious cooking schools to Five-Star restaurants, hands down, it’s “Oaxacan-style Cooking.”

The Mercado in Oaxaca is one of the most famous Mexican markets, as it is a labyrinth of stalls offering mole’s, peppers, spices, fresh vegetables, meats, and hand-made chocolate in all forms. You can buy fresh fruits both in bulk, as well as juiced. There are even quite a few stands of “chapulines,” or chili-crusted grasshoppers, if you are into that sort of thing…..(which has me wondering what those will look like once Monsanto starts GMO-ing them!)

Chapulines, or chile-crusted grasshoppers used in many dishes, or eaten as a snack.

Decorated hams in the giant supermarket

Making chocolate from scratch using cacao, sugar, almonds, and cinnamon. The aroma is intoxicating!

There is an abundance of food here….fresh, healthy, locally grown “real” food. And always so beautifully decorated and displayed. Some of the fancier grocery stores like Whole Foods in the US get it that “It’s all in the presentation,” but you play twice the price for looking nice. Here in Mexico, it is just a way of life…

“Mango on a stick” makes a great snack over a Fudgsicle.

Our favorite stop in the Mercado is the “Carnes Asadas Hall” which can be located by following the aroma of sizzling meats and smoke from the real hardwood charcoal. An extension of the Mercado 20 de Noviembre, it is one long hallway lined by dozens of charcoal grills, all fired up, sizzling paper-thin strips of flank steak, chorizo, thinly sliced marinated pork, and a few intestines on offer for the offal fans. Definitely NOT a place for my vegetarian friends!

Real hardwood charcoal logs — no “briquettes” here!

We started the New Year off with a big basket of grilled meats, accompanied by small plates of onions, chilies, radishes, cucumbers, and guacamole. This meal is as much fun as it is tasty, and a particularly good way to start off the New Year, as everyone sits family-style in the “build your own tacos” booth, sharing smiles and sabores (flavors.)

Feliz Año Nuevo 2014!


5 thoughts on “If New Years is cancelled…

  1. The wife and I love Mexican food and the only thing missing for us if we had been in Oaxaca in the middle of all that food would have been a competent Mexican cook.
    Great pictures, we enjoyed the thoughts of the meal that resulted.
    Happy New Year.
    Allen and Deede

    • Allen and Deede, thanks so much for your nice comments and following along. I agree about the competent cook! I am going to do a post about the “cooked” version soon…

  2. That is indeed a colorful full market! don’t much care for eating grasshoppers… whatever they’re coated with … really great pictures, Suzanne. just love your days! while I’m sitting here in this igloo!


    • Thanks, Carolyn! I am, as usual, a few days behind on the blog. Just got back to Texas with a 60 day temperature difference, so I am suffering in the igloo with you (though not as frigid as LR!) Thanks for your very nice comments! Stay warm in that onesie!

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