Adventures of the Homeless Chef: Hello Jalapeño

Over the past week, I have had the great fortune of spending my Spring Break in Los Cabos, Mexico with a few friends from Tufts, and I can honestly say that it has been one of the best trips I have been on so far. The beach, the music, the weather, you can’t beat it. But what really made the trip special was the food. Here’s what I have put into my body over the past week that I will greatly miss until my next Mexican endeavor:

1.) Fresh Guacamole

Now I know most of you have had guacamole in the states, or maybe even at Carm during lunch at the burrito station, but nothing compares to fresh guac made in Mexico. I never really understood the significance of the commercials that advertise “avocados from Mexico” until this past week. What made the guac special was the simplicity and freshness about the ingredients. It wasn’t about adding 15 different ingredients to make the guac interesting—it was merely about providing simple ingredients in smart ratios. In fact most of the guac that I ended up consuming only had avocados, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime, and that is how it should be.

2.) Corn Tortillas

Back at home, I was never the biggest fan corn tortillas—the texture was always too granular and the taste was very off-putting. However, eating a fresh corn tortilla that was made in front of me has changed my perspective completely, and I can now say I am a fan, but only in Mexico.

3.) Salsa

If you haven’t had green tomatillo salsa yet, I suggest you do because it was a game changer. A crispy, corn tortilla chip slathered in a cooling yet slightly spicy green salsa with just the right amount of lime beats anything with the Tostitos label on it.

4.) Berries

I don’t know what they were doing with the soil/water in Mexico, but they were doing something right because every single strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry I ate was sweet, crisp, and delicious. I must have consumed about a pound of berries today, and I guess I must have done something right because I still stand here today to tell the tale.

5.) Ceviche

Again going off of the whole “fresh and simple” theme, the ceviche in Mexico proved to be no different. Ceviche is basically any kind of raw fish/shellfish marinated in different acids with a lot of lime and some vegetables, so I naturally gave the waiter/waitress my biggest YES nod every time I was asked if I wanted some.

6.) Churros

The churros, or basically the Mexican version of funnel cake that I know almost every one of you has eaten time and time again at every amusement park in the country, were slathered and filled with various sauces, like vanilla pudding to chocolate creme to strawberry sauce, and I loved every minute of it. They were also covered in a dust of granulated sugar and cinnamon, which was absolutely necessary.

7.) Flan

Somewhere in between a creme brulee and vanilla pudding but with more of a lighter and airier consistency, the flan in Mexico was pretty unforgettable. Definitely a lot lighter than a churro but nonetheless still just as tasty.

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