We were lucky enough to spend the winter in Mexico, enjoying four and a half months in Cabo San Lucas after a wonderful road trip to get to Baja California Sur.
As our time there drew to a close, and knowing that the future is never certain, I reflected on what I loved about our time in Mexico. So in a few recent posts, I am sharing my reflections of what I love about Mexico, in no particular order.
Today: the food.
One cannot write about the Los Cabos area without talking about the food. Guests of the area this winter commented that they were surprised at the number and quality of restaurants in Cabo. That is true. But there is more than that for your palate in Cabo.
The variety and quality of restaurants in Los Cabos – San Jose del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, and along the corridor between the two cities – is amazing. I’m sure it is possible to get a bad meal, but we haven’t had many. I tell people that they need to decide what they want to eat, and how much they are willing to pay, and there will be a restaurant to fit the bill.
I love to sample the fresh fish and seafood that is so abundant in the area. Why eat what I can eat at home? But if you want, you can choose Mexican style cooking, or have what you have at home –American pub-style food like burgers or fish and chips, Italian pasta, Chinese, Japanese, fresh sushi…the list goes on. We even met Canadians who opened a hot dog restaurant and make their own dogs.
I also love to get away from the tourist areas and eat what the locals eat – whether that be taco stands, tamales, fresh ceviche, food trucks or street food; it is all wonderful and if you get away from the areas the tourists frequent, you will get a truer local feel and a lower price point!
We have been fortunate to have local people share their cooking with us. Our friends who own a taco restaurant have made us fresh ceviche, fresh sashimi, seafood pasta, and their version of hamburgers.
Our friends who are building a mountain home have invited us to the ranch for outdoor cooking. Our first visit featured cheese quesadillas and chicken fajitas cooked on a woodstove, using metal stove-top pans called comal.
Quesadillas (above) and chicken fajitas (below) made on comals on a wood stove
On our return visit, we had carne asada (a form of beef taco) cooked on the open fire, and Mexican-style rice made in a handmade clay pot fashioned with clay from the surrounding mountains. Both meals featured fresh-made guacamole (can’t get enough of it!!) and freshly cooked peppers and onions.
Mexican rice in a clay pot (above) and carne asada on the open fire (below). Thanks Diana!
The other wonderful things in Cabo are the local markets and grocery stores. Fresh meat and seafood are plentiful, with local specialties like chorizo, tripe (although I have to admit we haven’t tried the menudo soup made with this intenstine) and milanesa prepared (thinly sliced) meat. The chicken and eggs are delicious in Mexico, and the pork and beef can also be a treat, although the beef can be cut differently than at home (unless you buy US beef).
For me, the fresh produce is really a delight. Vegetables such as avocados, tomatoes, and peppers, and fruit such as papayas, pineapples and oranges, are plentiful at markets, roadside stands, and in grocery stores. Everything is fresh and inexpensive, so it is always a treat to cook at home.
We even tried roasted crickets this year….although I don’t think that will be a regular part of our diet! I’ll stick to experimenting with Mexican food, new and traditional, and falling back on our favourites when we feel like it.