October 31, 2022:
More of our experiences in Oaxaca in the days leading up to Day of the Dead.
We took a food tour, visiting several of the city’s markets and eating a lot of food.
Tlayudas, molotes and something with ants…
Below is the pasilla del humo or aisle of smoke. Here you pick which raw meat you’d like to eat, they cook it on the adjacent grill,
Then you purchase condiments of your choice, tortillas and then sit down and order a drink to wash it all down. No drink, no table.
People eat insects here. It’s not a tourist thing.
We tried these tiny grasshoppers on our food tour. We were encouraged to avoid the big ones, as the legs sometimes get stuck in your throat. These were just salty flavorful bits.
This is pan de yema, bread made with egg yolk. Hard to see in this photo, but each of these rolls has a little face – the bread is eaten year round, but the faces are only for Day of the Dead. The bread is classically served with a chocolate drink. The chocolate is mixed with water, milk or corn. We tried the water and the corn – very different and delicious.
Mezcal is everywhere here. There are hundreds of varieties, coming from dozens of different species of maguey.
Tamales here, like pretty much all the food, are big.
Speaking of big food, this is a tlayuda (same as the blue corn thing above, but this one is open). It’s a tortilla that’s about a foot in diameter topped with beans, cheese and then whatever suits. It typically serves one. Here toppings include veggies, tasajo (very thin beef) and grasshoppers.
As we’ve found to be the case in much of Mexico, good produce is still found in the local markets, not in large supermarkets.
Meanwhile, the city is getting more decorated, and celebrations are breaking out all over the place. It has a similar feel to Mardi Gras.
This is a Day of the Dead altar in a market – note the large pan de yema on the first level.
Skeletons are busy this time of year.
Another market altar
A pop up market for the holiday – there’s plenty of mezcal being sold here to guide your buying decisions.
This is a public altar set up on the back of a large church
Catrinas are a BIG deal.
But some Catrinas are just creepy.
Everyone is getting their faces painted.
It isn’t all flowers and Catrinas, there are loosely organized parades (comparsas) popping up everywhere.
It’s a lot of fun.
Otherwise, we’re just enjoying the city.
Especially when there’s no Maluma. [Folks here are not very enamored of celebrity mezcal brands.]
We found a little restaurant billing itself as a gourmet deli, heavily Spanish influenced, and had a great charcuterie with house-cured means and picked vegetables. They also happened to brew some good beer in house.
And of course, they have an altar.
Well, it’s finally Halloween, and Day of the Dead is tomorrow. More to come!