Monday, 19 December 2011

Mi Pueblo & Meyer Lemons

Lunch time and a visit to Mi Pueblo Food Centre in Seaside, a stone’s throw from KK’s parental residence.  We have been before and KK has been dreaming of going back for lunch.  It is a lovely store, bright, clean, cheerful and full of excellent things to eat and pleasant, smiling, bilingual people.  Which is great for me, since I speak no Spanish.

Lunch called – it fairly bellowed. We passed the case full of pork – pork scratchings, deep fried slices of belly pork, carnitas (I love carnitas), pigs ears, snout and cheek. Soups, salsas, beans, tamales, horchata, jamaica, mango drink, burritos, tacos, sopes…and we ate: deep fried pork belly, a tamale, BGK had a sope with bean, carnitas, lettuce, crema and queso fresco – lovely; KK & I shared tacos de carnitas served with a clear hot red salsa & lengua with a green salsa. 
Tacos - the tongue ones are at the back

The red salsa fairly blows your head off.  We drank jamaica made with hibiscus which reminds me of living in Africa where we made it in bottles set in the sun and BGK had horchata. The very cute child next to us threw her horchata all over the table and floor which didn’t seem to faze anyone.  Then we shopped.  We bought limes because they are so much cheaper in Mexican stores, and then I smelt the guavas, only some were pink but all were fragrant, so we bought some of those, and avocados and beautiful, plump ginger root (see below). 
                         very, very hairy chayote

cones of raw sugar, tamarind, cinnamon bark & hibiscus flowers for tea

Veg & pinatas

 We remembered the walnut yogurt from the summer - oh, this yogurt is a poem of a yogurt and due to indiscriminate experimentation we have discovered that it is excellent as frozen dessert.  
Yogurts: walnut, mango, strawberry, coffee; and crema 

This is definitely something to try making in France with our own walnuts and local honey.  We looked at the meat which is all cut very thin except for all the odd bits of offal which are in chunks.  I find it fascinating to see such a great meat counter, so many different cuts and types of meat that are unavailable in “main-stream” markets.  Chicken feet packaged with hearts and livers – presumably for soup.  Oh and look at the fish!  

Tequila galore, new kinds of Mexican chocolate – in powder form and happy smiling people.  

Then we went to megaland – what a contrast! After much unneeded sampling of products we weren't going to buy (we bought one, so we fail), at the check out a woman behind us had an enormous package of beautiful Meyer lemons, so I ran to the back of the store – it was a long way (my exercise for the day) but my feet were like wings in a good cause and I arrived back at the check out in the nick of time bearing fragrant, golden fruits.  I expect that some of you are wondering why the fuss about Meyer lemons? The Meyer lemon is a roundish, thin, smooth-skinned and very fragrant, less acidic lemon.  It's not very large but it is very yellow. According to Wiki, Citrus × meyeri is perhaps a cross between a lemon and a mandarin or orange and was introduced to the US in 1908 by Meyer an agricultural explorer and employee of the USDA. I think lemon curd would be delicious made with this. Of course, lemon curd is almost always delicious, since it is mostly made of butter.

Two plans so far: make ice cream using the method I used for Thanksgiving Pumpkin ice cream (more later) and candied Meyer lemon peel for Florentines (in honour of RI who is not here to eat them but spoke eulogistically of the ones I made for Thanksgiving in a  Proustian mode, evoking bygone days in Oxford).  

Also, I have to report that Meyer lemon juice makes a very good cocktail when combined with ginger syrup, ice and gin – the Kelly Kick we are calling it – or, as this evening – combined with other left over citrus lurking around – a tangerine, half a pink grapefruit – truly delightful.  

Dinner was simple: fresh crab. And white wine. 

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