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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mollete

The food choices in central Mexico are extensive beyond belief. The menus in restaurants and from vendors on the street offer hungry travelers and resident expats a wide variety of familiar foods and some never imagined. I have often remarked that one of the attractions of living in Mexico is the cuisine. For example, I tell anyone that will listen and whom have yet to experience it for themselves that once they try real tacos, as they are prepared here in the State of Jalisco, they may never want to return to a ticky-tacky Taco Bell or other Americanized fast food joint claiming to sell authentic Mexican foods. Ours are just simply better. Tacos here are basic -- no cheese -- no tomatoes -- no lettuce -- just meat, onion, cilantro, and tons and tons of flavor. The salsa for the tacos, called chile, is spicy (red) or not (green) and is always optional. Radishes are often offered as a garnishment, as well.

One of the more surprising foods that I have developed a passion for is mole. Mole is a sauce served over chicken. Mole does vary by region and thus far I am wed to the idea of tasting the chicken mole in as many restaurants as I am able to visit. The mole or sauce may contain literally dozens of ingredients including nuts and chocolate. I have yet to attempt to cook my own mole. For now, I am content to use a popular local brand purchased at the store or homemade mole sold at the weekly street market.

After recently surviving another inconvenient illness where I had absolutely no appetite, I craved a mollete. So, Memo was dispatched to El Torito to purchase bolillo, a type of fresh bread; re-fried beans; and a mild white cheese. The basic recipe calls for the bread to be cut and toasted, then, with a light coat of butter, a generous layer of beans, and a spattering of cheese the mollete may be broiled until the cheese is melted. Chiles or chile sauce may be added for a more robust flavor. A local coffee shop adds bits of bacon or ham to make a great open-face breakfast sandwich.

Yes, indeed, I live in Paradise. And, the food is to live for......
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