Wednesday, March 29, 2006


It’s mango season and the streets are filled with the rich colored balls of deliciousness. Kids and adults alike meander around town sucking on these tasty treats as if they were ice cream cones or lollypops. They start at the top, making a small slit, and then squeeze the juice up to their mouths. The second phase commences by pealing off the skin and sucking the stringy bits attached to the pit and shell, until they’ve stripped it of all its possible goodness. The last phase—for me—requires floss. In Tacaná, the pits cover the ground like a storm of ladybugs, and the bright yellow and orange skins paint polka-dots in the dusty streets.

This past Saturday was Ian’s birthday and I made tomato sauce and pasta. You know we’re in the middle of nowhere when tomato sauce and pasta is a special treat. The normal fare is black beans (boiled, refried, or blended), scrambled eggs, maybe rice, and always tortillas. Our host mother makes a simplified version of vegetable soup, fried rice, and chow-mein with soy meat, so it doesn’t get too monotonous. But generally we eat what there is, gathering around the stove and not talking about the possibilities but eating them. Last night we ate boiled potatoes, leftover pancakes, plain pasta, and the rest of Ian’s cake, which was actually a very elaborate meal. There are always either corn tortillas or tamales, which are palm-sized masses of fresh corn meal each wrapped in a large banana leaf and steamed. Sometimes they stuff them with meat. Guatemalans can eat five or more with their meal, but Ian and I tend to eat only one since they’re heavy and, honestly, tasteless. New fruits and veggies for us have been güisquil (a large green wrinkly vegetable which inside looks like green melon, but it’s hard and tastes like a tastier potato), nances (marble-sized yellow fruits, each with three little hairs), and sonsas (violet and silky fruit, watery and sweet).


At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Ian

Wishing you two all the best. It's nice that you had a cake!


At 7:24 PM, Blogger bostezo said...

Que envidia que tiene temporada de mango. Que raro lo de los tamales, generalmente son deliciosos. Tal vez no están bien aliñados. Prueben freirlos en muy poco aceite a fuego lento, más para tostarlos que para freírlos. Besos.


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