Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Mexico: Culinary Discoveries

 I think nothing of it when I see a restaurant supplying each table with the essential condiments of salt, pepper, maybe those sugar/sweetener packets and Tabasco sauce. It was at "Abuelita's" (Grandma's) in Bernalillo that I first encountered an interesting custom. In New Mexico they switch out the Tabasco for a big squeeze bottle of honey, which they use on their giant, flattish beignet (sopaipillas). One word: mmmmmm.

Another difference from New Orleans in matters culinary is the customary question a waitress will ask a casual diner. Back home it's "You want that dressed?" (Translation: "Do you want lettuce and tomato on your po' boy?")  In New Mexico they ask "Red or green?" And it is not about Christmas, but about the standard complement to any meal, chili (which is a thick sauce and not a hearty stew). The locals use "Christmas" as an adjective meaning "red and green chili, both."

I also learned a new word: calabacita. It is a vegetable enchilada (with diced squash, zucchini and onion) with the thinnest tortilla ever (practically a crepe). A great idea!


Fran said...

Food in New Mexico... Ahhhh! Red or green. Soft, hot sopapillas, dressed with honey. I am dreaming of it all.

Sr Anne Flanagan said...

Sweet dreams!

Anonymous said...

Just the thought of it all makes me reach for the Pepto Bismol. Yikes