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My Favorite Meal

Mexico Study Tour 09 - 143.jpg

I love to try new foods, so one of the highlights of the trip was the chance to learn about and eat some pretty exciting dishes. Whether is was the fresh papaya on cereal at desayuno (breakfast), the incredibly sweet mangoes straight from the mercado, or the various dishes that involved the beloved tortilla, I was in heaven! The picture here is from our wonderful meal on the patio in Atmalan, an indigenous community not far (or maybe far... in many respects) from Mexico City. One of my goals, now that I'm back in West Central Minnesota, is to explore La Tienda, the Latino supermarket on the main street of Morris. I've been there before, but now I have foods in mind to look for: hominy (the size of popped popcorn!), green salsas, and a mixed breakfast cereal that contains a mixture of seeds and grains I've never seen before (I'll know it when I see it!)...


Here's a link that will go to another blog that talks about west central Minnesota, its Latino population and La Tienda, the Latino supermercado on the main street of Morris.


One of the "small" things I want to do is to get to know better what we have in the Worthington community. It is interesting that the study tour to Mexico prompts me to go downtown to visit stores that are run by Mexican-Americans. I do know better now what I want to check out; the corn tortillas especially, possibly amaranth, some fruits & veggies (although we will never have the quality of fruit we had in Mexico). I did learn from talking to a couple of people after I got back that even though many Mexican-Americans here shop at the Walmart in Worthington, they don't like the tortillas there.

Even though this is a small step, small steps lead to bigger steps.

One note about amaranth, it has been looked at as an alternative crop in MN. More info I found:
Amaranth (Amaranthus) has a colorful history, is highly nutritious, and the plant itself is extremely attractive and useful. Amaranth was a staple in the diets of pre-Columbian Aztecs, who believed it had supernatural powers and incorporated it into their religious ceremonies. Before the Spanish conquest in 1519, amaranth was associated with human sacrifice and the Aztec women made a mixture of ground amaranth seed, honey or human blood then shaped this mixture into idols that were eaten ceremoniously. This practice appalled the conquistadors who reasoned that eliminating the amaranth would also eliminate the sacrifices. The grain was forbidden by the Spanish, and consequently fell into obscurity for hundreds of years. If not for the fact that the cultivation of amaranth continued in a few remote areas of the Andes and Mexico, it may have become extinct and completely lost to us.

Since 1975 amaranth has been gaining support in the U.S. and is now grown in Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, and other states, but is still not a mainstream food. It is found in many natural food stores and the flour is often used in baked goods.

Interesting history of Amaranth, Colleen! Thanks for sharing that.

I did make it down to La Tienda, the Latino market in Morris this weekend. It's a great little store! I was able to purchase canned guavas and mangoes, plus queso Oaxaca (spelling may be wrong on that:).