I never want to eat a hamburger again. There are no sufficient words to describe the food here in Mérida. Everything is made fresh, leftovers are rare and you may not believe it, but it is possible to add black beans to every dish on the table. I honestly have not eaten one thing here that I did not enjoy or would not eat again.
Breakfast is very similar to that in the States – cereal, fruit, orange juice. Wake up, throw it back, get to school. But here in Mexico, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and it is eaten late – around two o’clock. This is a meal you do not want to miss and in fact, if you do, it is frowned upon. Here, you will eat anything from enchiladas to tacos al pastor to lime soup to panuchos. Your mamá will continue to ask you, “Algo más, hijas?” (Something else?). “No, mamá, everything is wonderful and delicious and please write down your recipes because this is the best food I have ever consumed”, you will reply. “Estoy llena,” (I’m full). “Gracias.”
The food varies in culture. One day you may eat something very Mexican, like tortillas with beans, lettuce, chicken and salsa. The next day, you may eat pork and beans, a very Yucatecan dish served in many households in Mérida. Another time, I ate fried beef wrapped around fried bananas. I have never ever tasted another flavor like that one. The wonderful thing about this city is that it sits in the heart of the Yucatan, allowing me to experience both cultures and both types of food. But the most traditional food here is called tacos al pastor. This pork is slow roasted over two days with spices and chiles and put on tortillas with lettuce, onion, tomato, pineapple and lime juice. This delicacy cannot be done justice in words. You simply have to try them for yourself.
I have also eliminated a lot of bad snack habits from my diet. Instead of reaching for a candy bar or a microwave cup of soup, I’m snacking on crackers with salsa or tomatoes in lime juice. Do yourself a favor and the next time your hungry, try this: Cut a tomato into slices and spread it on a plate and add salt, pepper, lime juice, and olive oil over top. This snack is healthy and delicious; I end up eating two whole tomatoes a day here.
If you think you’ve gone to Chipotle or Taco Bell and have experienced Mexican food, you are sadly mistaken. I have never eaten food this wonderful with so much culture and preparation in my life. I have no desire to eat chicken nuggets, pizza, or hamburgers for a very, very long time. Nothing compares to traditional Mexican food.