Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Picture A Day - Mexico in February 2010 - February 26th

I have spent a lot of time this year hanging out at this taco stand near my house. They have a variety of tacos, including tripe, beef shank, beef, chorizo-style sausage, tonque, brain. And of course, they have the most famous taco in Mexico City, tacos al pastor. When my friend Adam came and visited me from Miami, the first thing he wanted to do was eat tacos al pastor. Wikipedia provides this definition of tacos al pastor:

Usually pork, it is marinated over one or two days with a blend of different chili peppers, spices and herbs (such as adobo), and then slowly cooked with a gas flame on a vertical rotisserie called a Trompo (lit: spinning top), very similar to how Shawarma is cooked, with a piece of fresh pineapple on top.[2] The juice from the pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which breaks down protein and makes the meat very tender. When ready, the meat is then thinly sliced off the spit with a large knife. It is served on small tortillas, with finely chopped onions, cilantro and a small slice of pineapple, and usually topped with some lime juice and hot salsa.

This interesting video describes tacos al pastor as Lebanon's Contribution to Mexico (and no, we're not talking about Lebanon, IN, the town my mom grew up in and we visited roughly 1,000,000 times growing up). Mexican history is highly shaped by Lebanese immigrants. Most notably, Carlos Slim, the country's richest man who was briefly the world's richest man, is the son of a Lebanese immigrant. My best friend here, Kendall, is from Austin, TX. His grandfather and his grandfather's brother emigrated from Lebanon a long time ago. Kendall's grandfather decided to move to Texas, but Kendall's grandfather's brother stayed in Mexico. Kendall is finishing up his year as a Fulbright Scholar here and has been staying with his Mexican relatives.

Here's the link to the rest of the album.

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