Monday, April 26, 2010

Lamb Barbacoa

It must seem like we spent all of our time eating. Well, almost all. Good friends in Pátzcuaro invited us for a mouth-watering lamb barbacoa, accompanied by a variety of botanas and many other sides dishes. What a feast we had.

Bonjour à la famille en France. L'agneau doit vous faire penser au méchoui de Tunisie.

Patzcuaro is the place.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


With our cousins, when we went to Paricutín, we started the day with the Sunday brunch of traditional Michoacán foods at the lovely Mansión del Cupatitzio, next to Parque Nacional Barrancas del Cupatitzio. The sun was out, illuminating the lovely flowered garden and we sat outside, as we always do.

After we were replete with wonderfully ripe fruit, exotic juices, and a variety of specialty dishes which included what I have dubbed Corn Truffles (huitlacoche), we walked through the park which is like a tropical forest, where we enjoyed the sound of the clear, running, spring-fed water.

Waters of Cupatitzio
Restaurant La Mansión del Cupatitzio

Play in Patzcuaro

Sunday, April 18, 2010


With our cousins we went to visit Paricutín, where between 1943 and 1952 the lava from the volcano buried two villages. (Reference links for information in English and en français are given below). We decided that to cram seven people into the Nissan to travel on the autopista would be uncomfortable and unsafe. We hired Nacho Vega of Patzcuaro to take us out for the day by van. It was a luxury and we had fun. Nacho is both reliable and nice.
We walked from Angauan through pine-oak forest to see the buried village, where the top of the church spikes up through the jagged lava rock.
Angauan is a very Purhépecha town. The women and girls wear colorful dress. They flee cameras that come anywhere near, but this was taken with a good telephoto lens.

After clambering around buried Paricutín we went to the trout restaurant just across the callejón from Mansión del Cupatitzio at Parque Eduardo Ruiz in Uruapan. The trout are raised in fresh water from the spring just a few hundred meters away. They are fresh and delicious. The restaurant overlooks the verdant park--I recommend it.
Paricutin in English.
Paricutin en français.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pozole Verde and Cactus Leaves

Green Gastronomy
French cousins could not leave Mexico without having eaten pozole (hominy) and nopalitos (nopal cactus leaves). Very little corn is eaten in France except, perhaps, for a few kernels scattered in a salad. Corn is for chickens and cows. So we started today's comida at La Jacaranda with nopalitos on tostadas and then had bowls full of delicious Pozole Verde. Given the quantities consumed, I would say both were much appreciated, although the cousins will probably be quite happy to return to their fine French gastronomy.

Pozole Verde
I had eaten an upscale Pozole Verde with seafood in a restaurant with some Mexican friends and subsequently was able to reproduce it to my (and their) reasonable satisfaction. I now make it with either chicken, pork or seafood.

By request, here is a list of the ingredients I use (not in recipe format) :
- A vegetable or seafood broth for liquid
- Pozole (I like the pre-cooked refrigerated pozole, and still use a pressure cooker.
It turns out super tender.)
- Liquify green ingredients in blender: tomatillos, poblano, cilantro, green onions or onion, garlic
- When cooked, add diced green summer squash and cook al dente
- Add scallops or shrimp last and do not overcook the seafood.

Variation: cook with pork or chicken; vegetable broth is not needed. Do NOT use a seafood broth in this case.

Condiments: chopped raw onion, serrano or other green hot chile, fresh cilantro, finely shredded cabbage or lettuce, lime wedges

When I make a nopalito salad to eat on tostadas, I buy the conveniently cooked and diced nopalitos at the market. Two issues are the bava (the viscous "drool" of the nopal leaf) and hygiene. At home I bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil. Stir in the nopalitos and let boil for approximately 2 minutes. Drain in a colander. This accomplishes two things. The dish will have little of the viscous bava left, which some people do not like, and the nopalitos are pasteurized for consumption .

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yunuén via Ucazanástacua

The last time Glen and I went to Yunuén, we were ferried in a canoe, a little bigger than the one pictured here.

For this visit there were seven of us, so we got the Big Boat Treatment. We told our cousins that they could not return to France until they could say they had gone to "Yunuén via Ucazanástacua".

Approaching Yunuén. (There had been a lot of rain, so the lake waters were muddy.)

We walked around the island, and stopped here for a cool drink. This was definitely not a commercial venue. There are only five resident Purhépecha families, all related, and we saw one lone visitor other than ourselves. It was a big day for visitors! Yunuén is a tranquil place and represents traditional life on one of the small islands of Lake Pátzcuaro. Orchids and egrets abound.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Megacable Blues

In February and March I had the Megacable Blues. My upload speed was so slow that I could hardly post any photos. Over years in Patzcuaro, I have never had such a problem. Since a post without graphics no tiene chiste (is no fun), I did not publish the log I had planned of activities with my cousins. Text languished in "draft" form with nowhere to go. I have recently been playing catch up. Some posts have been uploaded with their original, older date.


On a drive around Lake Pátzcuaro when the primos were here, we watched this practice session in Oponguio. The bovine was rather placid, so the vaqueros could practice fancy lasso work.
We had our usual lunch at the Casa Grande restaurant next to the bull ring, owned by one of the Iturbide sisters. The charalitos from Zirahuén were great and so was the trout. Here two cousins flank Glen.
Between Erongarícuaro and Pátzcuaro very ripe, juicy pineapples were being sold on the side of the road. A great price--this fruit was not going to keep longer. We bought several and they were delectable.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bola Suriana

Pátzcuaro offers us regular, free entertainment. Bola Suriana played on March 26th at the ex-Colegio Jesuita. My cousins from France and I kicked back to listen to them under indigo blue skies of velvet in the courtyard of the ex-Colegio. We then purchased one of their CDs. Tonight the group plays again at the Teatro Calzontzi on Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra, next to the library. Enjoy them!

If this is of interest, you might like this.
Love Pátzcuaro.