Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"meant ta killya" no more

I am SO grateful to have the new countertops that appeared while I was away in Texas. Butter yellow tile. That sounds better than "mustard" or "gold," right? Anyway, that's what I'm calling it, because butter in Mexico doesn't turn me off anymore. (I could inject a "more's the pity" comment here, but will not stoop to the low and obvious.)
Mantequilla is the Spanish word for butter. "Meant ta killya" we joked in my childhood. Dairy in Mexico was something to be avoided at all costs. Got leche? Yech!
No more. That carton of Nestles yoghurt on the counter there tastes just like the yoghurt we get in Switzerland, the stuff that converted my vegan friend Cynthia back to evil animal exploiting ways. Far from being a USDA approved feast of chemical preservatives and gelatin, yoghurt here has a list of ingredients that read (in Spanish) "milk, fruit, sugar." What a concept!
So I sing the joys of dairy from south of the Tropic of Cancer. Just a sampling....
crema -- which is not sour cream, but more like the French creme fraiche. According to Larry, it goes on EVERYTHING.
Butter, butter, butter. (Have you heard the one about the woman standing over the coffin at a Mexican funeral wailing "Por qué? Por qué?" And the coffin lid lifts and a voice says "mantequilla!" Hint: You have to have seen the old commercial for Parkay. Evidently it ran in Spanish, as well.)
Cajeta envinada -- Also known as dulce de leche. It's goat's milk boiled and boiled and reduced to a creamy caramel sauce. You haven't had a banana until you've poured cajeta over it.
licuados -- that's fruit run through a blender with milk and ice. Strawberry is my favorite, but just about any fruit will do.
And just a warning.....there are more ice cream shops here per block than there are Starbucks in San Juan Capistrano. (That's four and counting for those of you far afield from Southern California).
Are we fat yet? Who cares??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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