Monthly Archives: February 2011

Comforting Rituals – and a Dilemma

Of all the comforting rituals that us humans take part in, a great proportion of them involve food, I would guess.

Here’s mine.

I come home hungry and without too many ‘ganas‘ to cook anything (rare, but it happens) and my eyes, scanning like the Terminator through the offerings visible in my fridge, rest upon a Ziploc bag containing brown kraft paper that is coddling a quarter of a chunk of Monique’s fabulous sourdough bread, made right here in the formerly white city of Merida. This is what I am craving.

Removing the spongy, dark crusted bread from it’s hiding place I slice thick chunks (I have been known to simply tear at the loaf) and pop them into the toaster, pushing the slices down since they are so thick that the toaster is gagging.

While the aroma of freshly baked bread wafts into my kitchen, I take a soup bowl and pour myself a healthy portion of olive oil. There are plenty of olive oils now available in Merida, some Spanish, others Italian and even others still of the gourmet variety from God knows where. For my purposes, however, I need the Costco jug, since it is the only one that can keep up with my consumption and still offer more the next day.

The bread is toasty and warm and my fingers burn as I move the slices to a plate.

Ripping off chunks of warm bread, I plop them into the bowl and push down hard to get all the oil I can into the pores of the sourdough. Then I pop the dripping mess into my mouth. Nirvana!

The dilemma comes when I no longer have any olive oil in the bowl into which to stick my dwindling bread stock. So I pour in some more and you know what happens; the bread runs out and I still have olive oil to soak up! So back to the remainder of the loaf, slicing and heating until a critical moment when both bread and oil are depleted and my craving is sated.

Here’s to the olive pressers but here’s even more to Monique, who bakes this stuff and offers it to the public every Saturday morning at the Slow Food market right here in Merida. Go this weekend; you’ll be so glad you did!

Offended Mexicans vs BBC Comedy

I received an interesting article on the BBC/Mexico scandal in my junk-infested inbox this morning from my dear Better Half, who in turn received it from a friend whose acerbic wit and online social commentary on life in Merida was often the target for xenophobic hate mail accusing her of being *gasp* a critical wach, of all things.

The Milenio article (available in Spanish here) commented on the recent scandal involving the BBC’s program Top Gear, in which the comedy troupe said stereotypical things about Mexicans which apparently, caused the Mexican ambassador to England to feel such distress that he fired off an official protest letter to the government denouncing the show and its “xenophobic” remarks.

The author at Milenio says, in a nutshell, that everyone that is ‘offended’ by the program should take a look at themselves and the discrimination, racism and lack of tolerance perpetrated every single day in this country, by Mexicans.

Also interesting is the debate below the article. I think the author makes a good point. What do you think?