If Canada is our virgin aunt, reserved and kind, fundamentally decent, maybe yearning for a little more fun in her life, then Mexico is our somewhat wild older cousin, also fundamentally decent, with perhaps a rougher sense of justice, and given to escapades and wild excesses; he drinks mezcal.
Granted, I ate some odd stuff in Mexico: bugs, iguana, leaves I picked off a tree. I'm not suggesting that anyone should be so cavalier in one's dietary choices as I am. But really, if you travel and turn yourself off from sampling the foods of the country you're visiting, then, you know, maybe you should just pack yourself a box of Wheaties whenever you leave the country. Or maybe you should just stay home.
Last week, at Secrets Resort in Huatulco, Oaxaca, Hurricane Carlotta was tearing up real estate, the black flag was raised on the beach, and I was thinking Thailand, Japan, maybe we were next. It was awesome, in the basic sense of the word; I was struck dumb by the energy of angry nature and the incredible power of the water. The next morning, as the storm dissipated and the sun rose, I tucked into a plate of chapulines over cheesy potatoes. The grasshoppers were smoky, earthy, crunchy.
One might think that because I'd just spent a week in Oaxaca, I'd be tired of Mexican food. Admittedly, I am experiencing some palate fatigue regarding south of the border chow, but that didn't stop me from going to Chipotle the day after I arrived home.
For years, we pretty much prepared only steamed vegetables. In many cases, I think that steaming enabled us to eat healthier and tastier food. But now I'm starting to see that there are applications where, for reasons of taste and texture, boiling may be best with some foods.