Items I like better in Mexico

Locator map for the state of Jalisco within Me...

Image via Wikipedia

A few posts back, I wrote about things I would miss about Mexico if/when I left, and I’ve also written about the thing I miss the most from the USA.  Today, I was reading a forum which is directed toward expats in Mexico or expat wannabes.  One of the long running threads concerns what things are hard to find in Mexico. 

So I started thinking about items readily available here around Lake Chapala that are so much better than their equivalents in the US….at least at comparable prices.  Actually, just about everything on my initial short list is much more expensive in the US than it is here, but that’s not part of my initial criteria. 

For today, I’m going to concentrate on a couple of foodstuffs that you probably use, even if only occasionally, or at least have heard of, and tell you why I like the Mexican version better.  And, oh, trust me, there will be more to follow! 

Let’s start with mustard.  I love mustard.  When I was in high school, I used to smear it on just about everything.  My mother, who was by nature nonconfrontational even with me, once actually reached across the dining room table at Thanksgiving and slapped me after I spread French’s mustard all over my slices of the turkey that she had spent hours preparing. 

For years, as an adult, I would buy every new type of mustard that came out.  It was one of my few “splurges.”  So I move to Mexico and find that, at my local grocer, I have only one choice:  McCormick yellow mustard [mostaza].  You can imagine my dismay! 

But, you know what?  I love it!!!  Once my local tienda ran out of it and I had to buy French’s yellow mustard.  I cannot really explain how ‘lifeless’ it tasted to me!  It was like reading a crappy romance novel compared to reading any Maeve Binchy book.  Oh, sure, they may all have the same type of characters in them, but one is NOT like the other! 

[And, yes, I know, you were all expecting a better analogy from me, but I do love me some Maeve Binchy and she deserves a plug!] 

Next up:  Kermato.  I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, living in Jalisco, Mexico, from which the only REAL tequila comes, but I don’t like tequila.  I’ve been a bourbon drinker for years, but down here it has to be imported and costs a fortune so I’ve switched to vodka.  For whatever reason, vodka is cheap, even though it’s imported.

For the first couple of years I lived here in Mexico, I mixed my vodka with orange or pineapple juice.  And after a couple of  years, I had my first bout with gout.  Yeah, me with the “disease of kings”!  This is so wrong that it doesn’t deserve comment. 

Now you might think that I would just give up vodka, but you would be SO wrong.  You’ve all gotten those emails about why alcohol is better for you than water.  Perhaps you didn’t believe them, but I did. 

So my only alternative was to switch my mixers.  I tried Clamato, and it was kinda tasty, but bland.  Then I discovered the local version of Clamato that most folks down here use to make Micheladas [beer mixed with tomato/clam juiceish stuff].  As disgusting as that sounds to me, I was still willing to try the tomato/clam juiceish stuff.  And, voila!  I fell in love! 

 I honestly don’t know what makes Kermato different than Clamato.  I once tried comparing the ingredients and they were the same.  So it must be the proportions thereof. 

I don’t know, and I really don’t care.  I can only tell you that this stuff is so much better than you are used to!

Next time, on Senorita Barbums Presents, we’ll look at bananas and ice cream!  Stay tuned! 

And here’s your music video for today:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIFkOE5XY4s.  If it doesn’t show up, use your search engine to look up Tequila Sunrise by the Eagles.

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About Barbara

in april of 2008, i moved from the united states to mexico. during my working days, i held lots and lots of jobs....almost all chosen because they were fun or interesting instead of how much they paid. when i started thinking about retirement (in my 40s), i realized that i would never be able to retire to a country where english was the native language. and although i had traveled to every state in the US -- and lived in lots of them -- i had never been outside the country with the exception of canada and mexico. and since you now know that i could never afford to retire in canada (even to the french-speaking area), mexico won by default.
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5 Responses to Items I like better in Mexico

  1. Michelle says:

    lol I can’t believe it another mustard lover! My post is mustard in relation to being an expat as well so I just had to post and say hello!

  2. Barbara says:

    hi, michelle! just reading your posting about aussie mustard and loved it! what makes it so hot; do you know? horseradish? i’ve never had a mustard that made me cry. i think i would love it!

    thanks for posting and for commenting!

    barb

  3. Michelle says:

    Mustard it just hot (but such a different hot than chili hot) naturally, I grew up with French’s though which is quite a mild mustard. If you ever get the chance buy a jar of Colman’s and give it at try. It is a whole other world of mustard!

    Looking forward to your future posts!

  4. Ric Watson says:

    Have you tried clamatos preparados? There is a real art to making them. The best ones, you drink, use your fingers, and finish with a spoon.

    • Barbara says:

      Um, i don’t think we have them by that name here in Jalisco. But it sounds like what we call the shrimp cocktails here!

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