Thursday, August 15, 2013

Great Eats Off The Ancha

Some of the foods I take pleasure in --- good cheese, bread and ice cream - are a 20 minute walk from my house.

Life is good as my list of remarkable vendors is growing and I love the fact that I can now get quality ingredients at these specialty stores.

Here are a few that I discovered this week. You on the other hand probably already knew all about them.

Buen Apetito!

La Cava

I was just dropped into cheese heaven.

A taste of the Blue Cheese, Gouda and real Italian Parmesan and I knew this was my cheese store. Imported cheese is their specialty and by paying a bit more you can have the real deal.

I bought this slice of Gouda for just 17 pesos. It was enough to satisfy my cheese craving and use it in a grilled cheese sandwich.

Although the Blue was slightly more, it’s what convinced me that you don’t have to settle for anything but the very best when it comes to cheese.

Panaderia El Maple
Salida a Celaya # 51

I’ve always loved bolillos and my new favorite in San Miguel is the rolls at Panaderia El Maple. They are so good and unlike any other in town.

The first time I had one was at Ten Ten Pie Al Carbon but I didn’t know where it was from.

Not even a question once you take a bite but don’t let them get to be a day old unless you want to make Torrejas de Bolillos.

Vegetable Guy from Celaya
Salida a Celaya # 51 in front of El Maple

By far the best vegetables I’ve seen in San Miguel are sold by a guy from Celaya who sits in front of the El Maple every weekday.

His produce is just-picked and so fresh there is something new all the time. It’s like the produce I use to see at the Green City Organic Market in Chicago.

Like the Europeans do and I started to do in Lake Bluff, I buy fresh every day. It’s just easier because I never know what I’m in the mood for.

I got a bag of baby tomatoes and one of strawberries for 10 pesos each today. 

What really put me over the edge was this ear of sweet corn – my first of the summer. This sweet corn was so good it should be illegal.

Thrifty Ice Cream
Celaya #3-A

Remember I am the self-anointed ice cream expert.

I’ve already admitted to being an ice cream snob. I grew up on great ice cream and can’t eat anything that isn’t made using top quality, farm-fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Since I came to Mexico I’ve been on the chase for good ice cream. I remember how good the taste of Bing’s was when I lived in Guadalajara back in the late sixties. In fact, their Flan de Lemon was one of my favorite ice creams.

Enter Thrifty Ice Cream, new to the San Miguel market.

They use imported ingredients and add real chunks of fruit and cookie pieces to their ice cream. While most premium ice creams contain about 12-16 percent butterfat, Thrifty contains an acceptable 10.25 percent and by Mexican standards is pretty rich.

I’ve stopped obsessing about ordering an ice cream maker from and will walk the 2.3 km or 28 minutes just to get a square scoop which runs 27 pesos or $2.11.

When was the last time you got ice cream for $2.11?