A FREQUENT warning to people visiting Mexico is not to eat food from street vendors, advice that I’ve ignored for 17 years, and I haven’t died yet.
This afternoon, sitting at a sidewalk table on the main plaza with a café Americano negro, I hankered for something solid. I narrowed the options down to two.
One was a shrimp cocktail from a street vendor on the small plaza a couple of blocks away. Two was whole-wheat fig bread from another vendor quite near the shrimp stand.
I chose Option Two, the fig bread. That’s it in the photo. I brought it back to my coffee shop sidewalk table and cut into it with my pocketknife, the one you see there.
The fig bread is a great example of an amazing phenomenon you often encounter down here. Persistent food heat. I purchased the fig bread out of a basket. The bread had a cloth covering both it and its compañeros, all awaiting diners.
The vendor likely had left home, or wherever the bread was baked, a couple of hours previously, but the bread was still quite warm as she tucked it into a plastic bag.
I walked the two blocks back to the coffee shop, sat, opened the bag, and the bread was warm still. I cut it in half for the photo. Then I ate a good deal. Still warm.
How do they do that?
After slipping what remained of the bread back into its bag, I was surprised by the sudden appearance of the inimitable Jennifer Rose who sat with me a spell.
I offered her some fig bread, but she declined.