Mexican life

Sweet potato girl

tater2

ANY OF THE three words in the headline puts me at risk of being labeled a Mexican Harvey Weinstein, but I don’t care.

The Day of the Dead festivities are getting under way here on the mountaintop. A canvas roof supported by steel posts is being erected around the main plaza.

The only “Dead” items on sale as of Thursday were sugar skulls, which are always the first things to appear. I could have photographed them, but everyone does that, so I opted instead for the girl selling sweet potatoes.

I like sweet potatoes.

By this weekend, the entire plaza will be chockablock with goodies of all descriptions, some having to do with The Day of the Dead, but most will be varied artesanías (handicrafts) from our area and farther afield in Mexico.

The event is well organized, which is more than you could say when I arrived here in 2000. It was a mess. There was no canvas roof around the plaza, and much of the stuff on sale was the sort of crap you’d find at a five-and-dime in Omaha.

We’ve upped our game in a good way. You can buy some really beautiful things now to take back to wherever you came from, and lots of people come. Traffic gets nasty.

But you can eat sweet potatoes.

24 thoughts on “Sweet potato girl

  1. I love sweet potatoes but haven’t come across them in Mexico. I’ve alway loved girls. Is that wrong ?! Nice photo. There’s a campaign over on this side not to give candy to trick or treaters on Halloween because of the obesity and diabetes epidemic. I think that’s a good thing. Now if only they could get rid of the ice cream trucks that hover like vultures outside the schools at recess.

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    1. Brent: Someone is usually selling sweet potatoes near the big plaza here, and they are really good. As for Halloween, we do not get trick or treaters at the Hacienda, but I hear that other folks do, especially down in the state capital. What we do have here, a relatively recent phenomenon, is kids walking around downtown with real or plastic Halloween pumpkins, asking for coins. I used to play along, but not anymore because it’s become a first-class nuisance. Not aware of ice cream trucks outside schools. I imagine that’s more common in the heatstroke coastal areas, such as where you have landed.

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  2. Mercy sakes, señor. I am almost certain that the Weinstein gene does not lurk within you. And sweet potatoes are great. So are girls. Muse on.

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    1. Ricardo: I think the Weinstein gene resides in all men, but some of us keep it tamped down most or all of the time. That men who are rich and powerful use those two characteristics to up their hootchy-kootchy rate is something that’s always happened and always will.

      As for girls and sweet potatoes … there’s a difference?

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  3. Felipe: Sorry, you need to be waaay richer and sleazier before you sink to Harvey’s level. That’s a beautiful shot of a beautiful girl. I thought Pátzcuaro was Dead Central, with people going to the island and the place overrun with tourists.

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    1. Señor Lanier: I also like the photo. Thanks. As for my town being Dead Central, I think we share the title with Oaxaca. Few places do it up to the spectacular level that we see here. And many people go to the island cemetery. I hear that lots of young, drunk tourists have rather diminished the appeal of that spot. No matter. There are lots of other cemeteries in small towns around the lake that do it up right too, and many are not (yet) overrun by tourists.

      The nearby pueblo of Tzintzuntzan is very popular, likely as much as the island. But it’s ridiculously touristy, and the locals’ decoration of the graves has gone completely overboard. Cecil B. DeMille would be proud.

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  4. five and dime, i didn’t think those existed anymore. well, maybe in omaha.

    i love sweet potatoes too, boniatos in cuban spanish. i remembered being very surprised when we moved to japan the first time and they had them there. i had my share duri ng our 5 years in nagoya. they sell them at festivals in the winter, in stores and a truck sometimes goes around selling them as well. muy rico!!!!

    have a great weekend.

    teresa

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    1. Carole: Yeah, camotes, but I prefer the ring of sweet potatoes or, reflecting my roots, sweet taters. As for their being healthy, the ones we see around here would be far healthier were they not swimming in sugar. But then they would be far less tasty too. It’s an imperfect world.

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  5. I love camotes!! I have yet to buy them from a vendor as I usually can buy them fresh and do them myself. Young girls selling their family’s wares is very heartwarming … I sold oranges and grapefruit out of a wheelbarrow when I was a kid.

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    1. Peggy: I love them too. Occasionally, I bake them in the oven. Then I put butter and brown sugar on top. But I more often buy them, swimming in liquid sugar, on the street.

      I did not sell oranges and grapefruit out of a wheelbarrow when I was a kid, but I did sell donuts door to door out of a box.

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  6. You’re in no danger of being called a Mexican Harvey Weinstein but camote is also a Mexican slang word for penis presumably because of its shape.

    I frequently add sweet potato to my chicken bean soup to make it more nutritious and delicious.

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    1. Andrés: Well, I’ll be darned. I did not know that. I know some other slang words for what we’ve got dangling down there, but I never heard that one. Live and learn. Thanks for the illumination.

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  7. Felipe,

    Hola! We like sweet potatoes too with butter and brown sugar/cinamon. Interesting tidbit, we were at the local fruit and veggie stand on Friday and saw what appeared to be some kind of root. We asked the girl in our broken Spanish what it was, she said cantor (sweet potato). Never had seen sweet potatoes that looked like that.

    Regards,
    Troy

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  8. Felipe,
    Forgot I also wanted to reply to your comment about Harvey Weinstein and men in general. I thought it was very insightful. I do think most, if not all, men are capable of acting that way. However, fortunately most were brought up better and taught not to act on those types of impulses.

    Your comment also reminded me of the uproar about Trump and his private conversation while getting off a tour bus many years ago. He made some truly crude remarks but unlike Harvey Weinstein, I doubt he ever really did them. It was just locker room bravado.

    Regards,
    Troy

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    1. Troy: What Trump said is similar to what many men say to each other every day when there are no women around. And women do the same thing when there are no men in sight.

      The hubbub over Trump’s remark was strictly political.

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  9. So I suppose you haven’t fled Día de los Muertos, then? Some day I’d like to be in your town for the event. But it’ll have to be another year.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, Ca
    Where we had fun giving candy to disguised kids on Halloween.

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    1. Kim: We did flee. We got back this afternoon. Left last Sunday. We rarely can flee because our Downtown Casita is almost always rented for the big week, and we never go anywhere if we have tenants. But this year … no tenants.

      As for visiting here for Muertos, it’s definitely something worth doing, but I’ve seen a lot of them now.

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