Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oaxaca.

Photo by Derek Doeffinger
W a-ha-kah.  I just love saying that name.

Oaxaca is one of the 31 states, that along with the Federal District of Mexico City, comprises the country of Mexico.

Oaxaca is located in south east Mexico, sharing its northern border with Veracruz and Puebla, its eastern border with Chiapas, its western border with Guerro.  On the south, it is bounded by the Pacific Ocean.


Chili.

When I think of Mexican cuisine, I think of tomatoes, chili, corn and cilantro. I think of tacos and tortillas and chicken smothered in wonderful mole. I have a very narrow and stereotypical view of Mexican cuisine and I know my palate is going to get a whole new education when I get there. I'm going to happily stuff my face and gain a gazillion pounds in the process :-)

Regardless of how ignorant I am about the finer aspects of Mexican cuisine, it cannot be denied that the chili pepper, in a multitude of varieties, forms and heat intensity, plays in integral role in the cuisine.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bienvenidos a México

Dancers perform during the bicentennial parade in Mexico City Sept. 15, 2010.
Mexico celebrates the 200th anniversary of its 1810 independence uprising. (Miguel Tovar/AP Photo)

Just last week, I decided to cancel my April trip to Japan because of the earthquake and tsunami that has not only devastated the landscape of Japan but it has, understandably so, traumatized its people.  The country struggles to recover and it will be quite a long time before life returns to some semblance of normalcy for those who were affected by the disasters.  As if the loss of thousands of lives and homes was not enough, the earthquake wrecked damage to one of Japan's nuclear reactors and today, two weeks after the quake, Japanese engineers are still struggling to prevent a meltdown.  Almost on daily basis, reports of radiation leakage continue to occupy US news.  The fear of radiation poisoning was enough for me to cancel my trip.  So, I've closed down my Japan travelogue for now but, Mother Nature willing, I will be there this time next year.