Day 4: Savoring The Ocean, One Meal At A Time
Baja California's unique geography lends itself to some interesting food combinations, mostly based on what's harvested nearby.
ON THE ROAD TO SAN JUANICO, MX – As you read this, we have hopefully reached Scorpion Bay. The area is off the map, off the grid and off in the middle of nowhere.
We’ll send a dispatch as soon as we return to civilization.
So today we turn to a topic that is key to any good road trip: food.
Like in other parts of Mexico, there are the staples of tacos and tortas, filled with terrestrial meat. But, in Baja California, being surrounded by water means that you can cook anything that you can fish out of. And they do a great job of it.
Read more about our travels on the peninsula.
Tijuana, all the way to the north, is getting all the media buzz for its nouveau Mexican, European, border fusion cuisine. But drop into a marisquería (seafood restaurant), and you’re almost guaranteed to get a fresh meal, served in a delicious fashion.
In Ensenada, a fillet of white fish, cooked in garlic and olive oil produced in the nearby Valle de Guadalupe. The fish is so fresh, you can still taste some of the ocean in every bite.
Jill had a pasta dish in a white cream sauce with conch, which was actually tender. Not an easy task to achieve considering the ultra tough texture of conch. Have you seen the size of a conch shell? You have to be pretty muscular to carry that around.
In Guerrero Negro, for less than $40, you get a plate for two, which actually could have fed four. You name it, it was on there: breaded mussels, grilled fish, smoked shrimp and scallops served on a real seashell. And, of course, the obligatory rice and beans.
No, Katie did not stuff it in her purse as a souvenir. She did that with the fresh pan dulce (pastries) we had for breakfast. Hey, it's a long trip and we, along with our rented SUV, also need plenty of fuel to keep going.
Which reminded me of the most unique item I have savored so far in my travels: chicharrones (pork rinds). But not like the crispy, salty chicharron de Bayamon (for you Boricuas out there) that I know, but a soft pork rind, in a sweet and sour type sauce. A couple of these wrapped in a corn tortilla, and I think I found the new desayuno de campeones.
With the weather getting much drier the further south we travel, whatsoever shall we find? If the first days of this roadtrip are any sign, it will be unique, fresh and delicious.