Published on April 30th, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut
3 Things I Love to Eat in Acapulco (and a couple drinks to wash it all down with)
I’ve been visiting Acapulco annually for years, thanks to the Tianguis Turistico, Mexico’s annual tourism conference (and I’ve come here a few additional times when the conference wasn’t taking placeas). So over time, I’ve discovered plenty of interesting and tasty local food that I always try to incorporate into my menu while in town. I’ve eaten amazing fusion cuisine in a variety of places and enjoyed the finest haute Mexican dishes, of course. But what do I shove in my gullet when darting between events? Here is a sample (and no passing judgment about the third item — I’m being honest, not snooty!).
This rich hominy stew can come in any of three colors, and may be prepared with pork or chicken, as well as a host of other tasty ingredients, including pork rinds, onions, avocado, pepper and other seasonings. In the state of Guerrero, every Thursday is jueves pozolero — “pozole Thursday” — when local restaurants offer their own variations on this dish. “A lot of very traditional restaurants serve pozole every Thursday,” a waitress at Sanborn’s, the Mexican chain restaurant, told me during my current visit as I started to eat. “And at many of them, the pozole is accompanied by a show with…” she smiled and paused … “transvestites.”
What’s the connection between pozole and drag shows?
“I’m not sure,” she answered. “Those kinds of shows are popular in Acapulco. And I guess the restaurants just like to create entertainment to attract more customers. Some restaurants have good transvestite shows but bad pozole. And some have bad drag shows but good pozole. So it’s better to go to a place where both things are done well.”
These large shortbread cookies, made of flour, sugar, milk and nuts, are just sweet enough to make for a satisfying desert — and just big enough to fill your stomach even more after a big meal. They’re sold at bakeries and at larger stores like Sanborn’s (but are never accompanied by transvestite shows).
I know, I know. You don’t travel to Mexico to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken. (You probably don’t travel anywhere to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken.) But as you may know, international fast-food chains frequently create different products for different national markets, and Ketiras are something you just can’t find outside of Mexico.
These boneless chunks of breaded chicken are absolutely slathered with a spicy-sweet barbecue sauce. They’re so messy and sticky that they are the best possible example of why KFC is, as they say here, para chuparse los dedos (finger-lickin’ good). If you’re a fan of richly flavored and heavily sauced Buffalo wings, you’ll love Ketiras. ¡Gracias, Coronel Sanders!
(And a Couple Interesting Things to Wash It All Down With)
There are several different ways to make a Michelada; they all start with beer. Add lime juice, Tabasco sauce and Clamato and you’ve got a Michelada (or any of a variety of other sauces and spices). The version I described tastes quite a bit like a bloody mary.
These citrus-based soft drinks (one belonging to the Dr. Pepper Snapple group and the other to Coca-Cola) were widely distributed in the United States when I was growing up. They’re harder to find north of the border nowadays, but are sold just about everywhere in Mexico. A tasty, sugar-filled step back in time for visiting gringos.