The Food of Tulum, Mexico

4.20.2011

Well, I will start by saying that the food of Mexico has always been close to my heart. I grew up in New Mexico and while the food is slightly different, the spices and styles of Mexican food are very much home for me. Coming to Tulum, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew that there was going to be loads of amazing produce and fish, but we weren't sure of the local delicacies that were in store for us. My boyfriend and I are huge fish taco fans so originally we thought this must be the place to find them. We have searched high and low in New York. We had a hard time finding a Baha style fish taco that we were wowed by there. Instead we were wowed by the simple things. Mexican food isn't glamorous, it is fresh, flavorful and bright. Simplicity in its finest. The fruits knock your socks off and makes you wonder what you have been eating your whole life, with a sensation of feeling completely gipped.

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Pescado, Pescado y mas Pescado

Their is no lack of phenomenal seafood in the Yucatan Peninsula, which is in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. It is in abundance really and everyday at the hotel next to ours, a fisherman would arrive in the afternoon with the daily catch. Me being the huge food geek I am, would flock to him. So would the owner and his son of the restaurant/hotel Posada Margherita. Most of the the time the little boy would be nude running to the boat in what is most certainly paradise. The pelicans knew when to come and would flock over the top of the boat. The little boy would throw small fish into the pelicans beaks. It was truly a magical moment for me. Experiencing the true paradise because really it doesn't get any better than that. That lifestyle is one close to my heart and one I plan on living sooner rather then later. The fisherman brought lobsters the first day, the second day he had caught a huge crab and a slew of tropical fish. I felt slightly sad by the fact that these weren't just ordinary fish but vibrant, colorful tropical fish which I wish would of stayed in their natural habitat. Too pretty to eat. That being being said it was something I wanted to part take in and it was well worth it. You really appreciate nature in its fullest here. There is no avoiding it, its in your face, over your head and all around you.

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Every morning we woke with the sun. Living in New York City we have become slightly numb. Being there made me feel alive and one with nature, as cheesy as that may sound. I woke with sun and slept most of the night. I absorbed the sun into my skin and embraced the lifestyle around me. We would drink strong coffee and the best freaking orange juice I have ever had. I will say that the freshly squeezed juices found everywhere here was seriously one of my highlights. You become addicted to the nectar of the gods, no exaggeration. All cocktails are made from fresh juice, and in their solitude are divine. You can feel the sun soaked into every bit of fruit you taste. A serious sense of resentment when you think about the crappy produce in the super markets. Why does fruit always taste so much better in Latin Countries? I ask myself. In Argentina the produce during the summer is fantastic. Simply prepared and always flavor packed. A typical breakfast for us was to share a plate of fresh fruit; papayas, magoes, bananas and pineapple. We became quite addicted to Chilaquiles, a dish of tortilla chips smothered in a tomato chile sauce made of fresh tomatoes, chiles, onions, garlic and spices. Varying in levels of spiciness. Topped with cheese and crema. Often served with a fried egg on top and shredded chicken. Like everything packed with citrus and super bright flavors.

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Mercados, Markets

The town of Tulum, which is a little inland from the coastal beach front bungalow community. Still rather small but scattered with a selection of restaurants, shops and little markets. Like I mentioned before fruit is huge here. All the markets have bananas hanging, plies of different varieties of mangoes, dried and fresh chiles, garlic, onions, citrus fruits, limes the size of oranges, and a ton of exotic fruits I have never seen or heard of. Not being sure of what I could eat etc I didn't branch too far out of the trusted spots. Next time I go back now that I know most of the produce is safe from chemicals and such, I will try every single type of fruit there is. I will branch out and get detailed descriptions and learn more about the local cooking customs. That being said I was only there a week and I did as good as I could. I need to go back for a month, rent a small house with a kitchen, spend some time in local kitchens and really learn. I want to try more things and reach out to the locals. Until next time.

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We ate tons of guacamole, drank coronas, fruit cocktails, & micheladas. What's a Michelada you ask? It's a Mexican drink prepared with beer, tomato juice (or Clamato), lime juice, and assorted sauces, spices, and peppers. It is served in a chilled, salt-rimmed glass. There are numerous variations of this beverage throughout Mexico and Latin America. It's delicious and perfect for hangovers. Another thing worth mentioning is the Pico de Gallo. Fresh tomatoes, chiles, onions, cilantro and lime is just divine. Put it on everything, yes please. Mexican Ceviche is a combination of fresh seafood with the addition of pico de gallo and wah la you have ceviche. Made with baby shrimp, octopus or fish, swimming in a bowl of citrusy goodness, often accompanied by the trusted tortilla chip. If I can get my hands on some fresh seafood this summer you bet you bum, I will be making this. So simple and so tasty. Did I mention that most restaurants are outdoors or open aired on the beach? Nothing better then dining al fresco.

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The Trusted Coconut

My dear coconut, how I love you so. So Tulum is full of Coconut Palms. What's the difference? Palm trees, coconut trees? Well they are the same we found out. There are many different types but these are coco palms. Their uses are endless, I am in fact in love with this tree. The obviously health benefits of water inside the coco, the leaves can be used for thatched roof housing, coconut oil, coconut milk for my cocktails, the wood for burning. Endless amounts of uses and health benefits. My dear lovely coco. I love your smell and your taste.

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13 comments:

  1. That all looks so beautiful! How I long to be on holiday!! xxxxxxx

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  2. Absolutely amazing! Everything looks so bright and fresh. We loved Tulum--how I wish I could be back there right now! Can't wait to show these photos to Aron...

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  3. I had already looked at the photos on Flickr but it is so much more fun to get the actual story. This must have been like heaven on earth!

    The pears and bananas in my kitchen almost look sad, haha.

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  4. I LOVE how colourful everything is!In Finland everything tends to be white, grey, black - boring. I've always been drawn to the southern countries because they are always so vibrant, sunny, lively and colourful. This looks absolutely stunning Nicole, I love the photos!

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  5. Great pics! Thanks for showcasing how the food in Mexico is so much more than just tacos or chips and salsa. Their seafood is crazy delicious. I ate octopus and lobster every day in Cabo last year. Thanks for sharing!

    -Chrissy @ MyFareFoodie

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  6. Just wonderful!!! A magical place and incredibly beautiful pictures.
    I was three times in Tulum and will return as often and soon as possible.
    Thanks for your pictures!!!

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  7. I just found your blog and became a follower! :) Those pics look sooo amazing! :) Erin

    www.healthybranscoms.com

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  8. your photos are AMAZING. love your blog header too. simple and pretty.

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  9. Nicole, I adore your blog! First time here, popped you in my 'Reader. I will be back.

    Your photography is stunning!

    I spent a few weeks in Tulum doing some yoga teacher training and workshops a few yrs back. Thanks for making me feel like i was back there :)

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  10. hi! where did you stay in tulum?

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  11. @ JJ if you look at the entry prior its all about where we stayed. thanks

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  12. Thank you for the wonderful tour. I was in Tulum but did not stay there. I remember the water being green and rough. The food in Mexico is wonderful.

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  13. Hi Nicolle,
    Do you still have some adresses of good places to eat in Tulum?
    Thanks for the tips!
    Jeremie

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