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Summer BBQ in Toluca, Mexico
Submitted by: erinm
Upon arriving in Mexico D.F. to visit a friend, I was whisked away to a house in the small town of Toluca, about 30 minutes outside of the city's capital. We arrived mid-afternoon to the architecturally astounding villa, and found our way to a terrace overlooking miles of pasture.
I immediately noticed the host's cousin, both because he was undoubtedly good-looking and because he was grilling arranchera (flank steak) shipped in from Chihuahua, whole prawns, cebollitas (spring onions), and nopales (cactus) over an open charcoal grill. The flames just touched the steak, causing juices to drip, which in turn agitated the flames so that a perfect char was formed on the vegetables, prawns, and meat. Apart from the flank steak, the highlight of the meal was chicharrón (pork rinds) stewed until meltingly tender in salsa verde (a tomatillo-based salsa), which came close to gustatory perfection when wrapped in a still hot, just-pressed corn tortilla.
We sipped our Paloma cocktails and looked out from the terrace onto the rolling pasture, as horses grazed lazily and the sun set over the quiet valley of Toluca. Our adventure in Mexico had just begun, and I was giddy with anticipation for our next meal.