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Feb 7, 2007 06:22 PM

Acapulco - what special food item should I bring home?

We'll be in Acapulco for a day as part of a 14-day cruise. Can you tell me if there is some special, non-perishable food item that I could bring home with me? Hopefully something that I can't buy in Northern California... Thanks!

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  1. personally, I'd bring bubble wrap and packing (So you can put it in your suitcase for the flight), and bring home tequila. Even if you buy something you can get here, it should cost quite a bit less...and that is true even if you buy it at the airport store, if my most recent Mexico visit was any indication! (though it has been years since my last trip to Acapulco, I can't imagine it would be much different). Also, I like the Kahlua Especial, I think it is called: higher alcohol and has a darker label, and while you can sometimes get it here, it is much cheaper in Mexico.

    1. Thanks Susan! I hadn't thought of bubble wrap and I'll stick some in my bag and I'll look for the Kahlua Especial. Any particular tequila you'd recommend? I'm only familiar with the basics like looking to see if it's 100% blue agave...

      2 Replies
      1. re: RWCFoodie

        Try Don Eduardo reposado--it's my all-time favorite tequila, smooth and with a delicious floral aftertaste. Or try Don Julio reposado, which is a little heavier and almost equally good.

        Forget anything Cuervo--it's the bottom of the barrel here in Mexico, made primarily for the foreign palate.

        AND--while you're here, try a paloma instead of a margarita. Very few Mexicans drink margaritas--they're considered to be a wimped-out ladies' drink. Men (and many women) drink tequila straight up, with a sangrita (sahn GREE tah) chaser--none of this fancy-dancy squeeze the lime, lick the salt business.

        The paloma is a mixed drink: tequila over ice, a pinch of salt, a squeeze of limón, and fill the glass with Squirt, the grapefruit soft drink. Don't knock it till you try it!

        If you're in a grocery store, ask for La Morena chiles jalapeños en escabeche (whole pickled jalapeños). Take a couple of small cans home with you--they're fabulous and the can is beautiful.

        And for wonderful little souvenirs for your friends back home, look for bottled Cholula salsa. For just a few pesos, you can take back a bunch of small bottles. Bubble wrap will come in hand for those, too.

        1. re: cristina

          Hi Cristina,
          Thanks for the suggestions - interesting about the "Paloma" cocktail - our son-in-law is Mexican-American and has been making this for us for several years at family gatherings as competition for the "Italian Sunrise" (vodka & orange juice with a campari float) that my husband usually serves! I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so I have access to many Mexican food items so Cholula isn't anything different, that is unless they have other versions of it than the ones we see here. We're familiar with Don Julio so I'll have to check out the reposado prices... Thanks again.

      2. Do make sure that you wrap that tequila very, very well. I was on a flight out of Dallas not too long ago that was delayed for hours when a "suspicious" liquid was spotted in the cargo hold as the luggage was being loaded. The flight was a continuation of one that had originated in Mexico.

        The plane was evacuated and the bomb squad called out. All of the luggage was offloaded and inspected. Eventually the culprit was found: several broken bottles of tequila within one of the bags that had leaked all over......

        2 Replies
        1. re: janetofreno

          Good point Janet - I really don't like the idea of packing anything liquid and breakable in the checked luggage - had a bad experience many years ago with a bottle of perfume.... that said, I'm already stressing about the toiletries - will put them in double zip-locks and hope for the best.

          1. re: janetofreno

            I think some tequilas come in the type of packaging that already protects it: similar to the canister packaging that scotches come in.(?) That and bubble wrap really should protect it well enough. We brought home a bottle of scotch from England even without the bubble wrap that way.

            So look for cannisters. I bet you can find them. I suspect the airport stores are all carrying them now (i am pretty sure they were when I flew home from Guadalajara last time, which I think was after the liquids restrictions) and put bubble wrap both in and out. of course, it is probably the more expensive bottles that come pre=packaged in cannisters, but those are probably the ones you want to get anyway (less available here).

            You might try tasting a few down there to figure out what you like. adds to the fun!

          2. I'll be in Mexico all next week. I plan to bring back a lot of Oaxaca cheese.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Too bad you're not coming to Guadalajara, Sam. Next time!

              Have a great trip.

              1. re: cristina

                Thank you. Next time indeed. Our small group (crop and climate modelers and social scientists working on reaching the right people with biofortified staples and with more drought resistant crops) will get to the city (from Taxcoco) for two nights for dinner. Do you have any last minute recommendations? These are all people who have lived in developing countries all over the globe for all of their adult lives and who like food (albeit probably not as fanatic as the likes of us). Abrazos.

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  I really like Izote, in Polanco. The chef/owner Patricia Quintana, author of a growing number of cookbooks, is a strong proponent of both preservation and innovation in the world of Mexican alta cocina.

                  El Tajín is also wonderful, in Coyoacán. The chef/owner is Alicia Gironella, one of the longtime mainstays in preserving Mexico's traditional cuisines, author of numerous excellent cookbooks, and a guiding force behind the UNESCO Patrimonio de Humanidad push to make the corn kitchen a world heritage honoree.

                  And if you can get out to UNAM for a weekday comida, DO NOT MISS Azul y Oro. Chef/owner is Ricardo Muñoz Zurita. The food is out of this world. Ricardo wrote the definitive encyclopedia of Mexican gastronomy, among other important volumes. Salúdamelo mucho, porfas.

                  Azul y Oro
                  Centro Cultural Universitario, UNAM
                  Mexico City
                  5622-7135 (call for reservations and directions)

                  Buen viaje, cuídate mucho, y diviértate hasta lo máximo.

                  1. re: cristina

                    Cristina, I'm back in Cali with thanks for your recommendations. Unfortunately, our group was able to get to the City only once, and we wasted that opportunity on someone else's not very special choice (although my snapper over wild zetas was good). The best we did was at Taqueria Tejamariles in Texcoco--OK alhambres (with nopal) y pozoles. The tacos al pastor on the streets remain fantastic; although Texcoco has unfortunately "cleaned up" the area next to the market that had the really good food stalls. So, back home with a styrofoam (taco warmer) full of tortillas, a bunch of Oaxaca cheese, and a stash of fresh epazotle. Abrazos.

            2. Non - perishable? Locally produced bottled / jarred salsas, vanilla. Tequila & Kahlua? Nah. Only if you can't source it stateside. But perishable? Oaxacan cheese.. yes.. especially string cheese. Depends on which leg of your cruise you might want to eat or smuggle perishables...