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Aug 24, 2007 09:26 AM

Tips for Jatelnango in Chiapas and Huatusco in Vera Cruz [Split from Home Cooking Board]

No, we were in Guatemala and Nicargua up to last Friday. We'll be in Jatelnango in Chiapas and Huatusco in Vera Cruz. Any tips?

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  1. Unfortunately, I don't know much about Chiapas (other than immigrants from Chiapas disproportionately win awards at the various grassroots culinary fairs in Mexico City... like the one held in the Zocalo every year.... regularly beating out their more internationally reknown counterparts from Oaxaca, Puebla & the Yucatan).

    Huatusco.... I guess you are on a coffee trip, right? I read about the effort to switch the local production away from generic stuff for the Big 5 Roasters towards more of a distinguished, Free Trade model.... is that what you are up to?

    Anyway if you are in Huatusco you are fairly lucky because they have some tasty exotic stuff.... and your nearest big town is Cordoba as well as Orizaba... and Xalapa-Coatepec isn't that far either.

    The reknown specialties from Huatusco are:

    > Tlatonile... a type of simple mole made from toasted Sesame & Chile seeds... usually served with chicken but the more traditional versions are quail, turkey or a local type of squirrel

    > Salsa de Chicatanas.... a green salsa with ground giant ants from the local forest

    > Flowers are very important in the local cuisine particularly the Izote (that is where Quintana derived the name for her international reknown restaurant in Polanco), Xaxana, & Gasparito.

    > Roots are another specialty here particularly the Tepejilote which resembles spaghetti & the chayotestle (chayote roots).

    > In general look for traditional Veracruz cooking based on Hoja Santa & Chayotes.

    > Products made from local fruits like Coffee, Oranges, Blackberries & Nanches (particularly Liquers, Preserved Fruits, Atoles.... and of course the fresh stuff)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Eat_Nopal

      EN, brilliant, thank you. Last time we were in Huatusco, we had little time to look for good eats--other than all the good suff we ate in the little restaurants in town. Standard fare, however.

      We're looking at the impacts (and ways to monitor impacts) on small coffee producers of fair trade organic production for Green Mountan Coffee Roasters. Some of the Huatusco production is eventually purchased by GMCR.

      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Enjoy.... I expect a detailed report =)