by Alex Navarro
To all of you that are now visiting here, I would like to wish you very happy and healthy holidays, and share some things that could just be perfect to accomplish during your Mexican Cabo holiday vacation.
Well, you know Mexico has great food, so I would like to tell you about some holiday season dishes and drinks and maybe you might want to try while you are here. One of the most popular is called “romeritos”, which literally means little rosemary. But it is not like the herb, this is a wild plant consisting of sprigs named seepweed and the dish is prepared by mixing it in “mole” sauce with potatoes and sometimes shrimp. “Mole” is kind of an almond and chili pepper sauce with many spices and nuts, and sometimes fruit. There are many different types of “mole” sauce in Mexico, but the most popular and common are “mole poblano” and “mole negro”. If you get a chance to try “romeritos”, go for it, because they are a very special and tasty dish as well as being very nutritious.
One of my favorite holiday dishes that was always prepared in my house is called “bacalao”. The recipe came from my grandma on my father’s side. This is so delicious. It is made from salt dried Atlantic cod which is cooked in a seasoned tomato base sauce and mixed with diced almonds, cubed potatoes and a few raisins. It is usually served on top of toasted bread, but sometimes I eat it by the spoonful because it is so good.
Let’s talk a little about some holiday season drinks and beverages here in Mexico. Immediately “ponche” and “chocolate caliente” comes to mind. “Ponche” is basically a hot fruit punch made with many fruits like apples, guayabas, tejocotes, raisins, plums, spices like cinnamon, and sweetened with piloncillo. Pieces of sugar cane are also added, and sometimes rum or brandy. This is a very heart-warming beverage just like “chocolate caliente”, which is hot chocolate and is also a very traditional holiday beverage in Mexico. My favorite is the one prepared with just water, natural cocoa powder and sweetened with piloncillo. Of course, let’s not forget to have a little “mezcal” or “tequila” these holidays. They are not really traditional holiday drinks, but when you are Mexico you have to have some for sure.
Getting back to some great holiday season dishes, don’t miss out on having “caldo de camaron”. This is shrimp broth or soup. It is served in a big soup bowl and usually has lots of shrimp and is pretty spicy hot. It is quite popular during the holiday season here in Mexico, so try it while you are in Cabo because the seafood here is amazing. I suggest you add squeezed lime juice to your “caldo the camaron”. It tastes so good!
As you can see so far, these dishes are very healthy and delicious. A couple of other dishes that come to mind are “tamales” and “pozole”. We all know tamales since they are a very famous Mexican food. You can find them all year round but are also very popular during holiday festivities. Here in Cabo you can find some great ones in downtown San Jose in the main plaza. They have many different flavors like chicken, beef, veggies and cheese, and even some sweet ones like sweet corn. Tamales are made from corn dough that is vapor cooked inside banana leaves or corn leaves and filled with stuffing like I mentioned: chicken, etc. These are the best bargain in town since they are less than a couple of dollars each and are quite filling.
And finally, on the food talk, let me tell you about “pozole”. First of all, I love “pozole”. Besides being delicious and very nutritious and healthy, it reminds of many meals at my parent’s house with all the family at the table passing the ingredients to make our “pozole” just the way we wanted them. “Pozole” is a broth, usually from pork, with cooked hominy in it. It is typically served in a big clay pottery soup bowl and then you add all the toppings and seasonings you desire, like pulled pork meat, diced onions, powdered oregano, salt, lime juice, ground chili peppers, and salsa. In my house we would accompany the “pozole” with some “tostadas” with beans, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, salsa and fried chorizo, which is a spicy pork sausage. Mmm! I’m getting hungry!
So those are some amazing and healthy holiday dishes. Basically, you could lounge all day under a “palapa” and do nothing and not gain a pound with these recipes. Well, of course, if you have four or five “tamales” that is a different story, then some long walks will be required. All kidding aside. For sure you are going to get outdoors and enjoy all that Cabo has to offer. I will mention a few of the great activities and adventures you can try which are some of my favorite. In the water, snorkeling for sure. This is the best time of the year for that because the bays and coves are calm. Surfing on the Pacific side also for sure. The northwest swells are arriving all through the holiday season at these beaches, so get out there and get a session in or a lesson if it’s your first time. Cerritos beach is perfect for learning. The Pacific side and its lovely towns like Pescadero and Todos Santos are always a great idea for a winter escapade.
Another awesome thing to do during the holiday months is to do some sailing as the winds pick up nicely, and of course you can’t forget to plan a day trip to the hot springs in Santiago town as the chilly weather is ideal to relax inside them. But, the one thing that for me is one of the most magical things of the holiday season and winter time is the arrival and passing through of the grey whales in their yearly migration south to have their baby whales. It is such a beautiful thing to observe them in the gorgeous waters of Cabo. So for sure try to do a tour out of the Cabo San Lucas marina and hopefully you will encounter them. Plus, you will pass by the famous arch which will be in itself an unforgettable experience.
Finally, to stay healthy you have to stay safe, always inform yourself fully on all activities you are participating in or places you are visiting. Don’t do anything past your own limits and always try to observe your environment to keep you and all around you out of harm’s way. So get out there and have a great time, maybe sometimes out of your comfort zone, but in control, to get that big adrenaline rush that feels so good.
Thanks for visiting Baja and I would like to wish very happy and healthy holidays for all.