Salsa and…………..New Shoes! A Week in Chapala

Sometimes this blog just writes itself. We don’t have a list of topics we’re set to discuss. We simply chronicle life here in Chapala at lakeside. Whatever comes up is what you’ll see here.

Bonita is visiting the States for a few weeks, so I’m here enduring the seventy degree weather during the day and the low sixties at night. As they say, somebody’s gotta do it…………………

This week salsa has been on my mind, and, more importantly, my tongue.

Now, just a warning. I love my salsa HOT! As in spicy hot. The hotter the better for me. When I sample salsas locally, the vendors, seeing an obvious gringo, warn me, oh es picante (Spanish for spicy hot). I assure them I like it that way. And sometimes it really is nice and spicy.

To get the really spicy ones here, and, never fear, there are lots and lots of salsas available in mild to bland, I usually have to buy bottled salsas.

Funny thing, fresh salsa is rare here. There is a family that makes fresh every day and retails down at the local mercado. Yummy! But they are the exception. All the restaurants have salsa; pretty much all make their own. And to get fresh salsa, that’s what you do here. You make your own.

But that’s not me. So, I hunt for salsas in shops and markets.

A few weeks ago, we were in Mexico City.  At one restaurant, I was served a smokey, spicy, earthy salsa that was just divine. I wanted some and the restaurant was willing, but flying and salsa as a carry-on do not mix, so I asked our server if the mercado attached to the restaurant had any comparable salsa. And they did.

I now have a local shop owner hunting this down for me.

Sunday, my neighbor and I made our way to Guadalajara to an event featuring artists and artisans from all over Mexico. Took us a while to actually find the place, even with the help of Google Maps. We were very glad that we didn’t give up the search.

The venue was Expo Guadalajara, which is a huge exhibition hall.

As we entered the exhibition/market, we got a spectacular reminder that the Day of the Dead is rapidly approaching here in Mexico (Thursday and Friday, November 1 and 2).

The show was a delight and to my joy there were several artisan salsa makers there.

Now, in the U.S., salsa typically means one thing: a thick red sauce of tomatoes and onions and cilantro in either mild, medium or hot (and what they label as hot tastes very mild to me).

In Mexico, salsa is a marvel. All kinds of variety.

One vendor from Veracruz had habanero with lemon, habanero with garlic, and straight habanero. All truly wonderful.

And then, there were the shoes.I’m pretty much a typical guy. I have a pair of everyday shoes (sneakers), and a couple of pairs of more formal shoes. That’s it. But these shoes were something else and I just couldn’t resist.

So howdaya like my new shoes?????? (Yes, I really did buy them!)

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