A Oaxacan Adventure
By Rose Langbein
Adventures in Oaxaca
Escape to Mexico
At the end of 2020, after many months cooped up in a tiny NYC studio amidst a global pandemic, I was lucky to spend a few months on the coast of Oaxaca — near a small fishing village named Puerto Ángel. It was a time to slow down, reconnect with nature, explore a new culture, and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
At every spare moment, we piled into the car and set off to explore a new beach. The coastline reminded me a bit of the east coast of New Zealand — very wild, rugged, and incredibly beautiful.
During the course of our time, we ate at numerous restaurants scattered along the coast — from Puerto Escondido down to La Bocana. Whilst many of their offerings were the same — ceviche, aguachile, tostadas, pescadillas, guacamole, fish tacos and fish hamburgers — each had their own nuances and variations.
When I wasn’t eating beachside, I cooked. There were a handful of local markets where I could buy fresh vegetables. Although it was autumn/winter, you wouldn’t really know it by what was available. There were a few pumpkins here and there, but everything else was consistent — tomatoes, potatoes, corn, courgette, avocado, chayote, etc. For a couple of weeks around Dia de Muertos (day of the dead) there were stacks of brilliant orange marigolds everywhere — overflowing in the back of old trucks and stacked over shoulders in large bunches. I often found myself searching for glimpses of a bright orange bouquet whilst passing a courtyard. I love Mexico.
I really enjoyed the simplicity of my cooking. Usually I am spoilt for choice when it comes to ingredients, but when you don’t have much at hand, it forces you to be resourceful (sometimes we need some encouragement). I made a delicious tart with flour, oil, salt, ricotta, garlic and silverbeet. So simple and so delicious. At home I would’ve added chilli flakes and lemon zest and fresh herbs and maybe some dried herbs too and perhaps a little Parmesan, but it didn’t need it. After a few tries I finally figured out how to get black beans with a deep rich flavour (the first attempts were very watery and boring). As always, I made lots of frittatas for lunch — often with just a couple of potatoes, onion and smoked paprika, more like a Spanish tortilla. And I found a good bakery so managed to sneak in some sandwiches too.
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