A Oaxacan Adventure

By Rose Langbein

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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.

If you're planning a trip to Mexico I recommend starting in Mexico City — it is one of the best food cities in the world. There are lots of funky AirBnBs and boutique hotels in Roma Nte and La Condesa, and that's also where you will find many delicious restaurants and groovy bars.

From there you can fly down to Oaxaca City. We stayed at Grana B&B twice — it has a beautiful courtyard in the middle and the most incredible tiled kitchen and big baths and cool rooms.

From there, you can rent a car and drive to the coast, or fly if you are tight for time. Work your way from Puerto Escondido down to La Crucecita, exploring the surf beaches along the way.

Alternatively, you can fly from Mexico City down to the east coast and visit Tulum and Isla Holbox. There is so much to explore!


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