Monday, November 8

little fatties

If a Mexican calls you "gordito" or "gordita" (harshly translated: kinda fat) - don't necessarily take it as an insult. Weight is a very common thing to comment upon down here and people shouldn't take it too to heart. It's not fun - but it's not that big of a deal either.

Gordito/a is a fun word because there are various foods with the name - and each and every namesake is destined to make you a little gordito if you eat too much. Gordita example 1...cheese or meat stuffed in a thick fried tortilla. Gordita example 2: day of the dead cookies traditional to Arcelia and other real deal pueblos (the towns where you still happen to see grandpa riding his horse down the street...yeah - I saw him). 
I had a moment of "uh oh - I'm too adapted" when I arrived to Arcelia for Día de Muertos weekend. I said hello to Jaime's relatives and then immediately asked where the gorditas were. My Mexican craving wasn't disappointed...a treasure chest of fall-apart, perfect-to-drink-with-a-cup-of-coffee cookies were waiting for me!  
Yes - I did notice the grease marks on the paper - you know what you're getting into before eating something called "little fatty". The incredible thing about this treat is not only that it's delicious (best description I can think of is the offspring of a corn muffin & a cinnamon graham cracker) - there's an amazing & tedious tradition behind it that people are still abiding to in 2010.  

First - get to the market to buy some corn kernels. Boil it up - then go ahead and put that out in the sun to dry. No big deal - just take your dried corn to the local mill so you can get your corn flour. Oh but gotta put your flour out to dry again. (Jaim's uncle said he tended to the drying process up on their roof for TWO DAYS!) Now get that extra dry flour to the mill again cuz you're gonna want it a little finer. OK! Flour's ready - take it along with your other ingredients to your friendly baker down the street. They'll let you use their industrial size mixers so you can whip up your 10 kilos of cookie dough. (Only 22 pounds this year, Tía Yolanda, what happened??) Roll out the little gordita balls and stamp a little design to squish them down. Take your who-knows-how-many trays over to the wood-burning brick oven and a nice man who's probably been working in the family business since he was 11 will tend to the baking process for you. If you're lucky, the line won't be too long with the other ladies in your neighborhood and you can head home with your tub-o-goodness before nightfall. 
All sassiness aside - customs like this really inspire me. Jaime and I casually walked into the bakery where his aunt had made her cookies two days before and I got to see the process 1st hand. I even got to try one of Doña Choya's gorditas. With her 40 years of experience - this lady has got it down.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the treats, gal! They sure were yummy! :)