Page 38 - WCM 2019 Winter
P. 38

                          Local, Fresh, Flavorful Photos and Story by Aranka Matolcsy
 Whether you fancy a seat at the bar, or a cozy booth, the crew at
A La Mexicana will treat you like family with real home cooking, Mexican-style.
“When it’s done properly, taco should be a verb.”
~ Jonathan Gold
Believe it or not, Western Maine and Mexico have quite a bit in common. You may not think so at first, but I bet you’ll agree after a tour of the diverse Mexican offerings along Maine’s “West Coast.”
Much like the southwest, our little corner of the world also features a myriad of landscapes and extremes in weather. Both cultures also value local and seasonally-available food, and sharing it with others. And both place great importance on hard work and family.
To put it all in context, let’s take a brief tour of Mexican gastronomy. Broadly defined, gastronomy is the relationship between food and culture, and every- thing to do with preparing, tasting, experiencing and sharing it.
The roots of Mexican cuisine have ancient origins in the Aztec, a people who cultivated beans and corn, and lived in an environment that provided honey, wild chili, cocoa and salt. This ancient culture thrived without a sustainable protein source, very likely because beans and corn, when eaten together, form a perfect combination of amino acids, and provide the building blocks of protein. Now there’s something you didn’t know ... followed by the “Aha!” moment when you now realize just why Mexican food feels like such great fuel, in addition to being so delicious!
But what about the amazingly seasoned meats like chorizo sausage, with herbs and spices that stir up images of sitting on a flagstone veranda capped by latilla ceilings? Now I can’t keep from thinking about the mouth-watering meals, and lovely atmospheres of the Mexican destinations in our neck of the woods! I digress! Back to Old Mexico....
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