Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Utensils - Mexican Style

A few years ago I went to a BBQ cookout at a friend's house in Texas. She, along with most of her family, was born in Mexico and is now living in the states.  Mexicans sure know how to season the carne (meat) and asar (grill) it to perfection.  Along with the frijoles (beans) and arroz (rice) there was salsa (salsa) and pico de gallo (chopped up tomatos, onions, jalapenos, cilantro with lemon juice).  Everything in parentheses are translations for my gringo and guero (Yankee and white) friends.

So I loaded up my plate and sat down to eat except I couldn't find a fork or knife.  I asked my friend about utensils and she informed the me, the nitwit northern foreigner, that's what tortillas are for.  Huh?  Observe this, she says to me as she folds a tortilla in half and then rips into two pieces at first and then rips the half piece into two more pieces.  Then with the same skill level as Asians eating pieces of rice with chopsticks, she used one piece of tortilla to scoop bits of meat, frijole, rice and salsa into another piece of tortilla to eat sans utensils. This ritual goes on until the plate is wiped clean. It looked easy enough so I gave it try.  The tortilla tearing went OK but the scooping part didn't go so well.  I ended up with a smear of beans and the meat fell out before it hit my mouth. Fast forwarding to present day I am proud to say that I can now use tortillas like utensils. Maybe not as good as my friend, but most of it gets in my mouth instead of my lap.

Now, if I can just get the hang of chopsticks.


  1. Haha - too true.

    Hubby also says there is a "way" to eat a tortilla..pinky up. I'm still learning.

  2. Oh, yes! The tortilla scoop... I know it well.

    I always get made fun of here for eating all my ingredients separately. Meat with a fork and knife is lame, apparently.

    I also get made fun of for always eating pico de gallo with totopos. I could make a meal out of that! (actually I have)

  3. Mexican Time - pinky? are you kidding? you know i am going to observe people eating tortillas for the pinky status.

    gringation - who makes fun of you for eating pico de gallo with totopos? i thought this was part of the food pyramid... right at the top.

  4. I always have my eggs with tortillas. No fork. I like a little chorizo now and then too. Some things stick with you because it's just better that way!


  5. My gringo husband learned this from his Puerto Vallarta friends...now its all he does even if there are forks and spoons readily available...

  6. Candi - So you like a little chorizo now and then. My dirty mind is working.

    Meet the Family - just think of all the money you are saving on replacing lost utensils.

  7. The tortilla scoop is why I have so many red and black shirts, hides all the stuff that drops down my middle. And what is it with the no forks deal? I like forks. My consuegra has about (seriously) 300 spoons but maybe 3 forks. I have never seen a Mexican use one. The other day one of my very young students told her mom she likes forks and the look on her mom's face was about what you would expect if she had said she liked to eat dog poop.