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What’s to eat?

29 November 2007

Wow.. cool!: One Week’s Worth of Food Around Our Planet is a series of photos of families from around the world, posing with a week’s worth of groceries, and a little bit about the family’s eating habits.

The Casales family of Cuernavaca spends an average of 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos and says their favorite foods are pizza, crab, pasta, and chicken.

People are always surprised that Mexicans love pizza (don’t we all) and are fanatical about seafood. I always figured the reason the Catholic Church finally did away with fish on Friday is that the Mexicans looked forward to it — not exactly a sacrifice. Notice that the family groceries include about a dozen 2-liter bottles of Coca-cola. Alas, that’s typical. The boxes stacked on the table in front of the cokes — and on the chair in front of the corn flakes — are milk (which comes in “ultra-pastuerizado” tetra-pack boxes that don’t need refrigeration) has recently gone up in price, but is important in the Mexican diet (as are eggs — I only see about two dozen in the photo). Cheese, and chicken provide most of the rest of the animal protein.

Notice that other than things like cooking oil and coca-cola (and the milk) and a vew canned goods, most of the food is unpackaged.  I don’t know if the photo was posed with “ringer” food, but I think it must be.   The bollios — bread rolls (in front of the little guy in the blue shirt) — would go stale in a day or two if they were bought by the week. As would the various dulces (pastries) next to the bollios. Mexicans are serious about their pastries: the French invaded in 1828 over an unpaid pastry bill going back to a bunch of army cadets rampaging through a French owned bakery back in 1824 (supposedly scarfing down a few thousand pesos in doughnuts… well, the cadets were teenage boys, so I guess it’s possible).

There are at least two stacks of tortillas — I’d guess about 10 kilos worth. The Casales are not a prosperous family (you can see the bedroom right behind the kitchen), but they are comfortable.  Tortillas have gone up in price, but you can’t get through the week — or the day — without at least a half kilo per person.

People usually buy their fruits and vegetables and tortillas by the day… but you can see they eat a lot of them… especially fresh fruit.  On the red table are chilies, chayotes, tomatillos (the little round green things) and tomatos — more staples of every day meals.  As are the avocados,:  all native Mexican plants.

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¡Buen provecho, familia Casales!

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