May 2006


There has been much activity in the realm of Mexican Snack Food.

First, Mexican Coke is, as Matthew noted, a well discussed phenomenon. I found some semi-locally, but not locally enough for the per bottle deposit to be reasonable. $4 a bottle when I want to stock up is Way Too Much. Fortunately, there are quite a few more Mexican Markets for me to look into, and if all else fails there are a few options online. The best deal for my needs appears to be MexGrocer. It came out to about $2 per bottle, shipped. It’s still steep, but I can afford to do it every once in a while.

Apparently the import of Mexican Coke is something the US bottlers do everything they can to fight. See, Coke is a very distributed company, in terms of who owns what, and all the production and bottling is done by several different companies. The bottlers in the US can’t really afford to use cane sugar instead of corn syrup, and are trying to block the import of the superior Mexican product. So much for NAFTA. Apparently in some places it’s so bad that Mexican Coke is only sold by distributors in person, for cash, with no receipt. There are even stories of local governments fining and bullying distributors despite the fact that there’s nothing illegal about importing a legitimate foreign version of a product.

Finally, if you want to try some cane sugar Coke, be ready next April. A little before Passover each year (April 2, 2007 is the next one), some stores will carry Kosher for Passover Coke. Since Jews Hate Corn* they refuse to have corn syrup during Passover. Since Thirst Knows No Season a bottler in New York puts out Coca Cola that even the most Observant Jew can drink.

Mexican Doritos however, are a bust so far. No sign of them in the markets, not a store online that sells them, and not even discussion of the superior flavor. Since Sabritos, the Mexican distributor is actually just an arm of Frito-Lay, I’ve sent an email to see if they have any suggestions on how I can give them money in exchange for a product that I enjoy. No reply yet.

Lastly, while I totally recommend the Nachos flavor of Mexican Doritos, the Diablo flavor is insanely bad. It’s not even just that they taste bad. They are Physically Unpleasant to have in your mouth. Tara thinks the aftertaste is ok, but the degree to which it isn’t worth it is not expressable using your Earth Math.

*Jews do not hate corn. One of the Mitzvahs of Passover involves avoiding eating or even owning any Chametz during passover. For certain Jewish communities, that includes corn, and corn products. This, of course, includes corn syrup. This basically leaves Matzoh, which sounds ok at first, since Matzoh is pretty good, but man, it would get old.

Perhaps some of you are wondering “Ian, where have you been?”

Perhaps others of you are wondering “Ian, which country’s regional food is your favorite?”

The answer to both of these questions is

MEXICO

A report of my findings. BUT FIRST:

A Note on Style:
Beginning with this post, and ending
Whenever I Feel Like It, I will be using
the device of Arbitary Capitalization.
Some people find this kind of thing
Very Annoying or simply Irritatingly
Precious. To them I reply that it was
long the standard of English Writing,
used even before there really were
standards, and It Was Good Enough
for Ben Franklin.

And Now, Mexico:

Mexico:

Is Very Hot.

Things That Are Really Good In Mexico, Which You Pretty Much Expected:

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Salsa Verde
  • Fried Cheese (this is good everywhere)
  • Hand Painted Plates
  • Swimming

Things That Are Really Good In Mexico, And You Had No Idea:

  • Coca Cola*
  • Doritos**
  • Cheetos***
  • Pizza
  • Reading During Siesta

Mexicans Apparently Love:

  • Futbol
  • Italian Food
  • Kung Fu Movies

The Most Amazing Thing About the Place I Stayed:

Every Room Has a Private Pool narrowly beats New And Different Flower Petal Designs Daily On Pillows.

Pasta in Mexico:

Always seems to be A Little Off.

Coca Cola in Mexico:

Really is a lot better. I brought a big bottle home.

Everyone in Mexico is Catholic:

Even if they’re not.

How Excited Mexican Cab Drivers Get When Tara Speaks Spanish:

Super Excited.

How Excited Tara Gets When Cab Drivers Speak Spanish back:

Extra Super Excited.

The Video Game Store I Found:

Was totally legit. That was kind of a let down.

Mexican Pornography:

Seemed to all be imported from Spain.


*In the US, Coke is sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup. This is mostly because the US Government has enormous subsidies for corn farmers, and enormous tarrifs on foreign sugar. Theoretically, this is to help small corn farmers survive, but of course, most farming is now done by huge corporate farms. In Mexico they use real sugar. The taste is a little less sweet, but also more subtle and smooth.

**Doritos in the US have, for years now, been crying out for help. Everyone is quite satisfied with the level of cheesiness, and still they announce that they are cheesier. They even changed the name to Nacho Cheesier!. Recently, they have gone too far, and now Doritos are gross. Mexican Doritos do not have this problem, and are instead totally delicious, with a very reasonable cheese level, and a hint of jalapeno.

***See Above.

I have invented a new game. The game is called Stalker.

It is a game for roommates.

What you do is, see, you all try to sneak into each other’s rooms in the middle of the night. Then you take pictures of each other sleeping. At the end of a play period (say, a week to ten days) you gather together and show each other the photographs. The person with the most different pictures wins!

And is kicked out.