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  • Valentin Atayde

Chilaquiles.. what happened to the bread?.

CHILAQUILES Chilaquiles are just an essential part of Mexican cuisine, as normal for adults and kids in Mexico as knowing you might get robbed on your walk home from the Metro. One of those things you don’t remember when or how you were introduced to, but you certainly know they exist. When was the first time I tried them? I honestly do not remember. I do not have the classic and ultra-used cliche memory of the grandma cooking them for me as a child or anything like that, but I do remember one thing: I was sitting at a table with my uncle’s new girlfriend’s family to whom, he assured, I would be the perfect boyfriend for their daughter. He said they should fix us now (then) before it was too late and another family would have found how great and smart I was. Yup, I was 7 years old, maybe the best version of me, ever, but for some reason, they passed on the offer. Can you hear the sarcasm? My theory is the following. They had a very nice house, as I can recall, and the table looked amazing... a picture-perfect set up on the table, almost like on TV with the orange juice, fruits, pastries and both 1 glass for water and 1 for juice. The food came out of the kitchen nicely presented and yes, you guessed correctly, they were chilaquiles verdes (green chilaquiles for those that don’t know their colors in Spanish yet). Everyone started eating except for me because I unconsciously was waiting for the telera bread to come out of the kitchen. A couple of minutes later, the mother of my future girlfriend/maybe wife asked me with a mocking voice, “Why are you not eating? Don’t you like chilaquiles? Are they too spicy for you?” Spicy? I repeated in my head, she didn’t know I was trained for spicy food thanks to my aunt and her intense spicy eating challenges, but that is another story ( read Vegetales Con Chamoy for that story) I just replied, “No, they don’t smell spicy, I am just waiting for the bread!” All of a sudden, it felt like I had said a bad word or something. Everyone stopped and stared for a second before they started laughing, not like I said something funny, but more like making fun of me and they were enjoying that I was embarrassed. This was the moment I realized that not everyone ate chilaquiles with bread like we did, which is too bad for them because is simply delicious! This is a recipe for chilaquiles rojos the way we offer them at Mercadito Food Truck, they have a twist to the traditional way of Chilaquiles Rojos (red chilaquiles). If you want a side of telera bread to go with them, don’t be shy..the bread is on me!!

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