28 March 2009

Estoy buscando la comida mexicana

Another in an occasional series on adapting to life in Vermont:

Back when Howard Dean was running for president, I remember people voicing their concerns that he didn't have the background to govern a country as diverse as the US. I read one news report at the time that said that the population of Vermont was 96% white. I thought, "No, that can't be true!" Well, it's not. It's closer to 98%.

It's been a bit of a shock moving from Oakland to one of the whitest states in the nation. And I'm not sure what this says about me, but I think the thing I miss the most about moving to a less culturally diverse place is the food.

Needless to say, there isn't much Mexican food to be had around here. Because I grew up in Nevada and lived for so long in California, I kind of took for granted that there would be a Mexican place in every town. Even when I lived in Washington, all it took was a drive down South Tacoma Way to find it. But the closest thing within hailing distance that we've found here is a gringo-friendly burrito place in Middlebury. The nearest place we've actually eaten Mexican food is an hour and a half away in Albany, NY.

Rumor has it that there are a handful of Mexican workers in the dairy farms in the county north of us. Because so many are undocumented, though, it's not really clear how many there are. Nor is the population particularly settled, so none of the trappings of an immigrant community have followed them: things like ethnic groceries or taco trucks. God I miss taco trucks.

We do a reasonable job of making Mexican food at home, and we probably make it once a week or so. But there's nothing quite like a taco al pastor from the taco wagon, dripping with pastor juices and juice from those cute little limes that you can only seem to find at the taco truck. My cravings have gotten so desperate that I even went to Taco Bell in Rutland a few weeks ago. What's worse? I kind of enjoyed it.

So that's the state of things here in Vermont. There are certainly a lot of food-related benefits to living here, like knowing the farmer who grew your vegetables and being able to afford enough space to grow them yourself. I guess it's just up to Anne and I to turn those vegetables into Mexican food on our own.

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Anonymous Amy J said...

There is a so-so authentic (better than nothing) Mexican restaurant in Hudson Falls. We should go in the next couple weekends. Last time we went they gave us a free tequilla shot after dinner. How can you argue with that?

3/28/2009 10:51 PM

Blogger Caden said...

How do you think a carne asada burrito would fare on a car ride from Lynn to Poultney?

3/29/2009 4:24 AM

Blogger Beau said...

Now, thats making mexican food out of a garden plot.

I was trying to make a lemonade:lemons parity, but it just didn't come out right.

3/29/2009 10:20 PM

Blogger Mark said...

Amy - I've heard rumors of this place in Hudson Falls. The guy who sold us our car told us about it, but then he made some uncouth comments about the ethnicity of the people who work there, so we didn't really trust him. But a free tequila shot for the road? How can I argue with that? Anne says she'll go anywhere for free tequila. We'd love to join you for a trip across the border.

Matt (er...Caden) - As tempting as your offer is, I think I'll pass. I'm of the opinion that the burrito should be eaten within an hour of being made. That said, next time we're in your neck of the woods, maybe we should check out this place in Lynn.

Beau - when life gives you no Mexican food, you grow it at home!

3/30/2009 3:28 AM

Anonymous chloe said...

What this says about you is that you have your priorities in the right place!

Do you have any Asian grocery stores? If so, you can get your limes there!

5/12/2009 9:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


4/16/2010 7:47 PM


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