As much as I love living in Mexico City, it´s always good to get away for a few days and catch a breath somewhere less contaminated.
On a brighter note, the spring has arrived to the City. Well, technically its always spring but now its more beautiful than ever, with jacarandas blossoming on every corner. More pics.
Sometime ago we came across a list of haciendas, this is, country estates which date back to colonial times and are now turned into hotels. Back in the days this is were where the wheat, corn, sugar, cocoa were cultivated; as well as agave – the plant used for producing pulque (an alcoholic, fermented drink also known as “the beverage of gods”). It is said that haciendas played an important role in Mexico´s economy, both in colonial times and later on, once independent. Each of them is meant to be very different, reflecting the architecture trends from each century as well as the unique characteristics of each region.
Number 10, la Hacienda de Chautla, turned out to be the perfect place for a Sunday chillaxing in the sun, you can even fish your own dinner and have it cooked for you any style (yummy chipotle).
Having decided to make the weekend a little bit longer, we drove to the city of Puebla, a.k.a. the City of Angels (according to the legend, it was the angels that helped building the main cathedral) , a.k.a. the city of mole (a mexican speciality and a must-try), a.k.a. the city of tacos arabes (arab-style tacos), a.k.a. city of the 5 de mayo battle (this is where mexican troops triumphed over the french in the 1862, and there are many who think that 5 de mayo is Mexico’s independence day- wrong! Read more here).
Puebla also happens to have one of the 17 most stylish designer hotels in Mexico, La Purificadora.
Coludn´t help myself checking out if Poland is on the list there it is!
So the mission was to try the legendary mole. Or moles, as it comes in many versions (like pepián, a sauce made of pumpkin seeds or peanuts, or another one made from plantain)¡! According to the legend, it was created by pure accident in a convent when nuns panicked over the bishops visit. Not having much to cook to please the important visitor with a sophisticated meal, they threw together all there was and voilá! the mole was born.
The main ingredients of this thick sauce are chiles and chocolate, I would say a difficult combination of tastes which you can either love or hate. And unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of the mole from Puebla… Why?
An Uber driver said it was a mistake having it in a nice pretty restaurant instead of a local market. And Ubers are always right… right?
In Mexico City I have tried it on local markets and probably the best restaurant in the whole country, Pujol (my unappetizing picture doesn’t really reflect what Pujol is). The luckier you get, the older the mole is. Mine was 828 days old!!!! More on mole@Pujol
Another thing typical for Puebla are cemitas, which are nothing else but the widely known tortas, that is – sandwiches. Although it definitely is a fast food option, it is served in restaurants as a quite elaborated dish. It is assumed that the salted bread rolls were introduced by the French during the Invasion.
A fact for croissant lovers, French pastry was also the reason for starting a year-long war (1838-1839) known as “Guerra de los Pasteles” (“Pastry War”), all because one pastry shop in CDMX got demolished.
Although the list of the Puebla food specialities is much longer, most of them are seasonal so we didn’t have a chance to try all of it. Defo coming back for this stuffed chile with pomegranate and nutty sauce!!!
All in all, I think I didn’t really understand Puebla beyond the gastronomy. Although it is a massive huge city with lots of investment and new projects being developed to boost the tourism etc (like the cable car), it still has the small-town feeling to it (the cable car is the smallest I have ever seen). The main square is just like any other zócalo with a Cathedral as the central point, and this is probably the main thing I´ll remember about Puebla. Ohh and La Purificadora which is definitely my highlight! 🙂
Thankfully, Puebla is not only the city but a state which means there´s more to it. Like Cholula, one of the 83 mexican “magical towns” (pueblos mágicos). Let me guess are you thinking what I was thinking???
No, Cholula sauce is not from Cholula, its from Jalisco. But still, its deli isn’t it?! And Cholula is deli too, home to the Puebla´s university it´s a popular spot for bar crawling. Plus the views!