Tuesday, 26 January 2010
The Torta Got Me Going Again.
A cold and slow start to a week is never the most inspiring. Sat back idling in my chair I let my computer screen darken before drifting off into the sleepy screensaver of yestermeal. My screensaver, which I haven't seen in months, is a compilation of food photos I have taken over the past few years and it's in times like these that I remember why I have this photo album set to screensaver. Pulling me slowly from my desktop-doldrums were images from eating on my travels. One image in particular got me roused, alert and ready to get back to work. It wasn't of a homely meal cooked by my mother nor a perfectly plated course from a Michelin starred restaurant but a photo of a greasy, torta al pastor from the roadside in Merida, Mexico.
My wife and I were living in Merida for a while a few years back and whenever we passed this spot on the way to the city market we always dropped in for some 'dirty tortas' as we affectionately named them. Just two men and two fillings, chicken or pork. With numbers like that there is far less to go wrong and it never did. One of the guys would pull apart some marinated and slow cooked pork shoulder with some tongs before scooping up the meat with his fingers along with plenty of the fatty juices, he would then but the other half of your bread, cut side down, into the fatty juices to soak whilst he used his fingers again to scoop some pickled red onion salsa onto your pork before picking the oily top to your torta and dropping it onto a plastic plate. On the plastic tables were small bowls of possibly the hottest habanero chili salsa known to man for you to add to the torta while swatting the flies away from your sarnie. All this for just 5 pesos each (about 35p). It's little surprise that I used to eat about three each time we stopped by.
Do you have a screen saver for moments in need of inspiration? Is there a food or meal that gets your mouth watering at the mere mention of it?