Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm Getting "Méxican-ized"

The first time I bought chicken breast at the market in Progreso, the butcher sliced it thin, in a modified butterfly fashion. I learned that this is so it cooks faster, a necessity in the hot, humid tropics. Even we northerners know enough to try to avoid turning the oven on when it's hot.

It seems that those of us with European ancestry are used to thicker slices. I suppose it's because hearty slabs of meat were needed to provide sustenance during the long, cold, winter months, in the days when indoor heating was nothing more than a woodfire and the longer cook time for thicker meat wasn't as big an issue as it in the tropics. Isn't it interesting how various cultures adapt to their environment?

At one of our local grocery stores here in Canada, we have several Méxicans. My favourite deli meat slicer is the little Méxican gal. The first time she served me, she sliced it thinner than I'm used to and I discovered I preferred it to the typically thicker slices.

The other day, I asked for it to be sliced thin but not shaved. The gentleman cut it thinner than usual, but it still wasn't as thin as what my little latina makes it.

Last week I told her that she was my favourite slicer and she beamed. I'm going to have to ask her what setting she uses so I can request it from the other slicers.

I've always said that the stork dropped me off in the wrong country...that I was meant to live in the tropics and not in the frozen North. It tickles my funnybone that I've adopted the preference for thinner deli meat and the practicality of thinner raw meat.