Sopa Azteca with epazote, corn and a zucchini-like vegetable called chayote
Tlayuda with sausage and -- yep, those are tiny chapulines (grasshoppers). Watch out -- they're hidden in many dishes!
Fish steamed in brown paper with herbs and peppers and mushrooms
Flan -- notice that portions are half the size of what we're used to, so you can eat many different courses
Sated and happy
It's possible to eat well here without being too adventurous. But if you really want to get into the spirit of Oaxaca, you must be open to trying things that look a little (okay, very) different than what you are used to. (Sorry to sound so smug, but I've been quite pleased with myself for trying unusual things and not gagging!)
The pictures above were taken at a restaurant in the hills near Ocotlan where we had gone for the Friday market and to visit the church and museum that were funded and/or restored by Rudolfo Morales (more about him later).
A funny thing happened while we were there. A loud marimba band was playing at a baptism that had taken over the inside of the restaurant. We were eating out on the veranda and our guide (let's call her Nina) who is also the owner of the apartment where we are staying, knew the restaurant's cook, so she asked him what was going on.
Imagine her surprise when he pointed out the man who was paying for the baptism of his child and the child's beautiful young mother. The man is married to a woman in Nina's husband's family who had not been very welcoming of Nina's marriage as Nina is not as pure-blooded as her husband. (Apparently, this woman always used to ask Nina, "What are you going to do when my cousin throws you over for a more sophisticated woman from Mexico City?")
This woman, the cousin of Nina's husband, is apparently unaware that her own husband has a whole second family with what the cook called his "weekend wife"!