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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Market Day in Oaxaca

In the morning Joan and Melissa went clothes shopping.  Then after lunch we all went Mezcal tasting and wandered through the markets.

First a stop at the chocolate store.  They had big grinders that would chop up the cocoa beans and make them into chocolate.  Melissa shot this video of them making the chocolate from the beans.  Note all the cinnamon sticks they put in to grind up with the beans and all the sugar added to the raw chocolate syrup at the bottom.

This produces a chocolate powdery looking substance they can then melt into what we think of as chocolate bars.

And, Joan, a lifelong chocoholic had to buy some before we left.

Then onto the Mezcal tastings.  Mezcal is made from different varieties of Agave plant than Tequilla.  So Mezcal is to Tequilla like Cabernet is to Merlot.  There were several tasting rooms around the main market square where we stopped to taste.  Note all the different varieties of the cream versions in the picture below. Sort of like a Bailys liquor.  Everything from Pistachio to Chocolate.  We liked the Mocha best and we each bought a bottle.  We also liked the Mezcal that had the worm in the bottle.  Steve wasn't going to taste "anything with a worm" but when we all raved he relented and he liked it!


This gal was the smartest of the folks that were pouring tastes.  She let us taste nearly all the varieties.  We had decided to walk all around tasting and then go back and buy whatever was the best.  She got our business - probably both because we liked their product and also because she made the tasting fun and made us feel welcome.

We might be a little blurry eyed by this point.


 We also walked through the market.  These are grasshoppers.  They come in a variety of flavors. 

This mescal bottle had a "worm" that was a bit much for all of us!

Meats of every type...

Chili's stacked upon stacks.

 We tasted some string cheese that might have been the best cheese we've had in Mexico.

These were piles of dried shrimp.


For dinner we went to El Escapulario.  Trip Advisor had ranked it as #9 of 221 restaurants in Oaxaca.  It was unquestionably the worst dinner we've eaten in Mexico in 4 months of living here.  First the margaritas showed up - so sour that Steve couldn't drink it.  So he ordered a vodka with Fresca.  They brought the Fresca with no vodka and no ice.  They did eventually bring some ice and vodka, but when he ordered another, we were told they were out of ice.  Steve ordered the spaghetti Alfredo.  What showed up was spaghetti smothered in butter with some cheese sprinkled over the top.  Melissa ordered the Mole Colorado.  What showed up was a chunk of overcooked pork smothered in sauce.  That was it.  No rice, no beans, no veggies - and it wasn't like the menu was an a la carte style.  Joan ordered the Mole Verde.  What showed up was three pork ribs smothered in sauce.  Hers at least had a few veggies on the side that were decent.  However, the ribs had a total of maybe two tablespoons of meat.  Dave ordered the hamburger - his favorite food.  He said it was "the worst hamburger he's ever eaten".  We thought maybe we had somehow stumbled into the wrong restaurant.  This couldn't possibly be ranked #9 on Trip Advisor and be this bad.  But at the end of the evening the proprietor asked us to post a review on Trip Advisor (which Melissa will do!) and indeed when we returned, Melissa checked and this really was the right place.

Overall we've very much enjoyed our stay in Oaxaca.  The town was quite lovely.

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