Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Almost vegan cruise, part 2

In Mazatlán, Nick and I took part in a walking tour. One stop we made early on was a little one-woman bakery, located in one of the homes in the old part of town. We walked in and were greeted by the sight of dozens of sweet treats, in baskets, on trays, on shelves, all over the room.

I’ll tell you point blank, I have no idea which of these were vegan, if any. There might be butter, but then again, shortening is cheaper. There are almost certainly eggs in some, but many were pie-crust based. But how could I say no to two for $1?! I bought four. (Wouldn’t you know, upon returning to the ship, they said perishable items were not allowed back on board. So I stepped aside and ate half of each of the four treats before throwing the rest away. I couldn’t bear not to at least taste them!)

By the way, the décor in this little place was wild; hundreds of pictures covered the walls. And here’s the lady that ran the place and baked everything – how cute is she?! Something about her reminds me of my grandma Nanny.

On that same walking tour, we passed through an open-air Mexican market. This, for me, was one of the highlights of the entire trip. There was so much food piled in so many booths that I can’t even begin to list what I saw. I’ll let some pictures do the talking:

Gah! Before we were herded out, I bought a quarter pound of pecans, a quarter pound of slivered almonds, a quarter pound of roasted almonds, a homemade pecan bar, and a LITER of vanilla – for $14.50. I was quite proud.

Next, in Puerto Vallarta, we toured a little tequila factory. It was on a small hacienda in the countryside, a good half hour from town. Check out these agave plants – the source of both tequila and agave nectar.

We got to sample half a dozen tequilas at the end of the tour, and then I decided to throw caution to the wind and get a margarita too. (I never drink margaritas, or any sugary drink for that matter, but I was in Mexico!) However, I may now never drink tequila again. This was the margarita of DEATH. There was no sweet taste. No strawberry taste. Barely even any ice taste! It was practically pure tequila. I drank as much as I could, but my taste buds couldn’t take it anymore halfway through. I tried to pawn the rest off on Nick, but after a few sips, he didn’t want it either. The bigger problem, though, was how everything we ate or drank for the rest of the day tasted like tequila. EVERYTHING, and to a disturbing degree. I shiver just thinking about it...but, at least I got to keep the cup.

Lastly, here are a few pictures from the midnight buffet. I actually didn’t end up eating much – just fried plantains, some fruit with chocolate fondue, and a couple baked goods (really, not as much as it sounds). Most of it was stuff we had already had at other meals. But of course, the point of the midnight buffet is extravagance, and it was a feast for the eyes as much as for the belly.

The bread table was pretty impressive.

This lady here? She’s made entirely of chocolate.

And there were ice sculptures and carved fruit aplenty.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the last installment of my week of gluttony.

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