Living and Cooking in Oaxaca

It’s great to be back in Oaxaca City once again, and just in time for the winter fruits and vegetables! The open-air markets are teeming with wonderful food at each turn. How could you not cook when you live here?!

On Fridays, we walk just four blocks to our barrio’s open-air market and look to see what is new and good. Yesterday we were pretty well set for vegetables, thanks to a new small produce shop just down the block from us that sells curated outstanding produce, so we were really in the market for a little fruit.

We really like our bananas, and southern Mexico’s bananas are no exception. We tend to trade off between “normal” (Cavendish) bananas and the tiny, tasty burro bananas. We picked up a bunch of six or eight burro bananas, a good half dozen oranges, a handful of limes (the little Key limes are sold here), and as I was handing over my order to the clerk for him to weigh it all up and give me a total, I spotted some excellently ripe Zapote Negro on the shelf behind me.

Zapote Negro, also known as pudding fruit, is a pretty ugly customer and when it’s really ripe looks half rotten – not like something you would actually eat. But we tried it the last time we were here and fell in love. When it’s dead ripe, the fruit inside is smooth, creamy, and custard-like. It has a mild and sweet flavor and pairs well with orange, lime, and chocolate.

I just finished prepping two Zapotes and the pudding is now chilling in the fridge. It will be served chilled, garnished with a little crema and a couple of orange slices. The recipe can be found at Epicurious, here:

Dulce de Zapote Negro
Dulce de Zapote Negro

As for the oranges, some of those are destined to become a small batch of orange marmalade. Hubby likes his orange marmalade and the oranges here are great for making this treat. No Seville oranges to be had here, but I can tart it up a little with some lime. Stay tuned!

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