The foods here are not as spicy or strongly flavoured as we imagined them to be. The chillies are not hot compared to the ones we grew at home – can you believe it? We grew hotter habaneros and than those we find in the markets here in Mexico! Same as the Jalapeños! They are like little fat capsicums – no heat at all, though oddly when we find them pickled – we do find that there is a bit of heat there, but raw or cooked: nada (nothing). Most mysterious and disappointing actually. And we were hoping also to find lots of different chilli varieties here but again.. sadly not.
There are about five or six different types of raw ones – all less hot than the habanero, and about the same again varieties of dried ones but again.. not nearly as much heat in any of them as we were hoping to find. The dried ones are interestingly flavoured – like a smoky mildly hot sweetness, which I think I would find nice to experiment with – but sadly Steve is not a fan of smoked things so.. no go there. None of the dried ones are spicy either sadly. Sigh. Maybe we’re just not shopping in the right places – in Mexico City we didn’t quite make it to the massive local fresh produce market but we did go to a few smaller fresh produce markets and hit a range of supermarkets and local shops, but in Playa Del Carmen – we have gone EVERYWHERE and still – nothing new or inspiring, same for Cozumel.
The remaining hope is Oxaca, a region that everyone here seems to say is the REAL Mexico – the spiritual, cultural, and culinary hub apparently, so perhaps we will go there if we can ever bring ourselves to escape from this little slice of Paradise we’ve found here on the Carribean coast.