Mar 24, 2005, 6:54 AM
I hope you are right about the green platanos machos but I have yet to see them. One of us visits the Ajijic tianguis every week and we have never seen green plantains there - ever. I have even gone to that tianguis and diligently searched the stalls for these things. I'll try again later. I have seen partially ripe platanos machos in such places as Comercial Mexicana and Super Lake in San Antonio Tlayacapan but they do not provide the taste and texture I seek. Anyway, Bubba is on Atkins and plantains are absolutely forbidden in any stage of ripeness at the present time.
At the risk of ridicule, I will say that with my savory Caribbean stews, I have found camotes sliced and fried in olive oil with garlic cloves to be a good substitute for the plantains although the taste is entirely different. Maybe it's the garlic I'm after since I am a garlic freak.
As for lemons, we grow the huge lemons in our garden and our neighbor grows the smaller lemons one normally finds in the United States which he shares with us. Until last year lemons could not be purchased in the Chapala/Guadalajara area to our knowledge but now they can be found on occasion at Costco and I have seen them at Super lake (bought from Costco and sold at a markup) and the new grocery between San Antonio and Riberas called "Mercado Abastos". Since I am a big fan of Ceasar Salad and the cuisines of North Africa and the Middle East all of which absolutely require the use of lemons, I use lemons and preserved lemons extensively. And don't forget Bubba's South Alabama roots. What would true southern iced "sweet tea" be without lemons. The mere thought of using limes for this summertime treat is appalling, although I must admit to using limes in a pinch.
Interestingly, one could not find limes in France until the 1980s unless one went deep into the Caribbean, African or Asian quarters of Paris or, perhaps, a few other big cities with large immigrant populations. Now, one can find limes in french supermarkets but, the last time I was there, they cost about a dollar a lime.
There are two varieties of limes I see in local markets. The larger limes with thick skins and the small limes Jonna mentions that remind me of key limes that seem more astringent than the larger limes.
One last thing. Esperanza, mon ami, if you can find green platanos machos in local markets around here, could you also tell me where I can find naranjas agrias in Guadalajara so I can utilize my Yucatecan recipes?
(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 24, 2005, 7:35 AM)