My Spanish is poor, so I blame myself. I communicated with Elvia’s kitchen staff that I would not be eating meat, eggs, or dairy products during my stay. Breakfast is included in my room, but my food-issues are making me a huge pain-in-the-ass. These ladies work long hours to make La Casa de Elvia a comfortable place. I don’t want to be the bitchy gringa that makes their lives more difficult.
Yesterday I was served scrambled eggs with bits of cactus, and topped with cheese. When I attempted to explain the food issues again, my cook patted my shoulder and reassured, “no carne, no carne.” And when I didn’t eat the delicious looking plate of eggs, she looked distressed, insulted even. She went back into the kitchen and made me a large parfait of fruit and yogurt topped with granola. I felt like an ass, so I ate it.
Today I stayed in my room, ate a vegan energy bar, and sulked as I listened to other patrons dining on the terrace outside my window. When it was almost too much to bear, there was a knock on my patio door, and a lovely girl presented a breakfast tray complete with coffee, juice, toritllas, beans, and eggs in ranchero sauce.
I had planned to avoid eggs and dairy, but I’m finding it impossible. Impossible is probably not the right word. Everything is possible, but the restrictions are huge. I cannot even eat a cookie or a slice of cake without one or the other. Mexicans love eggs. Did you know that Mexico is the largest consumer of eggs per capita? Eggs are a big damn deal. One egg per person is eaten every day in Mexico. Now I’m sure some folks eat two while others eat none, but Mexican eggs are an inexpensive source of protein.
My decision to eat eggs and dairy is not totally altruistic. I do care about making my hostesses lives easier, and I don’t want to be rude, but I also really love what folks do with eggs around here. Eggs are never just eggs. No. Eggs are sauced in red and green, sweetened and baked into flan, rolled up into tortillas, combined with cactus or potatoes or peppers, sprinkled with cheese, dolloped with crème, and used to encase my favorite Poblano or Ancho chilies bulging with cheese.
Giving up dairy and eggs was wishful thinking. I’ll straighten my act up when I get back home. But for now, in the case of these items, I’m stepping down from the soapbox.