What I Had for Dinner Tonight

A Traditional Oaxacan Dish

By Pablo Morales

Recent Trip

On my most recent trip to Oaxaca I brought back lots of delicious foods with me. One food item that always comes back with me is tlayudas.

This is a Tlayuda

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A tlayuda is a big tortilla tortilla that is a staple food in Oaxaca made out of corn and water. They are huge and twice the size of my head. These are no regular tortillas. This has been a food I've been eating since I was a young kid with my parents, grandparents, other relatives, and many friends. Even in moments of low funds, I have always been able to rely on these to meet my needs.

Often times the tlayuda itself is the plate which you eat on. What I mean by this that often times you don't use an actual plate on the table to hold your tlayuda but the tlayuda is your plate.

How It's Eaten?

There are many ways on how you eat one but here are the ways I eat them:

  • You rip the tlayuda piece by piece until there is no more
  • You can roll it up and just starting biting into it.

What's on this Tlayuda

This one is a simple Tlayuda. For the toppings, I used:

  • Tlayuda as the base
  • Homemade refried beans
  • Quesillo (Oaxacan String Cheese)
  • Chapulines (Grasshoppers). Yes, you read that correctly.

Why I Chose These Ingredients

I brought back plenty of these ingredients with me from Oaxaca since I don't get to have these often or it's hard to find around here. Even when i do find them here, it doesn't have the same taste or the ingredients are old. I'm trying to eat as much of them as fast as I can.

I love quesillo. Even though my body I don't agree with dairy much but quesillo is something that I never have a problem with. It probably the way it's cultured.

I also haven't had much of an appetite the last few days and I haven't been craving much meat either. The chapulines provide me a substantial amount of protein and nutrients. It's common in Oaxaca to go multiple meals without eating meat. There are times where I don't eat meat for weeks at a time

Keep Connected with My Roots

As a first generation Mexican-American and Oaxacan, food is important to me to help me stay connected with my culture.