Porco Rosso-Kansas City Barbecue; Puebla, México
  1. Baked beans — Who would have guessed? But the lack of sweet bacon beans on the grocery store aisles made me miss that wholesome family flavor even more. I grew up eating a grilled cheese with baked beans, and the fact that I can’t pick up a can during a weekly grocery trip makes me miss them even more. By the time I found them in a high-end grocery store, paying 4 dollars for an 8oz can was worth it.
  2. Root beer — If given an option as a kid, I almost always chose root beer if I was going to drink soda. My second choice was cream soda. But both are near impossible to find. I sometimes will find different brands from A&W to IBC, but there is never a guarantee even in the high-end import store. They are sold either in bottles or small cans, making me portion out when I will enjoy the bubbly delight.
  3. Pumpkin pie — Since I was never big on baking, I always would buy a pumpkin pie from the grocery store to enjoy during fall. If I wanted another option, there were easy-to-bake mixes of pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, or pumpkin cookies. Not having easy access to pie, however, was my biggest gaping hole around Thanksgiving. Eventually, I was able to track down some canned pumpkin, cloves and nutmeg. So, my first homemade pumpkin pie was baked in México, and that was how I fulfilled my need for my traditional pie.
  4. Southern barbecue — It took me months of searching, but I finally found one restaurant that cooks a decent brisket and pulled pork. The owner grew up in Kansas City and now has more than 10 locations in México. Even though I was raised in Wisconsin, ever since I moved South, I fell in love with the slow-cooked meats. Texas brisket and Tennessee pulled pork find their way to my heart hundreds of miles south at Porco Rosso, now with two locations in Puebla.
  5. Pork tamales — This might seem an odd thing to miss, since I live in México, and tamales are a Mexican specialty. But, just like other places in the world, the food diversity is rich in México and the tamales I grew up with are a Northern variety from my grandmother. I could find them from El Paso to Milwaukee, but not in Puebla. I find other flavors, of course, to fill the void. So the tamales with salsa verde, mole, or Jarocho style have become my stand-in.

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Born a Midwestern American, now a permanent Mexican resident. Outdoor adventurer, language enthusiast, and lover of classical music.

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Alicia Ruth Mendez

Alicia Ruth Mendez

Born a Midwestern American, now a permanent Mexican resident. Outdoor adventurer, language enthusiast, and lover of classical music.

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