Someone (I won't name names) has given me a little push to write a post about what food we took and ate on our trip to Mexico this winter so here goes: In early December, my brave 83 year old mother agreed to travel with me 1990 miles south from Colorado in our little motorhome called Tulip. My mother stayed about five weeks before flying home and luckily Steve got laid off from his job so he flew down and drove back with me a month after that.
That’s Tulip with the blue awning at the El Dorado Hotel and RV park in Rincon de Guayabitos on the Rivera Nayarit. Rincon is about 35 miles north of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast. In fact, right through the breezeway of this hotel is the pool and then beach.
To backtrack somewhat, three years ago Steve and I spent about five months in Tulip traveling around Mexico. We had a hard time figuring out what to eat because both of us had a constant slight digestive system ailment even though we bought only bottled water. We avoided produce and I didn’t want to go through that again this trip. Last September I read a review on Mello Mike's website about the Doulton GSS2 Water Filtration Unit and decided to buy it for the Mexico trip. It was worth every penny of the approximate $179 price tag because no one had any problems the entire trip. I love this filter as it is so portable and the best part was that the filtered water was as tasty as our Colorado water. We didn’t buy one single bottle of water either. Additionally, we had a filter at the outside spigot and also one under the sink so the drinking, cooking, and produce cleaning water was filtered three times. One negative note though: This filter doesn’t help the taste of the salty water in Yuma and so we bought water there.
Even though Tulip is little, she does have a pantry that holds a lot and it was loaded with practically every item I had at home which turned out to be a mostly wasted effort. I did have large bags of frozen fruit in the freezer for smoothies and didn’t see any in the smaller towns that we were mostly in. The food items I was glad we brought were: Lots of nuts in several varieties, sunflower seeds, Stevia, Craisins, frozen black-eyed peas for the crockpot for a certain dish I like, fresh ginger, tea bags, flax meal, dried apricots, my favorite vinegars, olive oil, vegetable broth, molasses, maple syrup, and a big supply of almond milk. And then my mother brought along good chocolate and a two pound box of Belgian cookies! Oh, and I always have a few cans of Verners Ginger Ale on hand for stomach upset.
Fresh and delicious produce was so readily available that we were practically on a raw food diet. My mother thought the tomatoes were the best she ever had in her life and so we ate, almost daily, tomatoes made with green onions, parsley, rice vinegar, maybe 1 TB of olive oil, and a tiny bit of sugar (Stevia). I can’t remember the price for sure but believe the tomatoes were 48 cents for a kilo (2.2 pounds). The little grocery stores and vegetable stands had the best ones as the big supermarket we went to in Puerto Vallarta had tomatoes more like our plastic ones in the U.S.
The weather was perfect with temperatures in the mid to high 80’s but cooking on the stove in a small RV raises the temperature inside to an uncomfortable level. One of the most used items I brought along was a small crockpot that cost $10 at Walmart. We could cook a mixture of vegetables in it without heating up the RV. We ate lots of salads and unfortunately too many of the little white bread buns that are made fresh every day in Mexico.
Rincon de Guaybitos had a produce store with probably every fruit and vegetable that is available in the U.S. The miniature bananas are delicious. I was curious what the fruit below was but didn’t want to carry one back to the RV to find out.
Now read this if you think Mexico is a third world backwards country: In the past, it’s been in the news about how the resin lining of cans contain BPA and the acidity of tomatoes causes the BPA to leach into food. It’s been recommended that we buy tomatoes in glass jars (I haven’t seen any) or in these tetra boxes (which I have only seen in health food store and they are too expensive). However, in Mexico, you couldn’t buy tomatoes in a can if you wanted to. Whole, diced, paste, sauces – all of it packaged in these neat little tetra cartons.
There was even a banana tree on our RV site in La Penita where we stayed for a month before going to Rincon.
I had this fruit plate so many times at a certain restaurant in Rincon that they raised the price from $3.60 (equivalent) to $4.00. The orange fruit is papaya. One time, there were strawberries evenly spaced around the edge of the plate.
All in all, it was a great trip and I never felt in danger (other than Steve’s driving). We are back home now and luckily Steve found another job right away to pay for the next adventure!