When Billy and I first started dating, I used to try to cook everything I could just so I could introduce him to all of the dishes I grew up cherishing. I really wanted him to get a sense of who I was through food, and I wanted him to learn about all of the bits and pieces of my culture and traditions he didn’t know. Last year, he finally had the opportunity to experience the place where my roots stem from–Colima. He got to taste all of the dishes I talked so much about, he got to meet the aunts that have always kept me laughing (and very well fed), and the loving grandparents who have taught me so much about life.
Traveling to Mexico at a young age was always bittersweet because my parents were undocumented when I was growing up. Not only did I have to travel by myself from time to time, but I always felt guilty that I had the opportunity to enjoy what they couldn’t– spending time with their family.
It’s super backlit, but it’s one of my favorite shots with my aunts/grandparents. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I have a deep appreciation for my maternal grandparents because they’ve always treated me like their own child. They have provided me with an immense amount of love and support and they’ve always been really great examples of what I should aspire to be, a hardworking, humble, and appreciative individual.
To this day, my grandma has continually worked hard to help her household make ends meet. For as long as I can remember, she’s walked the pebble stoned streets of Colima selling the fresh cheeses she’s made every morning. She’d get on the ruta in Comala bright and early and walk around for miles and miles carrying various cheeses on her back and during the weekend, she’d transform her living room into a small restaurant and sell pozole, tacos de papa and sopes to everyone en la colonia.
I really wanted to spend my Birthday in their company this year because I enjoy being surrounded by so much love, mis tí as las pericas, and all of the good food I could ever want.
We were fortunate to swing by while my grandma was still selling food during our last day there. She offered us sopes, pozole and tacos, but I settled on tacos de papa because she makes them like no one else!
Tacos de papa are pretty basic. They consist of a deep fried tortilla shell stuffed with a mashed potato filling and they’re topped with shredded cabbage, sliced tomato, diced onion, heaps of cotija and a garlicky tomato sauce.
These tacos are a good reminder of my grandma, and they instantly transport me back to Comala whenever I have them. If you have the opportunity to make them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and I hope they bring you warm memories, just as they do to me.