Another visit to Tlacolula to discover two more specialties of Oaxacan food
A few months back I wrote about Sunday afternoons in Tlacolula. Two things that you can find at the market in Tlacolula every day of the week are the subjects of today’s Oaxacan Food from A to Z: blandas and barbacoa.
Barbacoa estilo Tlacolula
There are many different styles of goat barbacoa in Mexico, and the way that they prepare it in Tlacolula is very traditional. The goat is prepared with adobo and chiles and then cooked in a pit underground for hours, which is what makes the meat so tender. When you enter the barbacoa section of Tlacolula’s municipal market you will find large pots of lamb meat in a dark red chile sauce being stirred while simmering over hot coals.
The meat is served in tacos or in broth (consommé) and a large plate of radishes, limes, onions, tomato, avocado and cabbage as well as red and green salsas are on the table for each individual to prepare their soup as they like it. Merchants from the market come to your table to sell you a dozen or so blandas to eat with your soup.
Barbacoa is served with agua de tuna or other naturally flavoured drinks, or mezcal which is said to help with digestion.
Blandas are a kind of tortilla that I have only ever seen in Oaxaca. They are hand made from nixtamalized corn, but they are much thinner and lighter than other non-machine made tortillas. They are an everyday staple and are sold in all of the local markets out of large woven baskets and kept warm wrapped in towels. When you enter any market in Oaxaca in the morning, you will hear the merchants saying “quiere tlayudas o blandas” offering market goers the two main corn tortillas of the region, and they are sold by the dozen at one or two pesos each.
For a little bit of fun, I’ll leave you with the video for the song “Así somos acá” by the Oaxacan ByT band (Blandas y Tlayudas) which shows how blandas are made and gives you a nice tour of Oaxaca City (they even go to Txalaparta Bar)!