Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Extolling Atole de Grano
You can talk all you want of tacos, brag on birria, squawk about enchiladas de pollo, or marvel at menudo. But for me, the finest street food Pátzcuaro has to offer is atole de grano. It's pure, clean, nourishing, comforting and delicious, as well as cheap.
Our favorite spots are at either of the two side by side stands operated by sisters-in-law, near the pila or water tank on the south side of the Plaza Chica, close to the corner of Calle Iturbe. They are there after 5:00 p,m. until late, or when the atole runs out.
Atole de grano, unlike the usual atoles, is savory, not sweet. Regular atole is gruel for toothless geezers and babies. But atole de grano is made of fresh corn kernels, cooked al dente in a slightly thickened, light green broth, flavored with the herb anicillo. It's meaty but has no meat. It's fat free.
You can eat there or take it away. I prefer the former, so I can appreciated the lady vendor, calmly and tranquilly dipped up atole from her clay olla nestling on its charcoal brazier. It's even better after dusk.
It's good just as it comes from the olla, but you can squirt on lime juice, add chopped chiles manzanos, or for the truly daring, drizzle in some of the green liquid fire salsa de chiles serranos.
Someone will be at that corner nearly everyday to offer you sustenance, comfort, and a smile.
(I've written about this before, but just wanted to reaffirm my love for it.)