In search of percebes in Oaxaca

When we were in Huatulco, José had his mind set on finding one kind of marine life: percebes. Known as goose or gooseneck barnacles in English, these crustaceans are filter-feeders. They’re a well-known and widely-consumed shellfish, particularly in Portugal and Spain since they’re commercially harvested off the northern coast of Spain near Galicia.

They’re also imported from Canada, and there’s actually a percebes fishery on West Vancouver Island that operates under sustainability guidelines.

If you go looking for this gourmet delight, though, it’ll cost you. I’ve seen them being sold by a few different gourmet food purveyors on the internet for about $15 USD per ounce, sold in a 5.3 ounce can that holds between 15-20 percebes each. So imagine finding these little barnacles in nature – José said it was like finding gold!

Being that I’m allergic to shellfish, I can’t eat these little guys but I sure did enjoy watching José and his dad scouring the rocks in the ocean in Huatulco looking for them. This photo was taken on the second to last day of our trip and when they spotted the percebes, they were unable to contain their excitement!

Check out this post from Eating With Jack on the proper way to eat percebes.

  • Have you ever eaten percebes?

Wordless Wednesday: Xochimilco

I love this photo that my dear friend, Ana Flores, took of me capturing memories of Xochimilco with my little point and shoot camera on my most recent trip to Mexico City in December 2010. I had so much fun spending the day with Ana and her family while we floated down the canals listening to live mariachi music, eating botanitas, drinking refrescos and enjoying the scenery.

I’m working on editing some video footage into a short film to share with you soon about what it’s like to visit these ancient waterways that were once very important to Mexico City’s agricultural transport system. I can’t wait to share it because it brings back such wonderful, warm memories of Mexico City for me. There’s nothing like sharing these cultural traditions with the people you love.

  • Have you been to Xochimilco or are you hoping to go someday? Tell us what you know about it, or what you’d like to know about it!

Nacimientos: The tradition of the nativity scene

La Navidad has come and gone but Día de Los Reyes is only a few days away and I realized that we’ve never talked about nacimientos, or nativity scenes, here before! And every nativity scene has Los Reyes Magos, the three kings who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus on the Epiphany, 12 days after Christmas.

Displaying a nativity scene at home is a storied tradition in Mexico, but nacimientos actually originated in Italy, thanks to Saint Francis of Assisi.

Here are two nacimientos belonging to our family. The figurines on the left are made from hojas de maiz, or corn husks, and belong to my suegra; the one on the right is made of wood with clay figurines and belongs to our Tía Leda.


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¡Feliz Navidad!

Sending you warm wishes for a Feliz Navidad

from Las Bahías de Huatulco, Oaxaca, México

As my regalito to you, I bring you the sounds of the ocean

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Wordless Wednesday: Ingredients for La Navidad

I went to the supermercado with my suegra a few days ago and saw these three things next to each other in the produce section. Nothing says La Navidad like guayabas, tejocotes and caña in a little ponche navideño, ¿Verdad? And it’s perfect to keep you warm at any posada.

  • What do you see in the grocery store that makes your mouth water at Christmastime?