Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oh my Lord I forgot the Navajo Fry Bread!

I have been scolded and deserve it. We also stopped to pee about 40,001 times because I pee a lot, and one of the places we stopped was a souvenir shop named Chee's. There was a little attached structure just big enough to kiosk vend fry bread, with honey, cheese, or cinnamon sugar. We bought two... one with cheese and one with honey... to share because we couldn't resist, even though we weren't hungry.

Oh. My.

Navajo fry bread is light and airy, puffy, filled with crisp bubbles against the chewy grain of the bread. My grandmother used to deep fry tidbits of her white bread dough every once in a while and call it Navajo fry bread... which it was not, but the yeasty chewy/crispness was similar and these really took me back. These were dinner-plate sized, foldably soft bread platters smothered in the topping of choice.

We tore the cheese one in three pieces and dug in, thinking dinner before dessert. All of us were lipsmacking and making ecstatic noises: it was delicious! But then we divided the honey-dripping bread and bit in, and all of us went reverently and joyously silent. Perfect. Scrumptious. We talked about getting another one, but we knew we were too full.

Stop at kiosks, people. And for that matter, eat what street vendors have to offer. This is how I see it: you KNOW their customers aren't there for ambiance. If there are options, and people are still eating from a street vendor kiosk or cart, that means the FOOD IS DELICIOUS. I used this philosophy while doing field work in Peru and it never steered me wrong... well, except that one time when they were out of beef hearts and made anticuchos from beef udder, which is, um, not too lovely -- but they apologized and asked beforehand if we wanted to try it, so that's okay. I don't mind sharing an experiment. And it was excellently prepared beef udder .

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