Mini enchiladas, pork crackling, guacamole, seafood spicy broth, dried shrimps, chilli-coated grasshoppers, pico de gallo, green or red salsas, ceviche or refried beans (Wow, the best opening on any of my posts so far); all these can be found in a botanero. “Botanero” means the place where appetizers (or entrees) are served, something in between a cantina and a restaurant.
In places like my hometown, for every round you order you get one entrée, the more rounds the better the botana. In other places, you just order to the centre of the table and go for it. This type of service was inherited from the Spanish colony, you know them as Spanish tapas (cured ham, patatas bravas, chipiroles, Spanish tortilla, etc).
La botana is an essential part of Mexican culture, as our ‘get togethers’ and family reunions are events that have food as their basic and most important element. At the kitchen, around the grill or by the oven is where the actual conversations take place, where the gossips are told and the family bonding strengthen.
If you want to have a real Mexican experience, get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich, just kidding, get in the kitchen and listen, smell and taste the flavours that are being created there. While the main dish is prepared, the botanas are served, and with them, stories, anecdotes and juicy information (that will never be shared on the main table).
Ps1. I don’t own the rights of any of the pictures posted here, just saying.
Ps2. The leader of the Mexican Teachers Union (SNTE) Elba Esther Gordillo (If ugly had a face, it will be hers) said that the reason of the deterioration of the individual and Mexican society is due to a (new) shared responsibility for the family income of the mother and her abandonment of the house to go to work. Oh well.
Ps3. This “Binders full of women” thing is funny as hell, just remember, that’s not the most important part of the presidential debate. Neither the ability of Obama of reminding the audience, the Republican Candidate and himself that he is the President. He got his balls back, but still needs to “finish him” on the next debate.