San Miguel: Street Food Festival

After our market adventures and lots of walks around town in San Miguel, we were more than ready to try out some more street food.  Luckily enough, we were off to a Street Food Festival as part of the San Miguel Writer’s Festival!  The Fiesta evening was perfect — organized by Michael (who we met at the Tuesday market), who knows his street food.  He managed to get a variety of vendors to come and create their traditional Mexican street foods for us at our party.

The evening started with a mariachi band, and dancing.  We were served plenty of tequila, first in small clay shot glasses hung around our necks, then in margaritas rimmed with salt:

and finally in Agua de Jamaica (cold hibiscus flower tea) served in earthenware cups:

And the snacks to start the evening included steamed green garbanzo beans in their pods (a lot like edamame, but chickpea-ier):

And one of my new all-time favourites, jicama dipped in lime juice and crushed peanuts.  (Did you know that jicama is a legume, and we eat the root?)

One of the vendors was José (the chef we met with Michael at the Tuesday market), who brought his zucchini empanadas, pineapple empanadas, and manzana (apple) bread.  José also joined us for breakfast the next morning, and told us all about his work preparing for the Fiesta, and how he is experimenting with adding lovely spices to breads.

I was a little worried as a vegetarian about whether or not I’d find enough to eat, but I didn’t need to worry — we also had the best tamales (corn-based masa dough, wrapped in a leaf) I’ve ever had in my life.  Small, moist, and full of flavour, I was especially happy for the “red sauce” tamales!

And the gorditas!  A thick tortilla, also made with masa (corn) flour, stuffed with cheese and mushrooms.  Very similar to the pupusas from El Salvador that I get here in Toronto, in Kensington Market.  Divine, and a new favourite food!

And of course, the evening’s entertainment wouldn’t be complete without a Stalin piñata hit by the keynote speaker, author Barbara Kingsolver:

and my dear friend Pem:

And of course, a sweet churro (fried dough) to round off the palate.

Now I have to figure out how to get all this great food back at home… I miss it already.  Mmm, gorditas.

Tags: , ,

Categories: Travel, Vegetarian


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7 Comments on “San Miguel: Street Food Festival”

  1. Fran
    February 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    you should be a food/travel writer!
    Looks like you had so much fun….
    I made thai

    I played tennis with your Mom this morning, she is awesome!

  2. Fran
    February 26, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    made your red thai quinoa veg curry again yesterday, took a batch to my daughter, who RAVED about it..
    she wanted the recipe, so I sent her your page!

  3. March 3, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    Thanks, Fran – it really was fun. I know my mum is SO AWESOME! I don’t dare challenge her on the courts!!

    So glad you like the veg curry, and that your daughter did too. It’s one of my favourites! In fact, I think I need to make it this week. Mmm.

  4. December 29, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Love this post!! My husband is from San Miguel and it is so nice to see posts on food from there!! I have been there and everything you posted about looks so delicious that I feel like flying back there tomorrow! thank you!! I just posted a recipe for new years chicken tamales on my El Salvador cooking blog, would be thrilled to have you as a follower 🙂 Feliz ano nuevo!! God Bless, La Cipota

    • January 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Feliz ano nuevo!! I hope you enjoyed the tamales! I’ve got making veggie tamales as a ‘hot item’ on my kitchen bucket list… I think I need to have a party to have helpers to assemble them all with me!

      Enjoy your dreams of San Miguel! My best friend is there right now and I am oh-so-jealous!


  1. San Miguel Writers Conference « postcards from sanantonio blog - March 15, 2010

    […] added on March 15:  An attendee at an evening event we unfortunately missed describes the “street food” served and throws in a photo of Barbara Kingsolver taking a swing at a Stalin […]

  2. My Kitchen Bucket List « The Kitchen Operas - June 11, 2010

    […] – Once again, inspired by my trip to Mexico, I had the best tamales at the street food festival party I attended… I couldn’t get enough of them then, and have a strong need to replicate […]

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