Cochinita Pibil w/ Greens & Pickled Onions

FRITZ TRAVEL JOURNAL DAY 5

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Frtiz and his wife, Maria, have been coming to ZAMAS for years.  This year he copied us on his letters to loved ones and he agreed to let us reprint here for the inside scoop from a seasoned Tulum Traveler.  Muchísimas Gracias Fritz!

Yesterday it occurred to me that there is a single, specific reason that I am so very comfortable in Tulum. It's a re-dux of early 'seventies Santa Cruz, my salad days. At that time SC was an organic, hippie halcyon, full of friendly, healthy young women who threw my already active libido into overdrive. The town featured surfers, musicians, all manner of artists, organic gardeners, and seekers.

Governor Reagan had not yet closed the state's mental hospitals, turning Pacific Avenue into another world altogether. It was Tulum foretold. I've seen more white-boy dreadlocks in a week here than in a year in Walnut Creek.  It's not a bad thing. This place is magnet for yoga, art, massage, exercise, and all kinds of creative endeavor and entrepreneurship in addition to being the loveliest spot we know. As a bonus, it's the tropics, so the hippies bathe regularly, a vast improvement upon their northern brethren.

Cochinita Pibil w/ Greens & Pickled OnionsBut it also has something that old Santa Cruz lacked: Mexican soul. 

The mestizo culture, Mayan, Aztecan, Hispanic, passionate, profound, and proud is felt everywhere, in the Mayan locals and in the immigrants from other parts of the republic. It's felt in waiters, shop keepers, entertainers, dive-guides, and passers-by. The warmth is not just the climate, it's the culture.

As to matters culinary: yesterday chef Laura roasted cochita pibil (Yucatan suckling pig) all day in the domed pizza oven.

Low and slow, as God intended when He created barbeque. By noon the fragrance was beguiling, by dinner, intoxicating. Served with pickled onions, sautéed greens, and corn tortillas, it made me a happy boy indeed.

Beach report: yesterday was overcast and windy, we had the whole beach to ourselves for the morning workout. Mother Ocean slapped around for 20 minutes and we bailed. Today: nice, Surf's up, by Caribe standards, but glassy. Great swim.

Dan has been wanting to show us his new beach property 20 minutes down the coastal road. We are outta here.