December 20, 2018
La temporada de Romeritos which is a Mexican dish from Southern Mexico eaten during Christmas. I feel very well versed on Mexican foods; here and from Mexico. I have not only researched and read about them, in addition to knowing the history I know how to prepare most dishes since I have personally prepared them and I have lived with these foods for 66 years.
But, I have never heard of this dish “romeritos” nor prepared it. Consisting of a wild plant known as seepweed. In Spanish it is known as romerito. Which means “little rosemary,” but seepweed does not resemble rosemary. Usually this dish is prepared with tortas de cameron (shrimp patties) and potatoes in a mole poblano sauce. While reviewing this “foreign” recipe I noticed one recipe also added nopales and shrimp.
I’ll decide if I should include a recipe for romeritos by the time I finish writing this post. You may ask why? I don’t want to be viewed as a cook writing about food and sharing recipes! It’s way to easy to Google a recipe for anything your heart desires! Although, my favorite topic is food and most importantly my “food memories.” And while I also enjoy knowing the history of food and a particular dish I don’t want to mix history while cooking. It gives me a headache! I am a story-teller and the thrill for me is in the “anecdotal meat,” which makes it uniquely me! I also enjoy writing about so much more beyond food and its history.
I have a favorite cook writer I occasionally read and recommend. Sonia, La Piña en la Cocina.
Other traditional foods include pozole, ensalada Nochebuena, pavo con rellano, tamales, bacalao y lomo de cerdo. And to satisfy the sweet tooth buñuelos, churros, turrones and champurrado. Mi Abuelita Elena made atole, but hers was not sweet, which was perfect served with sweet Buñuelos which we had for New Years.
La Virgin de Guadalupe is honored on December 12th. My family and I were baptized and raised Catholic. As a child I remember Mi Mama felt she was having a streak of bad luck occurring in her life: she had three children with broken bones and in casts and more than likely financial and or men issues. She felt compelled to make a trip to Guadalajara in which I accompanied her, to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe to pay a pilgrimage (known as a manda in Spanish). She shared all of this with me (well most of it) I also remember her selecting and buying the little Milagros (I was so intrigued with them and enjoyed playing with them), representing her supplication. I also remember seeing her on her knees for a short distance and then placing the miniature metal Milagros of legs and arms for each child on a mantel before La Virgin de Guadalupe. In college I visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, truly a beautiful historical site. I parted ways from the Catholic Church many years ago, so I personally do not celebrate this day. Although, many in my family still do, to this day.
Las Posadas: December 16 to 24, the name comes from the Spanish word for “inn,” because of the role of an inn in the Christmas story. Posadas are processions or parties that take place to celebrate the Christmas season. They can take a variety of forms nine days before Christmas Eve. Many years ago I recall participating in a Posada procession, but I do not recall my family really getting behind this tradition.
And I haven’t even discussed the traditional eating of twelve grapes one by one, keeping time with the clock as it strikes midnight. Although, this was celebrated for New Years and not Christmas (close enough). This is how Mi Mama would bring in the New Year – a deep-rooted tradition she saw in Mexico City, when we visited family (possibly Mi Abuelita’s Panchas) not really sure I was about 12 years old, and this was my first time I had seen this ritual and the first time I had met these people. Tradition states that if you succeed in eating all your grapes in one minute you will have a prosperous year.
My family and I have hand picked and incorporated many of these dishes and traditions into our own family history that best suit us.
No Recipe for Romeritos