Savoring Simplicity

Culture, Excursions

By Nic Gray

On this Spring day in April I find myself granted an extra minute to enjoy the warmth, texture and taste of my freshly made tortilla. Sure, it’s simple, but it’s REALLY good.

It’s good because I am actually taking the time to taste and savor it. The scene is a stark contrast to most days in my home office rushing through lunch while my mind swirls around the next meeting or impending deadline.

No doubt the taste is augmented by my newfound appreciation for the art form of creating tortillas. I’m in awe of the precision demonstrated by our chef as she carefully attends to flipping tortillas with her leathered hands that are seeming unaffected by the scalding hot Comal. She’s obviously done this countless times and it’s second nature to her. But to me, it is fascinating.

Jesus tells our group about how tortillas have been a staple food in this region thanks to corn, limestone and a nixtamalization process that evolved out of necessity to make corn more digestible and nutritious. It seems so simple now but centuries ago there must have been a lot of trial and error to figure this process out. Whether they are soft and warm or toasted into chips, their versatility has made the corn tortilla a staple in the local diet for many generations.

Visit Puerto Escondido and you can be sure that tortillas will be an option on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The tortilla experience is the start of a beautiful day at the Laguna Manialtepec and even though I’ve done this tour before, today I’ve made a conscious choice to be more present. The scent of flowers, chirping of the birds and cooling mist of the boat wake on my face are not new to me but they are the details that make the tour special. Details that I might normally gloss over while my mind wanders.

If happiness can be found through gratitude and appreciation this day is a perfect example, While I walk off the boat at the end of the tour, there is no doubt I am happy.

 

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Conceptual illustration and subject to change

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