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Oaxaca Villages 1 Zaachila

La Capilla groundsPhotos by Pedro Luis de Auuinaga

One of the many charms of visiting Oaxaca city is visiting the surrounding villages.  Mostspecialize in a particular craft or product. the nearby town of  Zaachila has a curious specialty: wood for different kinds of  grilling or cooking that they sell at a market dedicated only to that. We stupidly did not get a picture of the mraket) The futbol field -restaurant La Capilla is a major consumer.

La Capilla interior

Set amid a canopy of tall trees with thick trunks, some of which have been cut down to make tables and benches big enough to seat whole families.   When I first  went there in 1987 or so, the “floor” was a muddy mess, the smoke from the grills and stoves created a mysterious  atmosphere with the cooks appearing and disappearing in the haze,  It was a giant palapa, or thatched hut.  Noe it is not quite as charming but it is much more pleasant to be in and, I imagine, less prone to catching fire.

La capilla kitchen

I go there for one thing: to eat their paper-thin gigantic tlayudas, toasted yard=wide toasted corn tortillas.  I like it simply smeared with the sedim ent that accumulates when rendering lard, crunchy little bits of chicharrones or pork cracklings. but this last time I was there we ordered a combinada that had , not just asiento, but layers if black beans,  mole, cheese, and assorted garnishes.

Tlauda best

My other favorite dish there is the cecina.  Click on it and you’ll have the recipe.

cecina a las brasas

www.LSmithphotos.com

Everywhere I go where I see a lone guitar player or a group of musicians, I have to sing a particular song called La Malpagadora, plus others if the musician and I click and if the price is right.  My sister, Marina, brother-in-law Joel, and my dear friends Pedro and Laurie had no other recourse but to listen.  Thankfully, they liked it.

singing at La CapillaBeautiful LaurieLaurie crying,. She says with emotion, not pain!

Marina y Joel