Friday, November 21, 2008

Richard Parker Lives Here

What goes up, must come down and after climbing up to the refreshing climes of El Tuito a lengthy descent is exactly what awaits us the next morning. Dripping green forest gradually recedes giving way to gentler and drier terrain as we slide in early to our destination.

Have you ever read The Life of Pi? If you have, then please see the title of this blog entry. If you haven't, you should it is a delightful book, but I'm afraid I just ruined the end. Hopefully you're like me, and you will forget that you ever read this post long before you pick up the book.

So, now that you have re-read the title of this post, you must be wondering where is "here"? Why Tomatlan, of course! And, while I'm not certain that the creature mentioned in the post title lives in the actual house shown above, I am certain that he lives in the Tomatlan area, and what a lovely area it is to live in. We are the farthest inland that this tour takes us, but we are also well off the beaten track. It is not uncommon to see men riding through town on horseback or to find a donkey tied up outside a shop. These are not for tourist show they are hard working beasts.

When the first Nahuatl groups arrived to this area in 1324 AD they found an abundance of tomatoes and so named the area "Tomatlan - the place of tomatoes". These early tomato-eaters had no idea how these "plump things with navels" would eventually take European cuisine by storm when the Spanish would introduce it to European markets in 1540. Initially Europeans viewed the tomato with great suspicion, many believing it to be a poisonous devil fruit, but by the 1600's it was popping up in recipes all over Spain and Italy. Just imagine Italian or Greek cuisine before the ever-present tomato crossed their kitchen tables!

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