Friend Richard and I went to Hispanofest 2002 in Melrose Park on Sunday, and had a beautiful day and some interesting food items. The stage had a constant flow of mariachi, dancers, and other representatives of Hispanic culture
but enough of that, here are some of the standup food items we street grunted:
-- Plantanos with spicy pork filling. The combination of fried sweet platano and piquant pork is a fine flavor combo. The platanos were done up in a vat of oil, split and filled. The lean pork texture merged neatly with the soft platano (and it looked a lot better in real life than in the photo). As you may have guessed, this is a Puerto Rican snack.
-- Pambasos. This was a new one on me. Its a Mexican sandwich. First, two halves of bread about the size of a nerf football are drizzled with oil and griddled, dipped in light tomato salsa, and griddled again. Then the sandwich is filled with cilantro, lettuce, potatoes, chorizo, onions and mayo. Its a messy sandwich flavors are perked with hot sauce and lime. I saw lots of people eating these.
-- Pulque. I had read about this fermented agave beverage in Aztec histories, but I didnt know it was commercially available. Like many ancient intoxicants, this 6% by vol. alcoholic beverage had a religious/sacred application -- as I recall, the Aztec high priests got hammered on the stuff before ripping the hearts out of sacrifical victims. Richard and I stopped in Los Tres Gallos for a beer, and I saw it on the menu. The taste was slightly sour, but not unpleasantly so, and the tongue-feel was lighter than beer. This drink would pair nicely with the platanos and spicy pork.
I shot pix of Hispanofest below, Ive included a link to the website where you can see these pix (which are shots 11 thru 20 and follow previous and recently updated shots of Maxwell Street Foray; note, I used a larger format for Hispanofest shots, so theyre huge, and Im not sure how to make them smaller any digital camera enthusiasts are welcome to offer their insights on this; Seth, Gary, Id be interested in your help here).