Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Whistle of the Camote Man in Mexico City

(Xhico in Mexico)

Some people find the sound of the Camote Man irritating. But the loud shriek  has me run out the door like Pavlov's dogs. 
Camote (sweet potato) covered in lechera
It seems to be one of life's cruelest tricks it likes to play on me. I hear the loud whistle and run outside into the cold, rainy Mexico City nights. Only to realize that he may still be blocks away. Then I wait patiently to hear the sound again. When the steam engine blows I can then tell which direction to start walking. Eventually, the smell of the wood burning fire gets stronger and I see a plume of smoke. Where there's smoke there's camotes.

Plantain, steamed and covered in lechera and cinnamon

Camotes are sweet potatoes. The sweet round belly bombs are smoked along the side of plantains in a steam engine that is pushed through the streets if Mexico City. The hot, mushy snacks have a smokey flavor imparted by the wood burned in the fire. They are then covered in "lechera" (sweetened condensed milk) and sprinkled with cinnamon. The plantains have quickly become one of my favorite street foods in Mexico.

Steam engine of the Camote Man

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