taco, torta o burrito?
Mexican food can be very complex, all over the country there are so many different styles and combinations which require lots of patience and precision when cooking. However, if you know what mexican food is about you don't need to be so complex to offer great mexican food and that's what Chaparro offers.
Authentic Mexican Food in Berlin-Kreuzberg
It was Sunday, we were suffering a bit off hangover and as any given sunday my fridge looks quite empty and for me was not easy to find motivation to cook so I´ve called for a Mexican Taco Sunday. Chaparro is a small place located on the Wiener Str. just beside Görlitzer Park, known by many as one of the biggest open-air-coffee-shop in Europe, quite convenient actually.
The concept of the restaurant is very simple, few main dishes which you can order as taco, torta or burrito, few tasty salsas and as a good mexican restaurant beer and mezcal (the good ones) will complete the menu.
To begin with we ordered quesadillas and Nopal Salad, I was definitely against of it because I eat quesadillas all the time and Im not such a great fan of Nopales, which is cactus. Nopales is a very traditional ingredient in Mexico, they are to be found in all supermarkets and you will see it very often on street food stands and restaurants. Nopales have also played a central role in the foundation of Mexico by the Aztec civilization. They were told by Huitzilopochtli, a kind of a god for the Aztecs, that they must establish their civilization when they find an Eagle eating a snake on a Cactus (Nopal) and you can see this symbol on the mexican flag.
Nopal is super healthy, its not only fiber reach (its main characteristic) which will help you to digest better but it also contains vitamin A, B, B2, clorofile, proteins, minerals and 17 different aminoacids. It is an essential component in diet of people suffering of Diabettes as it balances sugar levels in the body.
Even when Nopales are usually eaten in tacos - in this case in the quesadillas - there are plenty of ways to prepare this cactus. My father use to mix it with other fruits to make smoothies, the same way as people in street-markets would sell it to you, saying that it would help you to lose weight and it does but only if you avoid eating 10 tacos afterwards.
Mexican people also eat Nopales with egg for breakfast but it can also be found as a side dish, in soups and even as a dessert. I haven't seen “fresh” Nopales in Germany, the most common way is to find it in Escabeche (pickled) and most of the times it comes with jalapeños or serranos and other vegetables such as carrots.
On the second part Chaparros Restaurant I will show the rest of the food we did enjoy that day.