“Mexican” food in Cyprus

Our dig team is divided in to 3 teams of 3 "students" each and each team is responsible for breakfast and lunch food set up, clear away and "household" cleaning twice a week with responsibility to cook dinner once a week. Our night was Sunday.
An Arkansan, a Cypriot and a Manchesturian walk in to a primary school kitchen.
No… That IS the punchline.

(Me, "Amber" and "Mary")

We stared at each other blankly, a little daunted with the task of cooking something decent in quantity for such a diverse group and not repeating something we’d already had (spaghetti, some kind of chicken mandaloo rice-ish dish and "stir-fry".
I suggested taco salad.

Blank looks.
Me – "Seasoned ground beef, tortilla chips, lettuce, tomato, shredded cheese…?"
Amber – "What are tortilla chips?
Me – "Oh… Right… Uh… Tortilla… Crisps? Corn crisps? Corn chips?…"
(Long pause)
Amber – "Do you mean Doritos?"
Me – "Well, yes, but without the seasoning usually…"
Amber – "Plain Doritos. Nacho"
Me – "OK… That will work…

With a few more exchanges like this, we ultimately ended up with these substitutions for ingredients we couldn’t get:

-Ground beef became minced pork (it’s ground)
-tortilla chips became Nacho Doritos (which are tortilla chips but that’s just how they market them here)
-tortillas became Lebanese flat bread
– sour cream became Greek yogurt
– cheddar cheese became shredded edam
– couldn’t find avocados at all
– no ready made salsa so I concocted a batch out of canned and fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, a Serrano pepper and spices

Our taco meat was ground pork with canned tomatoes, spices and kidney beans.

There were a few that had never had mexican food but I think everyone liked it! I saw people putting salsa on pita bread at lunch the next day.

One odd thing… Almost everyone commented on how spicy it was. Those of you know me well and know how I cook know that I’m a wuss on spice. The salsa was mild.
Justin must be corrupting me toward spicy foods.

Post navigation