We are in an area famous for their carnitas …. which totally explains why we would hop in a collectivo taxi, then another taxi for a 23 k trip to eat them, right? Right? I’m sure anybody would do the same. What are carnitas you ask??? Pork! And, plenty of it. Basically, seasoned pork simmered in lard until tender. That simple explanation hardly does the dish justice though – you have to try it to believe it.
Following great advice from a couple of bloggers – Cristina at MexicoCooks! and Don Cuevas at My Mexican Kitchen, we indeed made the trek to find a specific carnita stand …. the one under the street light in Quiroga …..
We wandered the length of the vendors, with each one offering a bite of their pork. Eventually we decided that our instructions must mean the one directly under the light, Carnitas Polo.
Obviously we needed to walk a bit after that, so we walked to the other end of town and hopped a collectivo taxi to Tzintzuntzan (pronounced roughly “seen soon san”), and it means Home of the Hummingbirds. Such a beautiful little village – all the buildings painted in the style of Patzcuaro in white and red.
Tzintzuntzan is so beautiful – Lake Patzcuaro is beautiful to look at, but unfortunately I don’t think you would want to swim in it now! There is something about these villages that have been classed as “Pueblo Magico”.
We first toured the Convent of Santa Anna. The community itself is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of this site, and it is probably the most beautifully restored convent we have encountered, and we have seen more than a few! I’m not given to flights of fancy, being more of a linear thinker, and one that wants things to make sense but there is something about these convents or cathedrals that speaks to me and I either feel greatly peaceful or tremendous unrest, anxious and can’t wait to get out. Not predictable in any way.
From the convent, we wandered through the St. Francis of Assisi Church, surrounded by the ancient olive trees (more than 500 years old).
In the courtyard we were instructed to look to the corner of the structure and we would find a master of ceramica (or pottery) in the traditional methods of Michoacan. We did indeed find his rickety studio, part of the original structure built in the 1600’s, and he is still creating the most beautiful pieces of art.
Tzintzuntzan has an archeological site also (honestly, I often think that every mound in Mexico is probably hiding a ruin of some sort!!) This one wasn’t very large but since we needed a walk, we hiked up the hill to view it. First time we have seen one like this – kind of a long straight stretch with rounded fingers coming out from it. Set on the hillside overlooking Lake Patzcuaro it would have been quite a beautiful spot.
Stay tuned for Morelia!