Get a Taste of Mexico!
At the President's guest house for another tasty state visit.
A dancer stomped and twirled to the rhythm of the music being played in a courtyard filled with sunlight. Brightly decorated tables dotted the area. The atmosphere was festive for the second official state visit of the Obama presidency.
Called “A Taste of Mexico,” this cultural event for kids was held at Blair House, the President's official guest house just across the street from the White House. The event celebrated the upcoming visit of the President of Mexico Felipe Calderón. It was hosted by Capricia Marshall, Chief of Protocol of the United States.
The music was good, but the food was better. The highlight of the event was getting to learn about Mexican cuisine first-hand—both the preparing and the eating!
Guided by guest chef Patricia Jinich and several White House chefs, we (the kids) were separated into four groups, one group at each of four tables.
The second table was devoted to beans. My group learned about all the different kinds of beans, how they were cooked, what foods they were good with. Once we were finished, the bell rang again and we moved on.
At the third table, we made our own salsa with various ingredients. At the fourth table, we finished making the batter for a delicious looking sponge cake.
Once we had finished making and learning about the Mexican delicacies, we went outside to the tables in the courtyard, where some interesting beverages awaited. There was a drink called Agua de Jamaica, which was actually hibiscus flower water. Another was Agua de Limón, otherwise known as fresh lime-water. The last was named Agua de Horchata, or water with rice, vanilla, almond, and cinnamon.
We conversed and tasted the exquisite drinks until the food came. That was when all conversation stopped.
The food was wonderful. Our handmade tortillas had been united with a scrumptiously seasoned bean puree, Mexican sour cream, Farmer's cheese and avocado to form a Mexican dish called Enfrijoladas con crema queso y aguacate. This dish was improved even more as we added our personal salsas to the mix.
Last, but certainly not least, came the dessert: A sponge cake decorated with a dollop of whipped cream, Mexican chocolate shavings, and fresh strawberries. It was an absolute melt in your mouth confection dubbed Pastel de tres leches de vanilla con crema batida y fresas con rallado de chocolate Mexicano.
A mouthful both to say and to eat, yet delicious nonetheless.
As they say in Mexico: ¡Buen apetito!
Be sure to check out my video interview with the Chief of Protocol and head chef of the event!
PHOTOS: (TOP) Kid Reporter Nick Berray (left) works on dessert. (BOTTOM) Handmade tortillas made by kids at "A Taste of Mexico" event before going into the kitchen to be cooked. (Photos Courtesy Nick Berray)