There’s no pretty way to eat some of the most delicious Mexican food that is out there. I’m sure there will be someone who would pull a fork and knife to negotiate a sope or gordita, but really, the best way to enjoy them is to dig in and get your hands dirty.
Such was the case in this afternoon when I brought home one left over sope from my favorite Mexican restaurant. While in the company of more civilized people, I had to use restrain and eat in a proper manner. Of course, if you’re going to eat with your hands, proper means don’t bury your face in the food and don’t allow juices to drip into your fingers and down into your hands. If the food is good enough, you’ll appreciate the flavor even within these limitations.
I was looking forward to coming home later that day and finish that last sope in the way they were meant to be eaten. I was going to let my hair down, sort of speak, and bring out the feral child in me as I devoured that sope without any regard whatsoever.
I prepared for that moment. I looked out the windows and out the patio door. When I considered that the coast was clear, I voraciously bit into my pray and greedily buried my face in it.
It never fails. Just when I bit into my sope caveman style and all the juices were spilling out of my hands, my neighbor Debbie steps in through the patio doors. I know who it is right away because I was standing and facing the door which was wide open. She must have just rounded the corner to my place when I looked out the window to her house and she must have been walking along the side wall when I looked out the patio door.
Thankfully Debbie was a little distracted as she entered and only noticed that I momentarily disappeared when I ran to clean my face.
All things considered, I am grateful that I got that first unhindered bite just the way I wanted. Never mind that the rest of my sope went to pieces as I threw it back in its plate. Forget that later on, I had to use a spoon and a fork to scoop it out and finish eating it. Oh! And let’s not think about the fact that I didn’t savor that first bite since I had to swallow in one gulp the pieces that remained in my mouth after I tried to spit it out.
I got to feel, even if it was for a moment, the abandonment that accompanies what you could call gusto, gusto at partaking in a good old eating style that begs to come out every time these Mexican dishes are placed on the table in front of me. For that one time, I got to eat that first bite just right.