San Nicolas, BCS, Mexico
Pancho, Big Bad Brother-in-Law Bob Ugly and their mates are spear fisherman. Really good spear fishermen. In fact these guys used to break world records more often than some people change their underwear (according to Harper's Index the average German male changes his underwear once every 6 days). Believe me, these guys are good!
These guys know how to live right, they all retired early in order to pursue the important things in life: Seabass, Dorado, Yellowtail. One year, in search of big fish, they found this idyllic spot and when they remarked to one of the local fishermen that it would be nice to have a palapa in the valley they were somewhat shocked when his response was "where would you like this palapa?". And so began their relationship with Terry, fellow fisherman and the local landowner.
So they built this little palm frond palapa north of Loreto in the village of San Nicolas (population 35) to have a base in Baja California Sur. To their eternal credit, Big Bad Brother-in-Law Bob Ugly and Pancho would haul down building supplies and spent their time ashore helping the villagers build a church.
Four years later the church was complete and so it seemed only natural that it should be celebrated with, what else, a FIESTA! So now every year for the Feast of San Nicolas the villagers have a Fiesta which features Cerveza Tecate, horse races, fish tacos, Folklorico dancing and a REALLY BIG PIG.
POKING THE PIG
The hogs from this valley are sweet. This is due, to a large extent, to their diet of dates they snarf up from around the palm trees. The pig fry is the social event of the year and one that brings folks from around Baja California and El Norte. As it goes most years, Millan (the Tecate distributor in Loreto) drives the Tecate truck to the village and the men sit around trying to decide.... "will the pig be pit roasted or cooked as carnitas?" This is a big question that requires careful deliberation (con Tecates). And so into the wee hours the discussion continues until, someone with enough brain cells in reserve come to the startling realization...... "it's too late to pit roast the pig!"
At this point quick action is required. The men jump to their feet, drive up the valley to the hog pen, shoot it, gut it and triumphantly drive it down to "the compound". Now the men feel the power of their manhood set about the task of scraping, skinning and cutting up Mr. Hog.
Señor Coche: HE'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER
Once the chicharones have been cooked and consumed it is time to fry the meat. The meat of the pig has been cut into small chunks and is ready for the pot. Carnitas are usually fried up with some sugar in the fat. Since sugar can be scarce in BCS a couple cans of Coca Cola are sometimes carefully poured into the simmering lard. The meat is thrown in and carefully stirred, as is the tradition in San Nicolas, with a boat oar. While the men have been carefully stirring the pot, drinking Tecate and basking in the glory of their culinary prowess, the local women have been busy making tortillas, salsas and other accompniments which will enhance and honor the pig meat so carefully prepared.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: PORK POST PARTUM
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