Enjoy A Day in Taos
Updated: May 2
My mother had a saying: Kamala, you may be the first of many things, but make sure you're not the last. -Kamala Harris
Wow! It has been a week. Election week. I can't even say Election Day. I went to work on Tuesday with a worry that settled deep into my stomach. Will we know who the next president is today or not till almost a week later, as Bernie had predicted? The worry I had was that progress would be stomped out. Racism has been the seedy underbelly of the United States. It's there, but it has settled like sand in the water underneath our political correctness. What happened in the last four years was that Trump took that water, and shook it up. That sand was suspended in the liquid and we were able to see it and identify it. It wasn't a myth any longer, much like the City of Atlantis.
Even though Kamala is not Hispanic, Chicana, Latina, or Mexican American, I still see her in myself. She is a first-generation American Woman. Her stories are relatable to a demographic that has been underrepresented for far too long.
This blog entry was originally supposed to be about how to spend a day in Taos while supporting Latino Entrepreneurs. After the election, I decided to write it from a different angle. It was going to be about what to do in Taos, where to eat get dessert, and where to shop. Don't get me wrong it still is about that, but it is being written from a new perspective.
I knew that I wanted to recommend Jalapeños as the place to eat for Mexican food and I still do, but more than that, I want to talk about the owners. Marya Adame and Yamil Isbak are a husband and wife that roots go back to Veracruz Mexico.
Now, the reason why I like going to eat there is that they serve authentic Mexican food. Not Hispanic or New Mexican food. Don't get me wrong, I like Hispanic and New Mexican food, but sometimes I just want Mexican food.
Sometimes as people, we tend to lump these types of foods together. Yamil worked for many years in Cancun, Mexico and would often travel to Taos to teach Authentic Mexican food and aesthetics. You may find that weird, but I want you to realize New Mexican food is different from Mexican food. Mary is the head chef in the kitchen, and Yamil is in the front of the house. They have a variety of rellenos and street tacos, but my favorites are Tacos Dorados of any kind and the Rojas Poblanos. The dipping sauce and the crunchy taco is an amazing combination.
I recommend heading to Jalapenos for lunch. They have pick up, a patio and have completed the New Mexico Safe Certification Training.
Chokolá Bean to Bar
After lunch, I recommend heading to Chokolá Bean to Bar.
A yummy chocolate bar owned by Deborah Vincent and Javier Abad from Venezuela.
When I approached Deborah about writing a blog, we began speaking Spanish and English within our conversation. We had the connection of speaking a similar language with different dialects, but the connection was based on being immigrants to the US. While I was speaking to her, a man walked in excited to meet the owner. He too was from Venezuela and was moving to Taos. The connection was instant because there was a sense of you understand where I come from and what I am experiencing.
Deborah offered samples of different types of chocolate and let me tell you, I was in heaven. I tasted a variety of bonbons that were to die for.
I also got to taste some of their award-winning chocolate. Not only are they delicious, but they are wrapped and packaged so beautifully. They create their chocolate in a series just like artists do. In addition to that, they highlight various artists in their packaging. The artist's work is front and center and inside is their bio. My favorite of the series was the Tandania Kokoa Kanui. It has 75% Cacao and a profile of Coffee and Berries Jam. I expected that it was going to be bitter, but instead it comes off as tart and sweet. I shared it with my children and they loved the way it tasted. The berries and coffee flavor lingers with delicious notes in your mouth.
Once your tummy is satisfied. It's time to shop. My favorite shop is Coyote Moon at the John Dunn Shops.
Not only do I love their products, but I love the family that owns it. Cristina and Luis Garcia are a husband and wife that own the shop.
When I first moved to Taos Cristina and I would run into each other in various places. We would often relate to one another because we are both first-generation Mexican American women living in Taos. We could relate to one another and share similar experiences. Not only do I love our friendship, but their shop is like walking into a Mercado in Mexico. The bright colors from the folk art they carry stimulates your eyes with such pleasure.
Trust me there are so many things I like to buy in their shop. Just a reminder, Christmas and Valentines is coming and anyone who receives a gift from the Coyote Moon Shop will certainly be pleased.
You may be wondering what all of this has to do with Kamala Harris. She's not Latina. Well, I'm not Mexican or Venezuelan. The only people I could relate to the most are Cristina and Luis, the owners of Coyote Moon Shop. We all have different cultures, backgrounds, yet we are all grouped in as Latinos. We don't relate, because we are Latinos, we relate to one another because we know what it's like to be immigrants or have immigrant parents. For crying out loud, the US' marketing slogan is based on the American Dream, yet immigrants are often excluded as being part of the US. It is refreshing to see a woman in office who truly represents what the US has been marketing for generations.