¡Ask a Comida Critic!: How Can You Celebrate a Mexican Thanksgiving?

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In the spirit of the season, Rex from one of the little Lagunas sent me this:

For Thanksgiving, do Mexicans celebrate it with tamales? What dishes would you suggest?

Wish that it were true, Rex. Fact is, Mexicans usually celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States the same way Americans do: the same boring turkey, stuffed, cooked forever, and accompanied by mashed potatoes, veggies and pie.

Where's that Reconquista Tom Tancredo and I debated about again earlier this week?

If people want to celebrate turkey the Mexican way (alternately called guajolote--its Nahuatl name--pavo, totole, or cócono in Mexico, and chumpe in Central America), Dave's ideas are grand, and I'd add tamales to the mix--but only the Mexicans in the Yucatán really bother with turkey anymore.

Why? That's beyond the scope of this particular column (and more for that ripoff ¡Ask a Mexican! imposter), but the best place to try and score Yucateco-style pavo is Condé Cakes. Their main specialty is cochinita pibil, the peninsula's legendary roasted pork, but ask them if they can prepare turkey in the same fashion--no guarantee, but the payoff would be extraordinary.

Condé Cakes, 2050 N. Grand Ave., # 110 Santa Ana, (714) 560-0844.

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