Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Travel Bite: Xochimilco Snack Vendor

A few years ago, I photographed this colorful snack vendor as I was taking a boat ride at the floating gardens of Xochimilco. This area of waterways on the outskirts of Mexico City dates back to the Aztecs, and the word Xochimilco means “lower field place" in Nahuatl. I had been there as a child (in my Aztec youth), and it was really unkempt, but they spiffed it up, and now it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The boat vendors have an unusual array of offerings, from candied apples and homemade potato chips to fresh corn they grill on floating hibachis. Chiclets, anyone?

On weekends and holidays, Xochimilco is a popular destination for families to rent these festive boats, or trajineras, and enjoy food, libations, drifting mariachis—or whatever else floats their boat.

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