It’s never too early to prevent osteoporosis

29 Jun

July 17, 2011

Supposedly one out of every 10 Americans is lactose intolerant.
I can safely say that I am one of those lucky nine who is decidedly very lactose tolerant.
Since I love dairy so much, the dairy situation in Mexico was something I paid close attention to.
Now, when most people think of Mexican food, they think of goopy cheese sauce and quesadillas.
I’m sorry to disappoint, but this post is not about cheese.
Instead, it is about the wonderful world of milk, eggs, ice cream, and my new favorite semi-dairy products, trolebuses.
In the Mexican supermarkets, there is an entire aisle dedicated to milk. None of this business of pushing the milk to a little case along the back wall, milk gets its own AISLE majestically placed in the center of the store.
That’s right. The center. As in, not in the refrigerator section.
When I realized that milk was purchased non-refrigerated, I was a little freaked out. What do they do to milk so that it DOESN’T have to be refrigerated until after you open it? The yuppy white-girl part of me kicked in. The part that is overly concerned about BPA and toxins in corn-fed beef (a fear fueled by sensational documentaries and a father who recently replaced the cookware I’ve been eating off of for almost 20 years because it might be leaching a chemical that causes Alzheimer’s. Too late now. What was I talking about?)
Once I got over my fear of growing a third-nipple on my earlobe from drinking the milk, I found that I actually preferred the way it tasted. It’s richer and creamier tasting than the milk in the U.S., even skim.
I fell asleep every night not counting sheep, but counting down the hours until I could wake up and eat my bowl of cereal with the delicious milk.
(On a side note though, apparently Mexicans think it’s really weird that we eat milk and cookies together, and don’t understand why Santa needs milk AND cookies. Does he have to be that greedy?)
Milk is not the only thing that isn’t refrigerated before use. My host family didn’t refrigerate their eggs either. They stored them in this egg cage-carousel thing that sat on the kitchen counter. I was mystified. Did putting the eggs behind bars keep the un-conditioned air out enough to keep the eggs from spoiling? I never figured out the reason for the egg cage-carousel, but I also never got sick from spoiled eggs, so I can only assume that the people in Mexico know something about preventing salmonella that we haven’t figured out yet.
Luckily, people in Mexico DO use the refrigerator (or freezer rather) for ice cream.
It’s rare that I encounter an ice cream I don’t like-the last time was at Baskin Robbins- “cinnamon stripe” is the worst flavor in the world. Red hots and ice cream don’t go together EVER.
Mexican ice cream makers don’t try and put nasty candies in their ice creams. They keep them simple, fresh, and presumably use the better-tasting milk. You can get the basics, chocolate and vanilla (which is bright yellow), or be a little adventurous with tropical fruit flavors, like guanabana or dragon fruit.
But the best part about Mexican ice cream parlors was that they also sold trolebuses, a frozen treat that is pretty much shaved ice, fresh fruit, sugar, and milk blended together and frozen. Troles are a more refreshing, less rich version of ice cream that take longer to eat because they’re frozen solid. Well, some of them are.
I had one trole that was more like a frappucino. I went to this little ice cream joint/soda fountain that bordered this adorable park about a mile from where I lived.
The sign outside advertised ice cream, malts, and troles.
I went in, and inquired, in Spanish, if they had coconut troles.
The 16-year-old that was working looked at me like I was crazy. 
Was I speaking a different language? I didn’t think so. I tried, Yoda-style, to rephrase my question. Subject. Verb.
“Troles…de coco? Tienes?”
Still nothing. I was mystified. The sign outside said there were troles within.
“Trolebuses?”
He gave me the same look that I think I gave half of the people in Mexico when they asked me a basic question.
I decided to try one more time.
Like magic, he suddenly understood and started laughing. Not at himself. Not with me. AT me.
I just smiled politely and handed him 18 pesos, feeling uncomfortable. The boy made my trole while I watched, fascinated. He shaved a ton of ice from this industrial, meat-grinder-type machine, and mixed it with some sketchy white liquid in a blender.
He laughed at me as he handed me my trole, and I tried to leave with as much dignity as I could. I forgot all of my indignation when I tasted the trole. It was perfectly creamy, with just the right amount of coconut. Not fake coconut, the real deal.  I thought it might have coconut milk in it along with regular milk.
A little too late, I thought about the fact that the ice probably wasn’t made with purified water. But hey, if my stomach can handle lactose better than 10% of Americans, I figured it could stand up to a little un-purified (and probably BPA-free) water.

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One Response to “It’s never too early to prevent osteoporosis”

  1. De Anna March 15, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    Experiencing all now. 😊

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