Breakfast of Champions

I was visiting my friends Maria and Isidro in their little village called Tepehuaje, right on the Lago Chapala and the first morning they asked if I wanted to join them for a pajarete. I had no idea what they were talking about but I wanted to be a good guest. We drove to a small glen where we were greeted by a lot of their friends. About 20 cows were eating and being milked. The women all had little kits with mugs and mysterious bottles. Everyone waited and gossiped but I still wasn’t clear on the concept.


At one point, the man tending the cows gestured to Isidro. Isidro grabbed the mugs from Maria and held them while she dutifully placed a spoonful of instant coffee, a spoonful of sugar and a shot of tequila in each mug. Then Isidro when over to the cow and then finally it dawned on me why everyone was so happy and why my friends start out the day this way. The drink is warm and frothy and I don’t think you need much of an imagination to guess how good it was or what I did for breakfast everyday while I stayed with them.


Aside from the drink, it was a chance for all the neighbors to get together and swap stories. It wasn’t too much different than a café. Only this one smelled like cow turds and there was no attitude or tip jar.

5 Comments on Breakfast of Champions

  1. Man, I have read about pajarete in books but I’ve never had it (or known anyone who has) until now. Brings a whole new meaning to “mexican coffee”, doesn’t it? 😀

    It’s so great that Idisdro and Maria were able to hook you up with such a non-tourist experience. 🙂

  2. Heh heh. That´s got to be one of the most fascinating things I´ve ever seen and, believe me, I´ve seen a lot. I frankly think you´ve even outdone Sr. Bourdain and his exotic travel treats. And I love your style, Rancho Gordo, so fun and breezy. I can hardly wait for more!

  3. You’re too kind!

    A lot fo people are kind of horrified by the instant coffee but think of it as a flavor rather than the base of the drink. Milk, and warm milk at that, is the star here.

  4. That’s just brilliant. Not to mention a totally Starbucks-proof concept! 😀

  5. Been thinking about this, in particular this comment: “It wasn’t too much different than a café. Only this one smelled like cow turds and there was no attitude or tip jar.”

    You know, lots of people can tell you about things, but not everybody can do it with such wit and style. I know you´re writing a book. I hope that it contains lots of stories of your travels. And if it doesn´t, that you´ve got another book simmering in your figurative olla.

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