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Cinco de Mayo in Far East Russia 2020

Nachos on Cinco de Mayo?

As far as I can tell, no one celebrates Cinco de Mayo in Russia where I live, which makes sense considering it’s between May Day and Victory Day. I have seen three “Mexican” restaurants in town. The drive-up never appears to be open. The one on a side road closed down and became something else, and the one at the mall actually serves pretty good Tex-Mex style food. The tortillas are all flour and more like wraps, but the salsa is often a fresh Pico de Gallo. If it weren’t for COVID-19 and the flood near the mall, we might’ve gone there today.

That being said, what I miss right now is nachos. We found some cheese corn chips at the store last week. They weren’t Doritos, but they were a good stand in. The price was about $1 for a small bag, and I’m not sure how they would have done for nachos because the consistency was a bit off. I could throw some cheese on chips, but the expense for three people becomes the same price as a gourmet meal. We’d probably need five bags of chips, and cheese would add an additional $2. However, today, they didn’t have those chips.

The next problem would be the spices for the meat. I haven’t been able to come up with a good Mexican spice mix from what I’ve found here. I haven’t been able to find refried beans, and I’m not missing nachos enough to take a lot of time to make. Part of their appeal is that they are quick and easy.

We do have tomatoes, onions, and pickled jalapenos. It’s just the base of chips and their expense that’s hard to justify, especially when nachos aren’t really a meal (especially in Russia). We had burritos once, buy the meat didn’t really work. My wife makes a great chicken chili using a mix of “Mexican” beans. It has corn and black beans in it, but the spices are missing. So, again, I don’t know how it would taste on chips we couldn’t find. For now, I’ll have to keep dreaming of restaurant nachos with guacamole (don’t get me started on guacamole) and waiting for the world to be able to travel safely again. Happy Cinco de Mayo from Russia.

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