My senior year of college I was lucky enough to go abroad with an itinerary encompassing several different countries. One awkward cuisine transition we encountered was the change-over from southern India to China.
In southern India, vegetables and vegetarianism abounded, leaving over 1/3 of our travelling class self-righteously herbivorous. But when we got to China, no one understood what “vegetarian” meant. The first day we were served an elaborate banquet of dishes all containing some animal flesh. When our teachers tried to explain that many of the students did not eat meat, we were presented with seafood dishes instead. The rest of the month was spent explaining meat abstinence as if we had suddenly had chosen to omit all verbs from our sentences.
We had the same bus driver throughout our stay in the country, and toward the end one of our Mandarin speakers happened to ask him what he thought of vegetarians. “Well,” he said thoughtfully. “They seem to eat a lot of junk food. They’re also crabby most of the time.”
Cultural exchange at its best.
The recipe is verbatim off of Smitten Kitchen, so go forth young cook and prosper. I went ahead and used 2 adobo chilis, a little more garlic than she suggested, and only about 2 pounds of brisket. I cooked mine for ~9 hours in the slow cooker. It could have gone for another hour, but this one was pleasing. Definitely has a spice-y kick. Serve on buns or tortillas with a simple coleslaw.