On Tuesday, we visited a small town by the name of Tepotzotlán, and, once again, we were amazed by the amount of change that can happen in a short distance. We drove north out of Mexico City for about 45-minutes and arrived at a quiet, clean – not to suggest Mexico City is dirty, but this place was spotless – town with cobblestone alleys and uniform, yellow buildings that were rich with history. The centrepiece of this history, and the main reason for our trip, was the Museum of the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
The museum was housed in an impressive, former Jesuit college complex dating back to the 1580s and is widely considered one of the best museums in Mexico thanks to its extensive collection of colonial-era pieces and the aesthetics of the building itself. It did not fail to live up to its billing. It was made up of three sections, the Jesuit College, the Church of San Pedro Apostol and the Church of San Francisco Javier, which hosted an important collection of Churrigueresque altarpieces, with numerous interior, well-maintained courtyards. We spent a solid three hours wandering about the museum viewing its eclectic mix of every-day items form the colonial period interspersed with various religious and non-religious works of art from the same era.
While the collection of colonial-era art and items were interesting, probably the highlight of the museum was the Churrigueresque altarpieces of the Church of San Francisco Javier, if only for sheer scale.
After we finished at the museum, we strolled through the quiet and calm town plaza in search of lunch. We passed restaurants and bistros with very tasty looking menus, but as usual, the allure of the market and market food was too strong to resist. We quickly found ourselves sitting on a bench, right up against the counter of a taco shop eager and ready to eat; and we were not disappointed. Abuela rocked the pancita soup, while Valentina and I both went for our quesadilla-shop standard: chicharron prensado. This chicharron prensado was, without a doubt, the best chicharron prensado we have had since we returned to Mexico. It was meaty, tender and absurdly flavourful.
So of course, Valentina’s next order was for a mushroom quesadilla with cheese – I will never understand women – but she redeemed herself with a second order of chicharron prensado for her third quesadilla. I ordered another chicharron prensado quesadilla, chicken, and chorizo and potato quesadillas for a little variety, but, could not resist a follow-up order of another chicharron prensado quesadilla for the finale. All the food were amazing, and no matter what we ordered, we were greeted with deliciousness.
Once we sufficiently stuffed ourselves, we waddled our way back to the car and back home for a quality, hard-earned Mexican siesta.