This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
"It is a custom to precede coffee with an indulgence in fruit, which is delicious and cheap in this country and is regarded as particularly healthful at this time of day, and the great basketful set before one is tempting enough in richness, variety of colors and shapes".
"In the markets of Mexico both these lively little creatures are to be found in the same condition as whitebait when it appeals to the palate of the gourmet, viz., fried whole, and they are eaten in the same way." Mexico is now a great center for the manufacture of crystallized fruits. Apples, pears, crab apples, nuts, quinces, , peaches, figs, oranges, lemons, limes, guavas, cactus leaves, and other varieties of tropical fruits are put up in forms as pleasing to the eye as they are exquisite in taste. A delicious confection is also made from sweet potatoes; another is dried bananas. They are all equal, if they do not excel, the best French preserves and sweets. They are absolutely unadulterated and are very cheap.
"The reception was held in a large arbor, erecftd for the purpose, of wild cane-stalks thatched with straw. As usual, the men retained their hats and smoked incessantly between and during every course. Tortillas were continually sent in, hot from the griddle - made by women secreted in a hut somewhere in the rear - and piled in a steaming heap in front of the alcadi, who distributed them around with an easy and graceful scuffle, something as an expert player deals his cards. Now and then fresh water was passed in mugs, it being the elegant fashion for each guest to fill his mouth, draw it noisily to and fro between his teeth, then eject it upon the floor. The menu, as nearly as it can be rendered in English, was as follows:
Sopa - stewed in grease and garnished with chilli.
Chicken stewed with grease and chilli.
Kid's head baked with garlic.
Red beans baked in oil.
Sweetmeats and coffee, with cigarettes.
Tortillas all the time".
Water, beef, garbancos (chick peas), pork, ham, salt and pepper, leeks, celery, parsley, mint, cloves, garlic, cabbage, pumpkin, and a large choriso (Bologna sausage); all boiled for different lengths of time. Peas and meat served together and soup aside.