[Plaza Don Vasco, Pátzcuaro, Michoacán; March 26, 2006]
The town of Pátzcuaro was the last place we visited on our tour from Morelia to the Lake Pátzcuaro area. Unfortunately we only had about a half an hour there for reasons that weren't entirely spelled out, but Jodi had an inkling that someone wanted to be back in Morelia by a particular time.
Our guide parked the van in the plaza, right in front of the best ice cream vendor in the state, in his estimation. Pátzcuaro is apparently known for its nieve de pasta, an ice cream flavored with cinnamon, almond and honey. This finally explained the word pasta that Jodi and I kept seeing around Morelia on the signs of the ice cream carts, which would often have only two flavors, pasta and limón. Pasta ice cream?? We couldn't figure it out. Pasta means "paste" in Spanish, so that didn't help. I also recalled my favorite Spanish teacher demonstrating the expression poca pasta, pulling out the pockets of his pants to show "very little money."
So in Pátzcuaro another mystery was solved, but only partially since it was unclear what exactly the flavoring of nieve de pasta was (found it here). The ice cream stand, outside under the portal of a colonial building on the plaza, had an ungodly variety of ice cream flavors - tequila, cinnamon, berry, avocado... I had a scoop of the pasta and another of chocolate. Delicious.
The others in the group were apparently tired out from the day and got back on the van, while Jodi and I were given 15 minutes to stroll around the pretty little plaza. There were restaurants and more vendors of artesenias, but we were pretty much shopped out so we didn't miss anything there. We finished our nieves and returned to the van, enjoying the Cantinflas video on the way back and arriving in Morelia at 7pm. A full day. Well, not quite over; after a shower and a rest, we went back out to sit in the cafes to enjoy a margarita, have a bite to eat, listen to the estudiantinas (strolling musicians) and, since it was Saturday night in Morelia, experience the unexpected delight of seeing fireworks over the catedral.
[Restaurant under the portales in the plaza at Pátzcuaro]