January 27, 2006

Alasitas 2006

MABB © ®

Those of you who are visiting this blog for a long time might remember last year around the same time I wrote a post about the Alasitas fair in La Paz. Well, this fair is a traditional fair which happens every year and is back this year. It is one of the fondest memories I have from my life in La Paz.

The pictures you are looking at on the left are gracefully shared by Patricia, the author of a blog bearing her own name. As you can see by visiting her blog, she has made many interesting photos of this year's Alasitas. A visit to her blog is a must. But, additionally, she has a very interesting and picturesque photo stream in Flickr. There she shares with us more photos of the fair and if you go back far enough, you'll find her point of view of the recent political events in Bolivia.

As you can very well observe from these two photos in the post, humor is a very important element of the fair. Traditionally, this is the time where mini-newspapers come out fress from the mini-press. These mini-newspapers emulate their real counterparts, but with a twist of humor. They have a very good layout, very realistic, and the articles in them are very real. The topics are usually in the form of political satire, as you might have already notices from the photos. Personally I find the photos hilarious. Specially the one about Evo Morales marrying Condoleeza Rice, while Castro, Bush, Chavez and the others look. The photo montage was done perfectly.

A very short trip down memory lane, takes me to the small restaurants set up in the fair where they sell Api con empanadas. This is a sort of thick, lilla tee, made out of mais. It's very sweet and you usually drink it with a kind of hugely inflated, very thin layerd turnover. This turn over is made in the following manner. The woman who owns the little cafe or restaurant (however you want to call it) takes a very elastic and sticky kind of dough. She skillfully stretches it with her hands until she has a flat layer (kind of like a piece of cloth) of dough. Then she dips it into the very hot pen of oil and she deep fries it there. The dough inflates itself to an oversized turnover while it is cooking. This doesn't take more than two or three minutes. Then she takes the turnover out of the oil and sprinkles it with powder sugar. This turnover with the api is just wonderful. Worth to try!

Enjoy the photos!