Sunday, September 27, 2015

El Naranjo Pátzcuaro

El Naranjo Pátzcuaro. In your dreams.
El Naranjo, a new restaurant in a beautifully restored casona on the Plaza Vasco de Quiroga is a restaurant we really want to like. It's been open about a month now, and reports from friends and acquaintances had been encouraging. I almost never dine at a new restaurant until at least a month has passed, hopefully giving both kitchen and waitstaff a chance to polish their performance. But I may not have waited long enough.

The food is unlike any other offered in a Pátzcuaro restaurant, predominantly Italian. The only negatives in friends' description were "plastic chairs" and " some service issues". (Personally, I consider the latter more relevant than the composition of the chairs.)

El Naranjo Patio Furniture
This past Friday, the four of us enjoyed the setting, each others' company and many of the dishes. But I was left with a sense of frustration and incompleteness as the food often did not match the menu's or waiter's description.

Some dishes were quite good. The Portobello Mushrooms were pretty good. (Just as our English speaking waiter described them.)

Hongos portobellos
Larry's Carpaccio de Res (see below) was attractively presented and both he and Geni liked it very much. But instead of shavings of the traditional Parmesan, they had laminas of mozzarella (according to our waiter.) Do details like this matter?

Geni and Susie both enjoyed their Ensaladas Azul. The greens were varied and fresh, the blue cheese was generously portioned, and the balsamic dressing was sparingly applied. All good.

Ensalada Azul

Larry ordered a very attractive Carpaccio de Res, which was a hit, in spite of the substitution of mozzarella for Parmesan on top.

Carpaccio de Res
I had wanted a Caesar Salad, but our eager, friendly but poorly informed waiter told me that it would be too much food, since a salad came with the lamb. Larry and I planned to share the lamb, the special of the day. But it was an expensive failure.

We were not told about this special of the day until I asked our waiter, who inquired in the kitchen, then emerged, smiling, to tell us it was ready. We were excited with anticipation. But this dish was a major let down for me.

The anticipated salad never came with our "lamb". This lapse didn't occur to me until we were done eating.

 Of the meat, there were some scraggly pieces of bone, fat and skin. The jus was attractive, but the bread was so dreadful looking that I didn't want to use it to sop up. (The little roasted potatoes were pretty good.) 

Cordero Asado
Geni's Saltimbocca was at first glance unprepossessing, but she wrote that it was delicious. I would have wanted the absent Marsala sauce, as described on the menu.

Doña Cuevas chose Cannelloni Ripieno di Spinaci e Ricotta. It was creamy and bounteous. Note that this dish was not made from pasta tubes, but classically, with crepes. A plus for the kitchen and chef.

Desserts: the Lavender infused Creme Brûlée was very good, and the Tiramisu was very enjoyable and not as excessively rich as some versions. I wished that there were more of it. The fact that it was served in a mason jar may seem incongruous to the overall ambience (after all, this is not Jo Jo's Catfish Wharf), but having noted that, I ate it all. The tiramisú, not the jar.

Creme Brûlée a Lavanda

My espresso was forgettable, but our friends approved of their cafés con leche

When I returned from washing my hands. I saw a couple of pizzas at another table. They were very unappealing to me, particularly the crusts. But perhaps it's unfair to criticize something I didn't eat. (But I will).

Like the bread. Slices of pale, gray dry bread, accompanied by three stingy balls of butter. I couldn't help but compare this wretched looking bread with the wonderful, warm, crusty loaves, and dishes of seasoned butter in olive oil, as served at Macelleria Roma, in Mexico City.

Good, simple bread. But at Macelleria Roma, D.F.
Conclusion: we still have hopes from El Naranjo, and are willing to give it another go. But their overall performance would have to improve if we were to go there more than that.

Food: ***
Service: ***

Ambience: lovely patio in a restored casona.
(Music: I'd heard complaints of too loud live music, but we were blessed and caressed with first rate recorded tracks of Edith Piaf, Buika and other artists.)

Rest Rooms: Sparklingly clean, with attractive tile work.

Cost: Unfortunately I can't tell you the exact cost because I never saw the check total nor got a decent photo. Sra. Cuevas recalls that our check was $1,172 pesos, plus tip. We also had  a carafe of limonada, two glasses of red wine and a michelada included in that. Here's a partial view of the check, which gives some prices.

Location: Plaza Vasco de Quiroga at Calle Dr. Coss, Pátzcuaro.

Friday, September 25, 2015

"Eat Mexico"— A Book Review

I know Lesley Tellez as an enthusiastic writer and cook, deeply dedicated to Mexican cooking. I followed her blog, "The Mija Chronicles" from its inception. Lesley has brought the same enthusiasm and dedication to her first book, Eat Mexico.

The book is very personalized in its point of view, and in no way pretends to be a comprehensive work on all the regions of Mexican cooking. Instead, it focuses on Mexico City and the surrounding Distrito Federal, the area in which the author lived for four or more years. But it is in México, D.F. that the best of the nation's cooking converges, and Lesley has given us a delicious sampling of that convergence. The accompanying text bears the distinct stamp of the author's personality. It's definitely not written by a committee.

This is demonstrated in a couple of esoteric recipes in the book, notably, the highly imaginative and creative (but, I must admit, not appealing to me) "Dark Chocolate Chicharrón Cookies".

I have so far made only two, simple, more mainstream recipes from her compendium; Guisado de Acelgas, and Agua de Piña con Perejil. Both were clearly written, easy to follow and successful. I'm looking forward to trying more complex recipes, when an opportunity presents itself.

I recommend Eat Mexico for readers and cooks who want to experience the vibrant flavor of Mexican cooking of the capital city, México, D.F.

This review first appeared on, where the book is available for $16.63.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cirio and All That

Pomodori San Marzano (from Huffington Post)

or: The Quest For The Ideal Canned Tomato

I know I'm totally obsessed with obtaining and maintaining a good supply of Italian Cirio Pomodori Pelati Entero, or even the second ranked but still superior range of Spanish Cidacos Tomates. The truth is, I don't really even need them right now. I have enough on hand to last for an unknown time. But I will need them eventually, and they are becoming increasingly scarce on supermarket shelves in Morelia.

Out Of Stock???

They are essential to me for making rich tasting pasta sauces and other uses. Concurrently, the excellent, not Italian, Kirkland Signature Organic Tomato products have been replaced on the shelves of Morelia's Costco with unwieldy, impractical #10 cans of S&W tomato products. That's not progress, it's regression. Great for food service operations but impractical for the home cook.

Not Currently Available

The Walmart Internet Tomato Fiasco

There was a brief period of hope, when our friend Jennifer located the desired Cirio Pomodori Pelati Entero in the online catalog of Walmart Mexico. Jennifer kindly offered to receive the coveted goods at her Morelia home.

We made valiant efforts place the order, hurdling numerous obstacles, but for all our efforts it ended in frustration. To make the online purchase, I first had to register with That wasn't too hard except the registration form at first rejected my email address as invalid, then went on to reject Jennifer's home phone. Then it accepted them. ¿Quien sabe?

After registration, I went to Delivery Options. I was offered delivery from two widely distant Walmarts, and of course, I chose the nearest. Shipping charges were $39 pesos. There was a Store Pickup Option at no charge, but I was leery of that, having once run afoul of a local Walmart's ineptitude when I wanted to buy a bag of ice for about $10 pesos. That's another story.

The next option left me incredulous. I could choose the day and the hour  of delivery. I was extremely skeptical that Walmart could fulfill this delivery as ordered within the specified range, but I put in our preferences.

I then went to Payment, where I got to choose Cash, Credit/Debit/PayPal, etc. I selected Credit/Debit. But the next page was the most surreal of all.There was no place to enter the Credit/Debit specifics. How in the hell was it to be paid for? I surmised that it must be C.O.D.

The next day, Jennifer's answering machine recorded a call from Walmart that they didn't have the requested item in stock, but instead offered a substitute. It was impossible to decipher what that substitute might be, but at any rate, she was urged to call them back. Unfortunately, they didn't leave a callback number!
Somehow, this outcome was not a surprise.

I have to ask: is this any way to run a retail empire?
After this fiasco, I was ready to give up, at least with Walmart.

But, Never Say Die
Soon after, while shopping for baker's flour and such at Super Codallos Pátzcuaro, near the autopista, I found nice cans of Mexican made La Morena Puré de Tomato, whose sole ingredient is stated to be "TOMATE".  That's a potential step up from the gold standard here of Del Fuerte Puré de Tomate, which is "condimentado". That means "seasoned". Del Fuerte isn't really bad stuff, it's just not the quality I'm seeking.

I had a brilliant idea flash into my brain. I was Amazed by the ample offerings of both Italian San Marzano tomatoes available through the online retailer plus Muir Glen brand organic tomatoes, in a variety of presentations. The only snag is getting such products delivered here to Mexico. (The aforesaid items are not yet available on

I did make a test batch of pasta sauce, using one, precious 28 ounce can of Cirio Pomodori Pelati and a can of La Morena Puré de Tomate. The La Morena wasn't bad, just not as rich in tomato-ness as the Italian or even Spanish products. Nor was it as "heavy" or thick, but it was usable. The final sauce was slightly bitter, but that could be because I'd used a different recipe for Basic Tomato Sauce than my standard. It was from the usually very reliable I think the bitterness came from the parsley in the sauce.

So, as things stand now, my obsession is in abeyance. But someday, my truck will come, carrying a cargo of great canned tomatoes!

There is an earlier post on this topic, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, from February 7, 2010. Things have not changed much in the field of tomatoes.

Last Wednesday, we stopped at the newer of the two Chedraui supermercados in Morelia, on a tip from Jennifer Rose that sometimes Chedraui carries "weird stuff".

Although I was unable to relocate a favorite sparkling white wine, Blanc Pescador, I hit the jackpot when I roamed the aisles. A store employee directed me to the not obvious shelves of canned tomatoes. Then, BONANZA! There was not only a very ample stock of Cirio Pomodori Pelati, but Cidacos Tomates Enteros as well, and at $18 pesos a can, a crazy bargain. You bet I stocked up, but left a couple of cans for other customers, and as a memory jog to store staff to reorder soon.

Once home, I unpacked them, placed them on the kitchen counter where I could admire them, played "Tomatoes on Parade", and built towers. Then when I tired, I neatly snugged them away into their tomato houses for the night. I went to bed contented and pleased.

Tomato Towers

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Restaurante El Mandil Pátzcuaro

It's not often that Pátzcuaro is blessed by an attractive new restaurant, especially one that offers an ample variety of well seasoned dishes. What's more, as a buffet with seconds at no extra cost. All this for a paltry sum of $60 Mexican pesos.

Restaurante El Mandil is located in the venerable Posada Hotel Mesón de San Antonio. (Those of you who have good memories will recall that I once helped organize a cooking class in the very same kitchen and dining room, in partnership with the hotel owners. But I haven't had any business connection with them for many years.)

Mesón de San Antonio
Restaurante El Mandil turned up on my sights only yesterday, while searching Tripadvisor for new and different Pátzcuaro dining possibilities. The cynics among us, myself included, usually consider this a hopeless effort. But there it was: a solitary review of Restaurante El Mandil, written by an apparent visitor from San Miguel de Allende. Sr. Kamman gave it 5 stars all around. The concept had considerable appeal, as I was tired of the generally touristic menus of Pátzcuaro restaurants, offering Mexican fare diluted for expat tastes; but on the other hand, I was not interested in la comida típica de cocinas económicas. When we were joined by our two friends, and entered the imposing, refectory style dining room, we were pleasantly surprised.

Restaurante El Mandil dining room
The way it works is that you pay at the cashier desk as you enter, and receive a ticket. You choose a table and put the ticket where a staff member can retrieve it later.

You then walk up to the buffet line, staffed by attentive and helpful employees. My only difficulty was identifying and remembering the various guisados. The servers will help you out, and you can get what you want, and seconds, too. (I was very discreet and restrained and didn't try for thirds.)

Here's a photo sampling of some of the many dishes. (I should also mention that various dishes are refreshed and replaced with new ones in the course of the service.)

Cocina del Restaurante El Mandil. Chef Ismael in right background
Clockwise, from top left: Calabacitas, Crema de brocolí, Frijoles, Bisteces y papas en salsa verde.
Unidentified egg in salsa dish (Huevos albañil?)

Carne de res en chile negro: very tasty but a little tough

Chiles rellenos de queso

Pollo salteado con verduras
Spaghetti? I passed on this one.

The salsas and condiments did not inflame my attention.

Tortillas were made by hand and freshly cooked al comal. There were two baskets, one of crisp and dry tortillas, the other of light colored and pliable ones.

Oddities would appear on the line from time to time. I enjoyed a very tasty bean burrito, and later in the meal, these nifty hamburgers showed up. (I skipped trying them, you'll be pleased to know.)

I enjoyed the rice with fresh vegetables. It was light and neither oily or soggy, as is too often the case elsewhere.

The simple desserts were a little unusual:
L-R: Calabacitas endulzadas; Camotes, fresh fruit mix
These alitas a la Diabla showed up later in the service. I passed on these, having been told that they were muy picante.

alitas (chicken wings) in spicy sauce (Hot Wings!)
The Tortitas de Carne were also muy picante, but very popular.

Tortitas de carne
See all the photos here.

Now for some ratings. 

Food: *** 1/2 The food is best described as comida casera, or home style cooking. It is fresh and abundant, and a big step up from the usual comida económica fare.

Service: *** 1/2

Ambience: **** Note that some tables have benches and not chairs. There are tablecloths!

Price: At $60 pesos per person for all you want to eat, a tremendous bargain. Drinks and a small dessert included.

Also serves breakfast, also buffet style, from 9:00 a.m. (I think)
Comida from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Closed Mondays.

We would definitely return.

Location: Calle Benigno Serrato 33, near the corner of Asencíon, across from the eastern end of the Basilica.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Three R's: Rezza Ristorante at Rosedale (NJ)

Every year during our summer visit to New Jersey, we have made it a tradition to meet our niece and her husband at a restaurant midway between their home in northern Connecticut and our temporary nest in northern New Jersey.

But for the last two years, we'd become averse to driving the local busy tollways, and so they have graciously driven to us. Last Year we met at Costanera, a Peruvian style restaurant in Montclair, NJ. This year, my Internet research turned up Rezza, a casual Italian restaurant in Rosedale, only 10 minutes from my family's home.

I'd read mostly positive reviews on Tripadvisor and YELP. I got an image of homestyle Italian food, served in an unpretentious environment. What we found proved this to be true.

We four had a mid afternoon dinner at Rezza yesterday. It was very pleasant, and the food and service satisfied.

The famous bread, from Sullivan Street Bakery, is "interesting" and good, but not the sort of which I'd want more than a couple of pieces, as it was very chewy. (Oh. I'll say it: "tough".) we were given a saucer of olive oil and coarse salt.

Sullivan Street Bread
We began our meal with a variety of antipasti and appetizers. My niece ordered a Farro Salad. Very light, refreshing and somewhat resembling tabuli.

Farro Salad
She couldn't resist another salad, Insalata Caprese, with heirloom tomatoes and creamy burrata.

Insalata Caprese
I had some nice chilled shrimp with fregola, a crunchy grain like pasta resembling couscous. My wife had some grilled octopus, which had lemon and fingerling potatoes. For most of us, the standout appetizer was the sauteed Brussels sprouts, cooked brown and crisp outside. Good, but least impressive were the roasted beets with pistachios, scattered with ricotta salata.

Brussels Sprouts
We took a deep collective breath, then ordered our mains.
Niece: Sunday Gravy, Nephew: Fetuccine Bolognese; Wife: Scampi with spaghetti; Me: Spaghetti Frutti Di Mare. (The latter is listed on the menu as coming with capellini, but I prefer thicker pasta, and they graciously changed it for me).

Pasta Frutti di Mare
Rezza's "Sunday Gravy"
Fettucine Bolognese

We saved room for dessert, which is limited to a range of gelati and a couple of sorbetti. For $8, we each got three nice scoops of luscious, intensely flavored gelati. Among the favorites were a super intense, bitter Dark Chocolate and a mellow Salted Caramel. The Espresso flavor gelato took honors as well.

Here's a couple of gelati in the photo.

Turkish Fig, left; Salted Caramel, right.
The check was substantial, but considering all we ate, quite fair.

Here's the obligatory and customary Ratings.

Food: **** Small, unusual touches and ingredients make Rezza's food a standout.

Service: ****
Ambience: Suburban Casual.

Restrooms: spotless.

You might like to read the extensive Dinner menu.

Hours:  Mon - Fri 11:00 am - 10:00 pm                                       Sat 10:00 am - 10:00 pm                                               Sun 10:00 am - 9:00 pm

BYOB / plenty of free parking

Location and contact info:
33 Eisenhower Parkway (crossroads with Eagle Rock Avenue), Roseland, NJ
Tel; 973-364-8277

Fiesta Inn Aeropuerto Ciudad de Mexico

We don't usually stay in expensive hotels, but for our annual visit to the U.S., we went First Class. Not only did we book Business First seats for our flight on United airlines, I decided to stay at the Fiesta Inn Aeropuerto. The advantages were seen to be that we could sleep later, and reduce the number of taxi rides, as the hotel provided a free shuttle to the terminal 1 of the airport.

The Fiesta Inn is located across the boulevard that separates it from the airport. We arrived by bus at Terminal Poniente Observatorio. The taxi fare was just over $172 pesos, and the west-east traverse of the city took about an hour. The taxi came alongside the airport, passed it, did a U, followed convoluted routes through the barrio including another U, and finally emerged in front of the contemporary styled hotel building.

Attentive service was immediately apparent, from the doors to the vast lobby. We were offered a room with with two double beds, which wasn't our first preference, but we were tired and the room was more than acceptable.

(The following is from my review on
The outstanding advantage of this Fiesta Inn is its proximity to the Aeropuerto International de la Ciudad de México. That's one reason that it's more expensive than our regular hotels in Mexico City. But the extra money bought quality. The attractively decorated room was sufficiently spacious, the beds unusually comfortable, the bed linens high quality, the shower in the bathroom had voluminous hot water almost instantaneously, the wifi was fine, and, despite being close to the airport and the busy Boulevard, the room was quiet. And, it was air conditioned, which is uncommon in Mexican hotels.

The only sour notes were the $34 peso price tag on the 2 liter bottle of purified water in the bathroom ( a tiny, approximately 8 ounce bottle was marked "complimentary"). Considering that we paid over $1700 pesos a night for the room, taxes included, about $105 is U.S. Dollars, we think that purified water should be included in the price. A minor defect was that the wall decoration next to the thermostat came loose during the night. But aside from being unsightly, it was no problem.

The free shuttle ride to Terminal 1 at the Airport was a welcome bonus.

Because of our early departure, we were unable to take advantage of the free breakfast buffet, but we did have supper in the restaurant. Overall, I would describe it as mediocre. The buffet option was $250 pesos. There were plenty of dishes, both hot and cold, from which to choose, but nothing stood out. An a la carte order of Tacos de Arrachera was about $172 and although the portion was large, but I had indigestion afterwards.

I did grab a complimentary cup of coffee before getting on the shuttle, and the coffee was superior.

I have to mention that we'd gone to bed very early, in the late afternoon, but at about 7:30 we were awakened by staff members tapping at our door. My wife answered, but couldn't understand what that was about. They left, and we went back to sleep.

In conclusion, it's a good hotel for travelers in transit who don't have time or inclination to go into the central parts of Mexico City, but who just need an overnight near the airport.

(Sorry, I took no photos of the rooms. We were just too tired. You can see typical room shots on Tripadvisor.)

TripAdviser Review of Fiesta Inn Aeropuerto

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Do The Continental

A Classic Continental Breakfast
First of all, let me say that I am not an aficionado of Continental breakfasts. Nor am I drawn to Bed and Breakfast lodging for many reasons, among which are all too frequently parsimonious Continental breakfasts. I am compelled to take up the sword against this scourge following my reminiscence on our Michoacán Yahoo Group. I'd recalled the breakfast fare at a simple beachside hostelry in Troncones, Guerrero, consisted of white toast, jam and coffee or tea. In my opinion, this sort of minimalist breakfast shows a lack of effort on the part of the hosts. At that time, February, 2006, a cold water palapa hut cost $38 USD, now risen to $50. I don't know if the generosity of the breakfasts has increased. At least, the hosts were congenial.

(I read on TripAdvisor an enthusiastic review by a guest who stayed for a month at that place. My mind boggles. I was insane with boredom in less than three days.)

Turning back many years, we stayed one night in a newly remodeled B&B in Galveston, TX. It was a very spacious room. I remember that the large bathroom had slippery slate floors. Style over practicality. In the morning, we were offered stale Danish pastry, unripe fruit and coffee and even staler conversation by a surrogate host. That to me showed total indifference to guests' needs.

I define a minimal Continental breakfast as comprised of superior baked goods, real butter, a quality jam or marmalade and strong coffee.

Then there was an ex-miner's hotel in Telluride, CO, which despite its wretched sagging beds, put out a generous selection of quick breads, coffee and tea. They benefited from a highly productive Telluride bakery.

Spain is among the world's leaders in meager Continental breakfasts. We stayed several nights at a casa rural in Las Merindades in Burgos Province, where the included breakfast was toast, margarine, jam and, I will admit, decent strong coffee. An active traveler would wither away on such a breakfast were it not  for intermediate stops at local bars where you could get a sort of breakfast sandwich of egg, ham and cheese, or, if you were lucky, a chapata roll with chorizo Español or perhaps sardines. We would halt our journey at small town bars where we would often get freshly made tortilla Español. While not fancy, it gave sustenance.

Breakfast at a Madrid bar.
After crossing the crest of the Cordillera Cantábrica, we were fortunate in finding "El Vejo", a bakery café in the town of Reinosa, Cantabria, where we stuffed ourselves on a full, real breakfast.

Superior Continental breakfasts were offered at the Hostal Alfonso, in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. There were nice croissants, at least. The hosts are very nice people.

Bakery cafes in Spain may be the secret to getting by with slender breakfast rations. This is one showcase in a bakery in Santiago de Compostela.

Credit where it's due: about three years ago, we stayed at an Air BnB listing, the Great House in San Miguel Chapultepec, México, D.F. The breakfasts were what can be called enhanced Continental. Toast, juice, cereal, yogurt, granola, coffee, tea, juice. That shows care on the part of the hosts. I would have liked some protein foods and variety, but then it would not be Continental, would it? Unfortunately, the upscale neighborhood seemed to have a dearth of adequate street food options.

I have mentioned the Turotel hotel in Morelia in previous posts. For a modest additional fee, guests may have a very nice, full breakfast, from a generous buffet, or request special dishes from the accommodating kitchen staff. While it's not gourmet fare, it's good and will give you the energy for your day's tasks. THe Turotel is one of my favorite hotels in Mexico.

Soon we will stay at the Fiesta Inn, Aeropuerto Ciudad de México, which includes a full breakfast in its rate. Whether we will have time to take advantage of it remains to be seen, as we have a mid morning flight departure. I hope to report back.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rites of Purification

Cabbages may be Kings in the Pátzcuaro Mercado. But even a King needs to be purified.
Mexico's mercados are a joy to the dedicated home cook and foodie. But there's a dirty underbelly to the abundance of inexpensive fruits and vegetables offered there. If you, as we are, are interested in maintaining your health while enjoying the bounty of fresh produce, there are a few simple steps you can take to do so.

Some of these tips were picked up several years ago on Victoria Challancin's  blog, Flavors of the Sun, but I don't have the exact quote.

The essence is that when you get home with your mercado swag, you do not put them away until you sort them, trim them and clean them.

Here, at Las Cocinas del Rancho Las Cuevas, we first open all the bags and lay out the produce on our ample kitchen counter. The different vegetables are roughly sorted according to type and dirtiness.

La Cocina in pristine condition before we moved in.
For example, sweet peppers have the least dirt; celery is relatively clean; parsley, not bad; cucumbers, deceptively clean looking but really carrying sand and earth; celery somewhat more (often with dirt hidden en sus áreas escondidas.); lettuce, usually more, requiring extra vigilance; and the worst culprit, cilantro, which often has clay, etc (¿cacá?) clinging to its roots.

Then we go to the cupboard for a few simple tools.
1. A bowl big enough to hold a medium sized cabbage or a "tree" of celery for washing.

2. A tall plastic container used for the disinfectiing solution.

3. A colander, sometimes two, if we have a lot of produce to purify. With two, you can set up an efficient line of purification , but for small amounts of produce, one will do.

4. Clean kitchen towels or aprons; or plastic bags.

Simple tools of purification
There are a few easy steps to make your produce safer to eat raw.

1.  Spoiled or discolored areas, such as outer leaves are trimmed away with scissors or a sharp knife. Pick out any yellowed or ugly parsley  or cilantro branches. Then taking the cleanest items first, they are washed under cold water in the bowl, scrubbing with a brush if necessary. Rinse in cold water.

2. The tall plastic container (or another bowl, what have you) is filled with cold water, then Microdyn disinfecting drops are added. I usually put 4 drops per liter of water, then add a few more for good measure.

The Microdyn bath
Pepinos Persas prepare for purification
Pepinos get washed in cold water
The washed fruit or vegetable item is then immersed in the Microdyn and water solution, for abut 5 minutes,. Fairly clean vegetables, such as sweet peppers or cucumbers are left for about 3 minutes. Nasty, dirty stuff such as lettuce or cilantro, up to 15 minutes.

Cilantro tends to be schmutzig, sucio, dirty
Trimming roots, clay, y ¿quien sabe? from cilantro
before washing and disinfecting
3. The now disinfected produce item is then drained for a couple of minutes in the colander(s).

Pepinos Persas drain while new vegetables are washed and disinfected.
At this point, you can choose to wrap disinfected green, leafy herbs and vegetables either in ...
A. clean kitchen towels or aprons
B. Clean plastic bags.
(And, NO! Don't reuse the plastic bags from the mercado to re-bag the produce, for if you do, you will have just undone all your careful work!)

Cilantro, now clean and pure, about to be wrapped and refrigerated.
Cilantro, in a paper towel then bagged in a Bol Lock bag.
It's best to thoroughly drain the leafier produce before wrapping or bagging.

Then refrigerate.
Doña Cuevas is a fan of the kitchen towel/apron wrap method, for increased longevity of the greens. I, prefer clear clean plastic bags for their visibility of what's inside them.  Searching for apron and towel wrapped Anonymous Produce tends to make me crazy.Your kitchen needs will vary.

A side note: if you keep your produce drawers clean and well organized, your fresh produce will keep longer as well as be easier to locate when you need it.

There are a few exceptions to this ritual of cleaning and disinfecting. Optional items like tomatoes, avocados, green beans, or chard or spinach, and especially nopales we don't wash and disinfect until just before use. And obviously, if it is to be cooked, it's only washed well, but not disinfected, just before cooking. I don't disinfect nopales ahead, as I found that they become slimy before their time.

Besides disinfecting your produce purchases, pay attention to the work surface and knife and cutting tablet to  keep them clean and sanitized. We wash the kitchen tools with dish detergent and water. Our wooden block butcher's and baker's table is similarly washed, but with very little detergent, then gone over with a solution of white vinegar and water, then dried. The same methods can be used to clean the counters.

With these simple but effective Rites of Purification, you greatly lessen your chances of food borne illness.