Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/116

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110
A MEXICAN FONDA.

right. These Mexicans who have only earthern ovens and stoves, utterly unlike anything ever seen in our country, and not a single iron dish, all being of the light glazed, brown earthernware of the country, contrive to cook twenty times as great a variety of dishes as we are able to compound, and what is more, cook them all to perfection. On the whole, I don't think we know anything about cooking in the United States.

The charges at these Mexican "fondas" are quite reasonable; say twelve and a half to twenty-five cents, at the outside, for a "square meal," and lodgings, such as they are, at a nominal cost. They do not usually provide beds, the travelers carrying blankets, or mattresses, with them; and as the beds are not unlikely to be a little too much crowded for comfort when they are furnished, it is better to carry your own sleeping outfit with you.

From the hill above Santa Anna Acatlan, we had a fine view of the immense Hacienda del Plan, the largest and finest sugar estate in the State of Jalisco. The house stands upon a hill overlooking the Laguna de Zacoalco, and is surrounded by the sugar-works and other buildings, with vast fields of sugar-cane, now twothirds grown—it requires from one year to fourteen months to come to full maturity—in all directions. The house is like a great square castle in appearance, with columns and verandah all around, and looks like a fit place for the residence of a prince.

From this estate, a large part of the great State of Jalisco, which has nine hundred thousand inhabitants, or more than any other in Mexico, derives its supply of sugar, and its products are sent even as far north as the Rio Grande. It belongs to Señor Ramos, one of the