This week, we kick off our fourth annual Cinco Tortas de Mayo celebration, an ode to the great Mexican sandwich. The mastermind behind Cinco Tortas is Kel Troughton. Kel is the head of prepared foods here at The Local Butcher Shop as well as our artist in residence. His beautiful lettering adorns our shop walls and signs. Kel shares his inspiration behind Cinco Tortas and invites you to join us Saturday, April 30th, for tacos, hot off the grill, followed by five days of tortas May 1st through May 5th.
Cinco Tortas de Mayo artwork by Kel Troughton.
Cinco Tortas started because I always want to be making Mexican food, and the Rocchinos both humor and encourage me as best they can. I can trace my Mexican food obsession to my first burrito at La Cumbre in San Francisco at the age six. At age 25, I moved to Mexico City for six-months during the off season from my job as a summer camp cook. I explored and took photos, but mostly I was there to eat.
Kel at a mercado de carne in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2009.
“Super Tortas Cubanos,” in distrito Roma was my first real lesson in Milanesa (Chicken Fried Steak). The small stand had stools next to the plancha, and I was the gringo most days during the lunch rush. The Torta Milanesa had ham, tomato, pickled jalapeno, avocado, and butter fried pressed (bolillo) bread. Fat, acid, texture, and color, mixed together perfectly enough to remain, eight years later, my favorite sandwich. We have been making a version here at the shop that is crunchier and made with local and seasonal produce. Come celebrate this week with us. California owes a great deal of its food inspiration to Mexico—I know I do.
Torta stand in distrito Roma.