Tortillas loaded with colorful veggies, juicy chicken breast, homemade Guacamole and lots and lots of cheese. Of course, everything is hot and spicy too. Aaron brings typical Mexican comfort food to Studentenstadt.
„My Home is your Home“, with these words, Aaron ushers us into his small dorm room. No one has arrived yet, which is of no surprise to him: “My friends are Mexican and Argentinian. Of course, they are never on time.” Even though the room is sparsely decorated, the room feels like Little Mexico: Spanish music coming from the speakers and the large window at the far end of the combined living, sleeping and dining area is completely covered by a curtain sized Mexican Flag.
Right beneath the flag, the ingredients for today’s meal are already prepared. Peppers, herbs and garlic – coincidentally matching the colors of Mexico. „The thing I miss most about home, is the food. I can’t even give you a favorite, everything is just so good!”. And in Germany? “The beer is great!” When it comes to cooking, Aaron never had the opportunity to gain much experience. “In Mexico City, I live with my family and my mother usually cooks for all of us”, he says while slowly cutting onions. Things have changed ever since arriving in Germany for his stay abroad at the LMU, where he is finishing his penultimate semester in Business Administration. Out of necessity, he has had to become more self-sufficient, but some things, like his daily commute to university, have become easier. The 20 minutes from Studentenstadt to LMU pale in comparison to the 2 hours back home. In general, he prefers Munich to Mexico City: “The city is much more beautiful and there are probably ten times less people around.”
And he has learned to improvise – Not many tools for day-to-day life found their way into his suitcase. The pots and pans, the spatula and in fact, most of the bits and pieces you find in a kitchen he received for free. “I found a great group on Facebook, where people give away things they don’t need anymore. Everyone there was really helpful and I got everything I needed”. Now Aaron turns his attention to the avocados he has piled up on his dining table while working away busily. “The secret to a great Guacamole are the right avocados. They should not be too firm - the softer the better”, he says. Unfortunately, today’s avocados are not quite soft enough, so Aaron struggles a bit while trying to smash the fruits with a potato masher made out of plastic. Of course, this is not the perfect tool for making Guacamole, but it gets the job done and it was free, too.
As the preparations are in full swing, there is a knock on the door. Sophia, Aaron’s friend from Argentina, is standing in the doorway. She is late, but of course, there are no hard feelings. “In Latin-America you have to be flexible” he says while laughing. They speak briefly in Spanish, but soon switch back to English. Both came to Munich on a scholarship, but their reasons for choosing Germany are quite different. While Sophia’s program selected the destination for her, Aaron explains that he became infatuated with Germany after watching the 2006 World Cup.
Finally everything is ready. The Alambre is put on Tortillas that now seem too small for the amount of cheesy filling that Aaron loads on them. Ironically, though, they were in fact too big for any of his pans and had to be cooked directly on the stove. The Guacamole comes out smooth and spicy. Sophia can barely contain her excitement: “Aaron is a great cook, it really brings one back to Latin-America – and it helps with the homesickness!”
If you are an international student at LMU and you enjoy cooking, you too can be one of our Cooks on Campus. Just drop us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we will reimburse the cost of your menu (up to a maximum of 100 Euros).