Pass the Tortillas, It's Time to Eat
MERIDA, Mexico -- On the last night of President Bush's six-day trip through Latin America, press secretary Tony Snow finally showed up to brief in the filing center and started out with a thorough account of ... the menu.
SNOW: His lunch menu included three panuchos. These are corn tortillas filled with refried beans -- actually, sort of layered, not "filled," your flat, round tortillas, not great, big tortillas -- with pork, turkey and roast chicken. Then there was a fresh grouper fillet, with white rice and a Mexican herb called epazote, I think, and refried beans. Also we had the little -- what do you call those, Dan? Was that tortillas we were wrapping them up in?
DAN FISK, National Security Council official: Yes, white corn tortillas.
SNOW: And papaya compote ice cream, served with a marquesita. That's a regional crÃªpe, quite good. Grated Dutch cheese. There were also served red and whtie wines. The president did not partake, but staff members who will go unmentioned did.
The whole trip, in fact, has seemed to revolve at times around food. At almost every stop, the president waxed about the local delicacies he intended to sample. In Uruguay, Bush mentioned several times that he couldn't wait to try the barbecue and seemed quite taken with the blueberries. "It turns out Uruguay produces a fantastic blueberry," he said.
In Guatemala, the joint press availability with President Oscar Berger did not happen until late afternoon and Bush appeared eager for a meal. "I'm looking forward to the dinner that you're hosting for Laura and me," Bush told Berger. "I'm not going to talk too long because I might get hungry."
And that, despite the fact that he had helped Guatemalan farmers load their lettuce onto a truck during a stop at an agricultural cooperative in the highlands earlier in the day. Which has raised here, by the way, the question about what will happen when the president tries to reenter the United States and has to check the box on that form asking whether he has been on a ranch while overseas and handled produce. Uh oh.
-- Peter Baker
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