Kelly the Culinarian: Tasty Tucson Tours: San Xavier del Bac Mission, with a side of fried bread

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Tasty Tucson Tours: San Xavier del Bac Mission, with a side of fried bread

A little synopsis of the San Xavier del Bac Mission, located in Tucson: The church was built from 1783 to 1797 by Franciscan monks and is perhaps the best example of mission architecture in America.

The congregation began in 1692 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino on land belonging to the Tohono O'odham tribe. It is still on a Native American reservation of the Tohono O'oodham and members lived on the land in front of the church until this century. They still sell their wares outside the church, including this delicious fried bread.

Outside of the church, there are several little stands that have probably been there for a century. There, the Indians sell crafts and mostly food. Fried bread is a recognizable Native American dish. It cost me $1.50 for a plain dish and it was made right in front of me. The woman flattened out what she referred to as a tortilla dough. It was then fried in a pot over a make-shift grill. The whole production took less than three minutes.

It came out golden brown and quite greasy, but damn it tasted good! It was crunchy and toasty on the outside, but moist and soft on the inside, similar to what a proper bagel tastes like. The flavor was just like a tortilla or flour-based salsa chip. I couldn't finish the thing, but I think it would have been better with the honey and cinnamon that was offered for $2.

If you want to see more photos of the mission, including antique photos of women preparing fried bread in the same exact location, visit my photo journal.


Sylvia said...

Hi kelly ,I saw your photo journal and the fryed looks a tipical fried dish in argentina "Torta frita" fried cake means. Made with flour ,salt and pork butter,fried. Delicious.Is ok to you if I linked your blog in mine? Your blog is pretty intersting.

Cynthia said...

Thanks for sharing this piece of history with us Kelly.

Lynne Daley said...

Great Kelly, you have really captured the feel of the mission and the photos of the fried bread look so tasty. I make a Navajo fried bread which I'm sure is the same type of bread. Thanks.