A big part of what makes the food taste soooo good here is that it is usually very fresh. Fruits and vegetables are picked straight out of the garden or the trees. In several places around town, men get up before dawn every day to kill a pig, and the meat usually sells out shortly after daybreak. In most people's yards there is either a chicken coop or just poultry and turkeys roaming around loose. However, not everyone keeps chickens, and so there are also several women around town that sell chickens, not at dawn, but really anytime of day. Doña Sari is one of those, and we followed her through the process of selling a chicken. Several times a week, a truck comes around and refills her small chicken coop so that she always has more to sell. Then she waits for someone to show up and want a chicken for lunch.
They know that they will have to wait about ten minutes for the finished product, but they also know that it is worth the wait. Many people in the village have grimaced and shaken their heads after hearing that in the United States, it is typical to buy all kinds of meat either frozen or refrigerated at the grocery store. Anyway, Doña Sari heads out to the chicken coop, grabs a chicken, and ties its feet to a hanging rope, and deftly slits its throat or cuts out its tongue with a knife. We set the timer on our watch. After it bleeds out in a few minutes, she removes it from the rope and dunks it in a pot of hot water that she always has heating over her fire. After it is good and hot, she dunks it in a cooler pot so she won't burn her hands. On a small table, she plucks all the feathers, removes the entrails, toenails and whatever unedible pieces that there are, and then gives it a good wash. On a different table, she chops it into halves, and weighs out the amount that the customer wants. Into a clear plastic bag, and out to the customer, fresh chicken in less than 10 minutes.