This post is loooooong overdue. I said I would write about Mexican marketing tricks after returning from my wonderful - if somewhat telenovela style - trip to Mexico last Autumn, but somehow it's March and I still haven't done it...
I'm a real pudding girl. If I have a choice between a starter and a dessert (or pudding, as they're called here in the UK), I almost always go for the latter. I have a very sweet tooth, which explains the prevalence of cakes over savoury dishes on this little blog of mine. However, I am very much aware that all those sugar and butter ladden cakes cannot be good for my waist-hip ratio. So I try to avoid them.
Not too difficult here in Scotland or back home in Estonia or anywhere else in Europe I've travelled. After finishing the main course, the waiter usually comes and quietly asks if I'm interested in the dessert menu at all. Here's the chance for me to exercise my often dwindling self-control and say "No, thank you". Sometimes I forget that I'm not really so hungry and/or not supposed to have a dessert, and let the waiter bring the menu. However, it is still relatively easy even at this point to look at the menu only fleetingly, convince myself that I'm not actually so hungry after all and opt for a coffee or tea instead.
But no, not in Mexico.
You see, in Mexico, they don't do the old-fashioned printed menus for desserts. In Mexico, they do these dangerously tempting and irresistible in-your-face dessert menus. When you're happily chatting away with your friends after yet another delicious meal, a smiling waiter appears with a huge tray of oh-so-delicious-looking desserts - real ones, not photographs or some artificial replicas, a true feast to all your senses. In Mexico the smart marketing people have long known that we eat with our eyes. However much you'd like to say that "No gracias, señor", suggesting that you're more than full already, you're doomed, you're bound to fail. Once you eye and smell those luscious creations right in front of you, you inevitably end up asking for one. At least that's what happened to me each and every time I ate out during my trip. After just one glance at the dessert offerings, my finger pointed at one of them, and the joyous waiter took my order to the pastry chef in the kitchen.
I know I'm not very good in resisting good food anyway, but I was always taken by surprise how easy it was to give in. How could I possibly fit in that chocolate and raspberry cake at Bistrot Mosaico in Condesa after a very generous slice of huitlacoche quiche, terrine de berengenas and other delicious Franco-Mexican concoctions? Or how did a simple cocktail with a friend at the slowly revolving 45th floor restaurant of the World Trade Centre, Ciudad de México on my last day in town ended with the planned cocktail and a delectable mocca mousse (that's the one in the middle on the left side above, next to the mango cheesecake)? You get my point..
Oh well. At least no-one in Europe seems to know this particular dessert marketing trick. Yet..