Delicious, beautiful, exotic. Did I say delicious? I meant to. I don't have favorites but if you were to invite me to Veracruz I would only hesitate for a few seconds. I think it might be Mexico's most beautiful state. It runs along the coast and it feels Mexican but it's like nowhere else in the country. Papantla smells of vanilla and heat. It's a little off putting at first but the best thing to do is just roll with it. For me, breakfast with salsa macha means the rest of the day will be mild in comparison. It's a humbling sauce and I've had luck eating it with beans, white one in particular. Huevos Enzopilotados are scrambled eggs with black beans. The salsa macha completes the dish. Near by are the ruins of El Tajin. We laughed at how hot it was. The heat and humidity were so intense it was funny. Or at least it is now. My friends Yunuen and Gabriel and I love to climb and discover Mexican archaeological sites and this is one of the best. Heading south along the coast are many beach towns. Not so chic but the beaches are fine and good food and music are never far off. We do actually work on these trips as part of the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project. In Veracruz is Casa Stivalet and they produce the magnificent banana vinegar we sell. Leaving the coast, the town of Jalapa is worth a two day visit. The museum is one of the best and of course there are particular dishes to the region. Another time we'll have to discuss the city of Veracruz.