October 3: National Caramel Custard Day, or, as most people probably know it as, flan.
I really thought today was going to be an easy one. I planned ahead and found numerous Mexican restaurants within walking distance of my work that, according to enthusiastic yelpers, “make the best flan ever”. So I figured I’d have flan for lunch and be done with in. I tried Mexico Bakery No. 2 first, mostly because I have a soft spot for the name. My all-time favorite Mexican restaurant is called Mexico Restaurant, so I figured it was a good omen. Strike one. Apparently they were out of flan, but they told me that the other Mexico Bakery (presumably No. 1) had flan. Except I couldn’t walk to Mexico Bakery. It would have to wait.
I then tried Taqueria San Jose. Strike 2. This would be harder than I had originally thought.
After work I ventured to Mexico Bakery, version 1.0, hoping that the third time would be the charm. And… they were out of flan. Apparently everyone loves flan way more than me, or everyone is also celebrating National Caramel Custard Day. Or maybe they make like, one flan per day, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.
I got back in my car to strategize. I live in California… there are no shortages of Mexican restaurants, but I didn’t want to continue walking into each and every one of them looking only to be turned away flanless. Then I passed a Mexican grocery store and figured it couldn’t hurt to look. They didn’t have any prepared flans. Of course they didn’t.
It was time for Plan B. Make a flan. I had been reading flan recipes and wasn’t too keen on making one. Not because it seemed particularly difficult, but I’d need those little molds and I’d have to make caramel and cook them in a water bath and blah blah blah I had basically ruled it out once I assumed I could get THE BEST FLAN EVER at the little place by my work (lies).
But then… when I was leaving the supermercado I walked by a display that was sent from Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe herself…
Who knew they made instant flan?! I wanted to buy the lonely green package because it was caramel coconut flavored (and coconuts and I are BFFs), but it had expired in 2010. Eek. De Vainilla con caramelo it would be.
The flan? It was fine. I had a bite and put the rest in the fridge for Bryce when he gets home from super duper marathon session class (3pm to 10pm… pretty sure it should be illegal). Everyone wants partially eaten instant flan when they get home from class, right?
Tomorrow: National Taco Day AND National Vodka Day!