He carries Iztaccihuatl’s body to the mountains whereupon he has a funeral pyre built for both himself and his princess. Grief-stricken beyond measure, Popocatepetl dies next to his beloved. The Gods, touched by the lover’s plight, turn the humans into mountains, so that they may finally be together. They remain so to this day with Popocatepetl residing over his princess Iztaccihuatl, while she lay asleep. On occasion, Popo will spew ash, reminding those watching that he is always in attendance, that he will never leave the side of his beloved Izta.
Today my partner and I went to Taqueria Iztaccihuatl in Fairburn, GA. On the inside cover of the menu was written this beautiful story.
The food, atmosphere, and staff were all superb and authentic. What is more, the story behind the namesake of this establishment is enchanting and I just had to know more. I took a copy of the menu so I could come home and look into the story in more detail, whereupon I found this beautiful image:
It was taken by Carlos Rojas. Find his flickr here.
On the left you see Iztaccihuatl, or “White Woman”. In the Aztec language of Nahuatl, iztac means white and cihuatl means woman. It is easy to see how the form of this mountain could be likened to that of a woman lying on her back. The far left peak resembles a head with luscious locks running down to the foothills. The peak in the middle could easily be her breasts, and the peaks on the right her legs. They call her the “White Woman” because she is often covered in snow. She (the mountain) is also referred to as “La mujer dormida” or “The Sleeping Woman”.
On the right you see Popocatepetl, or “Smoking Mountain”. On this day Popo was was letting everyone watching know that he is still there, watching over his sleeping lover.
These mountains are the backdrop of Mexico City.
This image is found on the front of the menu at Taqueria Iztaccihuatl and does a beautiful job of bringing the legend to life:
It is by Warner Cortez. Click here for a link to the site where I obtained the image. It has more information on the legend behind these mountains.
I highly recommend going there to read more about the beautiful and tragic legend of Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl.
If you are in the Atlanta area, check out Taqueria Iztaccihuatl. The food is delicious and authentic, and the owner is really nice. Try their Fajitas Texanas and Enchildas Verdes. That’s what we had, anyway, and it was super tasty. Upon hearing he was a student, the owner personally wrote my partner a coupon to buy one meal, get another of equal or lesser price free, so that we might come back and see them some time.
I am thankful that we happened across this place today because I learned of a beautiful legend, met a great and friendly person, and had an amazing meal all at the same time. What more can you ask for? It was the highlight of my day.