Years later, my work often took me to Puebla, and the Mercado del Carmen became a favorite stop. Locals will tell you that the Mercado, one of the city's traditional markets, is the place for cemitas; if I was going to cheat on the tortas of my youth, I was determined to do it with the best. The distinguishing characteristic of the cemita is the bread it's served on: a fluffy egg roll topped with sesame seeds. The sandwich is filled with sliced avocado, queso blanco (soft white cheese), raw onions, chipotle chiles, and some kind of meat—typically ham, chicken, pierna en adobo (roast pork leg marinated in red chile sauce), head-cheese, or milanesa (thin, breaded veal cutlets). Another key element that sets the cemita apart from other tortas is a handful of fresh papalo, a pungent herb that adds a peppery bite.