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Jícama, The Mexican Turnip
Brown, bulbous and rather hirsute, Pachyrrhizus Erosus has little to offer in the way of glamour, but it is an important member of the Mexican larder, both ancient and modern.
The Drinks of Mexico - Chileatole
Hernán Cortés, the Spanish conquistador, recorded his impression of atole as highly energising - it is likely that he was served a spicy, aromatic atole, containing beans and seasoned with herbs and chillies, a “chileatole”, although he may also have drunk a bitter chocolate atole.
The Spices of Mexico - Cumin
“Comino” is one of the countless gastronomic immigrants which travelled to Mexico aboard the Spanish galleons and landed on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico - more likely than not in the port of Veracruz, where it made itself very much at home and was willingly absorbed into the local cuisine.
The Sauces of Mexico - Recado
The “recado”, like the ubiquitous “adobo”, is not really a sauce, but a spice and herb blend or paste used to flavour meat, fish or vegetables before cooking, and is a particular speciality of the Yucatán peninsula.
A Franco-Mexican Cocktail for Cinco de Mayo
What better way to commemorate the triumph of Mexican identity over French imperialist aggression than with a “tequila margarita”, that most Mexican of cocktails, which blends the utterly Mexican tequila with the very French Triple Sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier?
Sweet Mexico - Easter Piglets
The “panaderías” of Mexico are absolute Aladdin’s caves. While the name translates simply as “bread shop”, this does not even begin to illustrate the wealth of baked goodies which are piled up on aluminium trays and displayed in the windows and on the counters.
Lenten Cooking in Mexico - Empanadas de Vigilia
Many dishes from Mexico’s Cocina Cuaresmeña are known as “de vigilia”, after the Paschal Vigil which is celebrated on Holy Saturday, the last day of Lent and Holy Week. The Vigil begins during the evening of the Saturday and lasts until the morning of Easter Sunday, when a special mass is held.
Lenten Cooking in Mexico - Calabacitas Entomatadas
Lent in Mexico sees the appearance of “La Cocina Cuaresmeña” or Lenten cuisine, with its focus firmly on fish and vegetables. “Calabacitas entomatadas” is a very simple but highly popular Lenten dish which combines three of the "milpa’s" time-honoured inhabitants: squash, tomatoes and chillies.
Lenten Cooking in Mexico - Chilpachole
Chilpachole is a spicy stew or thick soup traditionally made with prawns or crab, eaten often during Lent or La Cuaresma. Although it is very typical of the cooking of Veracruz, it is served all along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and ranges from utter simple to downright luxurious.
Lenten Cooking in Mexico - Torta de Elote
Vegetable “tortas” or “budines” are popular vegetable bakes served during La Cuaresma or Lenten period and very far removed from pre-Hispanic dishes, as they are set with eggs and tend to contain dairy products, none of which made an appearance in Mexican cuisine until after the Conquest.
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