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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.
Lenten Cooking in Mexico - Bacalao
Bacalao is virtually synonymous with Lent and features in Lenten dishes throughout the Christian world. It plays an important role in Mexico’s “cocina cuaresmeña”, and while badly prepared bacalao is a true penance, it can be a very delicious vehicle for many indigenous Mexican ingredients.
Lenten Cooking in Mexico - Broad Bean Soup
Sopa de habas, or broad bean soup, makes a regular appearance in Mexican homes and restaurants during the Lenten or “La Cuaresma” season, and yet cannot be considered an ancestral or indigenous dish, as broad beans originated not in the Americas but in North Africa as well as Southeast Asia.
Lenten Cooking in Mexico - Tortitas de Camarón
Lent may bring to mind pictures of fasting, penitence, abstinence and “giving up” a food which you particularly enjoy, but it is also an opportunity to explore the wealth of vegetable and fish dishes which make up “la cocina cuaresmeña” or Lenten cooking of Mexico.
The Drinks of Mexico - Atole
The atoles are a large family of ancient drinks, with countless variations, some of them totally pre-Hispanic, others slowly developed since the 16th century by the addition of some of the many foreign ingredients which found their way into the indigenous larder after the Spanish conquest.
UNESCO and the Cuisine of Mexico
UNESCO has never included food and cooking in its “intangible cultural heritage” awards, but on 16 November 2010, it bestowed this honour upon Mexican Cuisine, a decision which was greeted with tremendous personal and national excitement and pride.
The Sauces of Mexico - Adobo
An adobo starts off as a marinade and from there often graduates to being a sauce. The name comes from the Spanish “adobar”, which has several meanings, among them “to marinate, pickle or cure” but more importantly, “to stew”, all verbs which illustrate an adobo’s versatility very nicely.
The Spices of Mexico - Vanilla
Vanilla is a shy and gentle spice. There is nothing brash or flamboyant about it, and yet its power is great, with a delicately warm, sweet flavour and scent which are deeply evocative, almost hypnotic.
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