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The Herbs of Mexico - Epazote
Epazote grows wild in Mexico and spread from there across America and eventually to southern Europe and beyond, but outside its homeland, it is seen as a weed rather than a culinary herb – only in central and southern Mexico does it play an essential role and find its way into the cooking pot.
Epiphany in Mexico - Bread of the Kings
Christmas in Mexico begins on 16 December with the traditional parties called “las posadas”, and ends with Epiphany or El Día de los Reyes, the Day of the Kings, which is celebrated with a sweet yeasted bread known as Rosca de Reyes or Bread of the Kings.
New Year in Mexico - Churros and Hot Chocolate
A darkened room and a bottle of mineral water may be the best, if not the most rousing, cure for the first hangover of the year, but a cup of hot chocolate and a freshly cooked churro are an infinitely more appealing antidote to the excesses of New Year's Eve.
Christmas in Mexico - Christmas Eve Salad
Christmas Eve in Mexico is an occasion for a family dinner, served before everybody goes off to Midnight Mass, known as “Misa de Gallo”, cockerel’s mass. The meal starts off with a special Christmas Eve salad, Ensalada de Noche Buena, which is a rather peculiar concoction.
Christmas in Mexico - Posadas and Piñatas
The run-up to Christmas in Mexico is one long series of parties – in fact a very specific type of party which takes place over the nine days prior to Christmas, and goes by the name of “posada". It involves much singing and a piñata filled with fruit, nuts, chocolate and delicious "polvorones".
Christmas in Mexico - Rum Punch
Christmas in Mexico means posadas, piñatas and a sweet, fruity punch known as “Ponche Navideño” or Christmas punch, which is served to posada guests in Mexican homes, as well as on the street corners, where it scents the night air with its sweet, plummy steam.
The Sauces of Mexico - Manchamanteles
The name speaks for itself – mancha manteles is Spanish for table cloth stainer, and this brick red sauce, when spilled on a white table cloth or down the front of a white shirt, can cause very serious damage indeed.
Turkey, the American Peacock
The turkey is native to the Americas, and its earliest habitat seems to have been the highlands of Mexico, where fossils ten million years old have been found on the central plateau near Puebla. It was domesticated by the Aztecs who honoured it with a religious festival held every 200 days.
The Sauces of Mexico – Pipián Recipe
A pipián is a sauce thickened with ground seeds or nuts and Mexican food at its most historical and authentically pre-hispanic. It belongs to the family of the great “moles” of Mexico, and while the word mole simply means sauce, today it is almost invariably a sauce containing chillies.
The Sauces of Mexico - Guacamole Recipe
Guacamole is one of the best known Mexican dishes and its fame has spread far and wide, to the extent that you can buy it in a tub in the refrigerated section of a supermarket, and even a ‘long-life’ version in a jar - and if that is all you have ever tasted, you are in for a big surprise.
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