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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Yucatán – Black Rice Recipe
Sinister and rather sullen looking, the Yucatecans’ Arroz Negro is cooked in the broth of the local black beans, which gives it a wonderfully earthy, mellow flavour. The colour is frankly muddy rather than actual black but once you taste it, you will forget about its appearance.

Plantain Crisps Recipe
Un tostón = fifty centavos. I do not believe that the tostón of my childhood still exists, but it was a lovely coin, with an Aztec head on one side and the Mexican eagle and snake on the reverse. My only experience of a tostón nowadays is gastronomic, as the name of a Mexican Caribbean snack.

Sweet Mexico - Poor Gentlemen Recipe
The dashingly named Poor Gentlemen of Yucatán are close relatives of Eggy Bread, French Toast and Torrejas, and however they found their way into the gastronomy, their legacy is an excellent way to use up old bread and the overall sweetness, far from being off-putting, is downright addictive.

Yucatán - Fish Tikin Xic Recipe
Tikin Xic is an ancient Maya method of preparing fish, featuring local, pre-Hispanic ingredients like chillies, tomatoes and sour oranges, naranjas agrias. One can sometimes still find a truly authentic version, where the fish is wrapped in banana leaves and then baked in a pib or pit.

Tomatillo and Mulato Chilli Sauce Recipe
My favourite way of serving this sauce is with a fried egg sitting on a lightly fried tortilla – very reminiscent in fact of that Mexican classic, Huevos Rancheros, Eggs from the Ranch. While the whole dish is typically served for breakfast, it also makes a delicious lunch or supper.

The Chillies of Mexico - El Habanero
El Habanero is a Yucatán lad who emigrated to Mexico from South America, probably Brazil or Peru, via Cuba, where it may have acquired its name, “from Havana”. It is the hottest chilli in the region itself and in fact in the country, as well as the most widely used in the Peninsula.

Yucatán - Yucatecan Stuffed Cheese Recipe
After a success or two and countless failures, I have given up cooking this Yucatecan speciality in its traditional form, a whole Edam cheese hollowed out and stuffed, and now make it in layers, rather like a lasagne – far from authentic but still very good and considerably easier.

Yucatán - Yucatecan Stuffed Cheese
Legends abound concerning this Yucatecan speciality, but whatever Queso Relleno’s origin, it is a very peculiar dish indeed, almost gothic, the type of fusion food which is difficult to understand without tasting it. Nonetheless, the end result is balanced, comprehensible and utterly delicious.

Ceviche Recipe
Raw fish marinated in citrus juice is a traditional way of preparing seafood, found all along the coast of Mexico, and Latin America generally. The sharp, acid fluid effectively “cooks” the flesh without ruining the soft, delicate texture.

Green Pozole Recipe
Pozole is a popular fiesta food, served at celebrations, but national holidays also provide an excellent excuse, particularly 5 de Mayo or 5th May, a date which commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862 when a small, poorly equipped, hopelessly outnumbered Mexican army routed the French invaders.

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