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Mexico's Regional Gastronomy
The roots of Mexico’s cuisine reach deep down into its ancient cultures and indigenous ingredients, and Mexican cookery in the 21st century is the result not only of the geography of the country itself but also of its rich and turbulent history, both pre- and post-Hispanic.
The Sauces of Mexico - Mole
The Aztecs called it “molli” or “mulli”. In their Náhuatl language, it simply meant sauce or mixture. For the Spaniards, who encountered it in its countless versions in the cooking pots of the great market place of Tenochtitlán, it became “mole”, the name which it still bears today.
Sweet Mexico - Mexican Rice Pudding Recipe
The sweet course in Mexico is known as “postre” or pudding and is normally a very unknown quantity as desserts are not the stars of the Mexican gastronomic firmament. Sometimes however a Mexican version of a British nursery favourite will make an appearance: arroz con leche or rice with milk.
Mexican Salpicón of Beef Recipe
A salad, a filling for tacos, quesadillas, poblano chillies or even empanadas, a topping for tostadas and a stuffing for large fish – the Mexican “salpicón” is versatile and multi-faceted, fresh, light, tangy and boldly flavoured.
The Day of the Dead – Candied Pumpkin Recipe
1st and 2nd November are known as “Los Días de los Muertos” or the Days of the Dead which are an important pre-Conquest celebration in Mexico, and surprisingly enough, cheerful and festive occasions when Mexican families honour their deceased relatives.
Breakfast in Mexico – Huevos Motuleños Recipe
The “Eggs from Motul” always strike me as a strange dish, featuring some very disparate ingredients – but the end result, although it does look rather messy, is rich and savoury, breakfast or brunch at its best.
The Drinks of Mexico - Café de Olla Recipe
The “olla” is made of clay, rough on the outside and glazed on the inside, pot-bellied and homely. It sits on every market, street and restaurant stove across the country and is used for making one of Mexico’s favourite breakfast drinks: “café de olla”, coffee from the pot.
The Chillies of Mexico - El Pasilla
Pasilla translates as “little raisin”, which is an obvious indicator of its flavour: faintly sweet and reminiscent of dried fruit, even of sun-dried tomatoes, quite earthy, even woodsy or herby, with a hint of sharpness and acidity in the background, and a lush, full aftertaste.
Sweet Mexico - Piloncillo
“Little pylon” or piloncillo is rich and dark, with a deep, seductive, almost chocolatey aroma of caramel which is utterly addictive. Inhale for longer and you pick up a faint smokiness as well as a floral syrupiness - it might also remind you of white sand beaches and brawny Caribbean rum!
Squash Blossom Crêpes Recipe
The season of the very traditional “flor de calabaza” or squash blossom has begun. Every market stall in Mexico is festooned with flowers and garlanded with this highly prized delicacy of late summer and early autumn and every Mexican cook is featuring them in countless traditional dishes.
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