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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.
The Day of the Dead in Mexico
In late October, every sweet shop and street stall in Mexico City decks itself out in garlands of deep yellow marigolds, colourful tissue paper cut-outs of pumpkins and skeletons, and best of all, beautifully crafted sugar skulls with big toothy grins, shining eyes and names on their foreheads.
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.
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 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 Drinks of Mexico - Fresh Cucumber Water
The sight of the seller of “aguas frescas” or “fresh waters” is common on the streets of Mexico. His colourful wares are displayed in large glass jars, sitting on a bed of ice or in a refrigerated cabinet, and oh how fresh, healthy and pure they are in a world full of “soft drinks” and “sodas”.
The Drinks of Mexico - Fruit Cooler Recipes
On a hot day, Mexico’s aguas frescas or fresh waters are a taste of heaven. They are not as dense and rich as an actual juice, as water is often added to give the required lightness and breezy zest and there are countless varieties on offer.
The Drinks of Mexico - Jamaican Water
“Agua fresca”, fresh water, is the name given to a variety of cold drinks in Mexico. Not the type which comes out of a bottle or carton and is more usually known as a “refresco” or refresher, but the kind which is lovingly made by hand from natural ingredients.
The Drinks of Mexico - Tamarind Water Recipe
Tamarindus Indica, a tree native to tropical Africa, can grow to one hundred feet or more, with a massive trunk and a wide canopy of leaves. Its fruit is a pod full of sour pulp, which is used in Mexico to make a popular fresh water or agua fresca, known as tamarind water, agua de tamarindo.
The Drinks of Mexico – Horchata Recipe
In Mexico, grains and nuts are used to concoct horchata, one of the most popular aguas frescas, fresh waters, which are sold in huge glass jars at market stands, in ice-packed barrows on the streets, and in restaurants. One of its greatest talents is its ability to calm a chilli blasted palate!
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