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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!
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.
Sweet Mexico - The Day of the Dead
For the past week, the market stalls in Taxco have been decorated with brightly coloured tissue paper cut-outs of pumpkins and skeletons and some very seasonal goods have made their annual appearance.
Sweet Potato, a Very Early Vegetable
Sweet potatoes, with their rough, scratchy skin and warm orange or deep purple flesh, were one of the first vegetables to be cultivated. They originated in South America, probably Peru, where 8,000 year old traces have been unearthed.
Tacos of Oven-roasted Achiote Carnitas Recipe
Achiote, a spice blend based on annatto seeds, is one of the most recognizable flavours of southern Mexican cuisine and finds its way into countless regional dishes including Yucatecan pork carnitas. Slow-roast belly of pork, basted with an achiote marinade, makes wonderfully succulent carnitas.
Tacos of Achiote-marinated Pork Carnitas Recipe
Achiote, a spice blend based on annatto seeds, is one of the most recognizable flavours of southern Mexican cuisine and finds its way into countless regional dishes including Yucatecan pork carnitas: rich and succulent, hot, sweet and sharp, wrapped in a warm corn tortilla with a sparkling salsa.
Tamales are among the oldest and most authentic of Mexican dishes, dating back millennia and served to the conquering Spaniards in Moctezuma’s splendid banqueting hall. The Náhuatl name itself means wrapped food, which is an excellent description of this very historical and traditional creation.
The Chilli Pepper Man
From their sunny homeland of Mexico to the sweltering heat of Kerala or the sandy beaches of Thailand, chillies are associated with warm climates and exotic dishes flavoured with coconut and cumin, coriander and cinnamon: aromatic curries and stir-fries, mellow “tagines” and gutsy “moles”.
The Chillies of Mexico
Capsicum Annuum was first cultivated in Mexico around 7000BC and is the ancestor both of all modern Mexican chillies, and of the vast majority of chillies found today outside the Americas: all the hot cuisines of the world owe their fire and fragrance to the original Mexican chilli.
The Chillies of Mexico - El Chile de Árbol
The “tree chilli” is smooth-skinned, thin and pointed, often slightly curved, green when young and gradually turning from orange to scarlet as it meanders towards its prime. Barely three or four centimetres long, its stem is hard and woody but its relationship to a tree is non-existent.
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