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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 Spanish Influence in Mexican Cuisine
The discovery of the Americas resulted in the dissemination throughout Europe of a multitude of hitherto unknown crops. But just as many Mexican foodstuffs crossed the Atlantic and were introduced to Europe, so too did non-American ingredients make their way back in the opposite direction.
The Spices of Mexico - Achiote
The talents and versatility of the Americas’ “poor man’s saffron” are manifold, from body paint and cosmetics to insect repellent and food colouring.
The Spices of Mexico - Cinnamon
Researching cinnamon in a Mexican cookbook is a perplexing experience, as it can be referred to as Mexican cinnamon, true cinnamon, soft cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon or simply by its Spanish name, canela. The purpose is perhaps to avoid confusion with the bark of the cassia tree.
The Spices of Mexico - Cumin
“Comino” is one of the countless gastronomic immigrants which travelled to Mexico aboard the Spanish galleons and landed on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico - more likely than not in the port of Veracruz, where it made itself very much at home and was willingly absorbed into the local cuisine.
The Spices of Mexico - Vanilla
Vanilla is a shy and gentle spice. There is nothing brash or flamboyant about it, and yet its power is great, with a delicately warm, sweet flavour and scent which are deeply evocative, almost hypnotic.
Tomatillo, the Mexican Husked Tomato
When is a tomato not a tomato? When it is a “tomatillo”, which translates as” little tomato” but does not refer to a tomato as we know it.
Tomatoes - The Aztecs' Tomatl
The Incas thought little of the vine with its small golden fruit, a weed growing among the bean and corn plants in their fields. However, the vine slowly spread across the continent and today the Aztecs’ tomatl is cultivated wordwide and is an intrinsic part of countless gastronomies.
Tortas, Part of Everyday Mexican Life
Tortas are an institution in Mexico, a part of every day life and an essential constituent of Mexican cuisine – there are even annual festivals in their honour. They are eaten by everybody at any time, and “torterías” are found on virtually every street corner.
Tortillas, The Bread of Mexico
Corn tortillas are quintessentially Mexican, intoxicatingly fragrant and utterly addictive. They take centre stage in the national cuisine as the “bread” of Mexico, and no meal is complete without this truly pre-hispanic food which is eaten daily in every household.
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