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Sweet Mexico - Easter Piglets
The “panaderías” of Mexico are absolute Aladdin’s caves. While the name translates simply as “bread shop”, this does not even begin to illustrate the wealth of baked goodies which are piled up on aluminium trays and displayed in the windows and on the counters.
Pumpkins and squashes are very much in evidence in Mexican markets and vegetable dishes throughout the summer and autumn, but the golden blossoms are their crowning glory for a brief and very colourful season when stalls and green grocers are festooned with their bright yellow and orange petals.
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.
Salsas, the Sauces of Mexico
The word salsa simply means sauce in Spanish and although it has somehow become synonymous with a blood red, sour mess which comes out of a jar, it is light years away from a real Mexican salsa, which is a boisterous, exuberant combination of diced raw vegetables and/or fruit, chillies and herbs.
Safeguarding Mexico's Historical Cuisine
The Conservatorio de la Cultura Gastronómica Mexicana has set itself a challenging task: "the preservation, rescue, safeguarding and promotion of usages, customs, products, cultural practices and knowledge which make up the common core which defines traditional Mexican cuisine".
Prawn Turnovers Veracruz Style Recipe
The word empanada translates as breaded and therefore implies the use of bread or at least a dough made of wheat. When it comes to the very Veracruzana Empanada de Camarón, however, a pre-Columbian dough made of corn (and a bit of post-Hispanic flour) provides the wrapping.
Plantain, Fruit and Vegetable
Faintly sweet, decidedly starchy, inedible raw, rich and voluptuous when cooked, a fruit which is eaten as a vegetable and can be ground into a flour to make bread and turnovers – this is “plátano macho”, the “male banana” of Mexico.
Peanut Brittle Recipe from Veracruz
The Aztecs called the peanut tlalcacahuatl or cacao of the earth as it grows underground, and in the state of Veracruz, it makes an appearance in a variety of guises, Palanquetas de Cacahuate, or peanut brittle, among them.
Of Calabacitas, Courgettes and Zucchini
The Squash family, Cucurbita, is Mexican, whatever you may choose to call its various members, and the earliest traces, dating as far back as 7000BC, have been found in Oaxaca and Tamaulipas. However, the modern courgette or zucchini is thought to have originated in Italy in the 19th century.
New Year in Mexico - Shrimp Broth
“La cruda” is such an evocative name. It literally means raw, but in Mexico it is used to describe a bad hangover, from which many Mexicans will be suffering on New Year’s Day.
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