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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.
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.
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.
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.
Sweet Mexico - Apricot Paletas Recipe
When I was a child, paleteros or iced lolly vendors roamed the streets, pushing a little insulated container cart which was packed with ice and delectable, wonderfully fresh paletas. They were made daily, probably by a member of the paletero's family, from natural, unadulterated ingredients.
Sweet Mexico - Frozen Things
In every Mexican city, town, or even village, there is bound to be a shop selling a bewildering variety of icecreams and sorbets – from the predictable chocolate and vanilla to the less familiar mamey, zapote and guanabana, or even the downright bizarre such as cheese, rose petal and sweetcorn.
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.
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 - 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.
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