Mexican Food Information
A Pot of Beans
No Mexican kitchen is ever without its bubbling earthenware cazuela of frijoles – beans are an integral part of everyday life and food. They are utterly earthy, true Mexican food for the soul, wholesome, soothing, satisfying.
Autumn Gold and Squash Blossoms
The markets of Mexico are splashed with gold and the time of year has arrived when every stall is decorated with armfuls of flamboyant courgette/zucchini and pumpkin flowers, a truly seasonal treat.
Avocado, pear of the Indies
The Aztecs’ ahuacatl has become the avocado but the name bestowed upon it by the Spanish conquistadores was both more romantic and more evocative: pera de las Indias, pear of the Indies, illustrating its shape and what must have seemed, in the sixteenth century, an exotic and outlandish provenance
Breakfast in Mexico - Bricklayer's eggs
Huevos del albañil are a typical, traditional breakfast throughout the country, although a popular variation is to toss some stale tortillas into the sauce to make green “chilaquiles” which serve as a bed for the eggs. As to where the name came from and what role the bricklayer played, my extensiv
Breakfast in Mexico - Huevos Rancheros
The “eggs from the ranch” are to be found in every nook and cranny of Mexico – every cook churns them out regularly for breakfast (and only for breakfast), and of all the egg dishes in the repertoire of traditional Mexican cuisine, they are a classic, perhaps the best known and most widely eaten.
Breakfast in Mexico – Huevos Motuleños Recipe
The “Eggs from Motul” always strike me as a strange dish, featuring some very disparate ingredients – but the end result, although it does look rather messy, is rich and savoury, breakfast or brunch at its best.
Christmas in Mexico - Champurrado Recipe
The crescendo of the Christmas revelry, including the very Mexican “posadas” or Christmas parties, has reached its climax and Christmas Day has finally arrived. The day gets off to a very pre-Hispanic start with a mug of steaming champurrado, traditionally accompanied by tamales.
Christmas in Mexico – Buñuelos Recipe
The Mexican "posada" season is tremendous fun, raucous and jolly, and the street cooks and vendors do a roaring trade. Mugs of hot chocolate are downed and “buñuelos”, a fabulously crisp sweet fritter, are one of the most popular treats during the Christmas festivities.
Easter in Mexico - Cherry Turnovers Recipe
With the end of Lent, Mexicans throw themselves into the Easter festivities and pleasures. Little pastry turnovers filled with fruit are popular during La Pascua and the market cooks bake them to crisp perfection before piling them up in large earthenware plates, ready to tempt any passers-by.
Easter in Mexico - Torrejas Recipe
The sweet, sickly and very moreish Torrejas are a great favourite during the Easter season in Mexico and are served in one form or another all over Latin America, as well as in their country of origin, Spain. They are reminiscent of Pain Perdu, French Toast or Eggy Bread.
Epiphany in Mexico – Pastel de Tres Leches Recipe
The traditional Epiphany treat is the delicious fruity yeasted “Cake of the Kings” or “Rosca de Reyes”, baked with a tiny figurine of the baby Jesus inside it. However, the Pastel de Tres Leches or Three Milk Cake is a popular alternative, lighter but much richer.
Huitlacoche Quesadillas Recipe
With the onset of the long rainy season, Mexican cooks start looking forward to the appearance of the so-called truffle of Mexico. It is smooth and velvety to the touch, soft and spongy, dark to silver grey in colour and creepy beyond description.
Huitlacoche, the truffle of Mexico
Rainy seasons bring fungi, and the summer and early autumn markets in Mexico, particularly in the mountains, are full of wild mushrooms, from ceps, morels, pieds de mouton, bright orange trompetitas and chanterelles, to the incredibly sinister-looking huitlacoche, known as the truffle of Mexico.
Jícama, the Mexican turnip
Brown, bulbous and rather hirsute, Pachyrrhizus Erosus has little to offer in the way of glamour, but it is an important member of the Mexican larder, both ancient and modern.
Lenten cooking in Mexico - Broad bean soup
Sopa de habas, or broad bean soup, makes a regular appearance in Mexican homes and restaurants during the Lenten or “La Cuaresma” season, and yet cannot be considered an ancestral or indigenous dish, as broad beans originated not in the Americas but in North Africa as well as Southeast Asia.
Lenten cooking in Mexico - Calabacitas Entomatadas
Lent in Mexico sees the appearance of “La Cocina Cuaresmeña” or Lenten cuisine, with its focus firmly on fish and vegetables. “Calabacitas entomatadas” is a very simple but highly popular Lenten dish which combines three of the "milpa’s" time-honoured inhabitants: squash, tomatoes and chillies.
Lenten Cooking in Mexico - Lentil Soup Recipe
Lentils are a more recent and post-Hispanic addition to the Mexican larder but they have made themselves very much at home and team up regularly with more native ingredients, particularly during Lent, La Cuaresma, in the spring and the Días de los Muertos, Days of the Dead, in November.
Lenten cooking in Mexico - Torta de elote
Vegetable “tortas” or “budines” are popular vegetable bakes served during La Cuaresma or Lenten period and very far removed from pre-Hispanic dishes, as they are set with eggs and tend to contain dairy products, none of which made an appearance in Mexican cuisine until after the Conquest.
Mexican Antojitos - Chilaquiles
According to an old Mexican wives’ tale, chilaquiles are an excellent cure for a hangover, but excess consumption of tequila aside, chilaquiles are the most comforting of foods, satisfying, rib-sticking, deeply flavoured and very good for the soul.
Mexican Antojitos - Enchiladas
As the name suggests, enchiladas pack a punch! The verb “enchilar” means to add chilli to something, and in its very simplest form, the enchilada is nothing more than a tortilla with a fiery sauce - but in most cases, the tortilla is rolled or folded around a filling and topped with the sauce.
Mexican Antojitos - Gorditas
orditas: little plump ones.... The name alone evokes gastronomic comfort and joy and the endless delight of Mexican antojitos. There are many ways to prepare a gordita but its main characteristic is that it balloons and puffs up as it cooks, producing a wonderfully crisp crust.
Mexican Antojitos - Papadzules
Papadzules are one of the specialities of the southern state of Yucatán, typically served at breakfast in the markets and on the streets. The word translates as “food of the lords”, a grand name indeed, but it is in fact a very simple dish with a subtle complexity of the flavours and textures.
Mexican antojitos - Quesadillas
Quesadillas, the Mexican version of a toasted cheese sandwich, are a crisp, crusty, golden envelope made from a corn tortilla, filled with rich, savoury cheese which is all gooey, melting and oozing out around the edges.
Mexican Refried Beans with Pineapple Salsa Recipe
16th September is Mexican Independence Day and I am celebrating this momentous occasion with a quintessentially Mexican dish: “frijoles refritos”, otherwise known as refried beans. This description, however, is a misnomer as the beans are only fried once.
Mexican Refried Beans Recipe
16th September is Mexican Independence Day, and I am celebrating this momentous occasion with a quintessentially Mexican dish: “frijoles refritos”, otherwise known as refried beans. This description, however, is a misnomer, as the beans are only fried once.
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.
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.
Plantain Crisps Recipe
Un tostón = fifty centavos. I do not believe that the tostón of my childhood still exists, but it was a lovely coin, with an Aztec head on one side and the Mexican eagle and snake on the reverse. My only experience of a tostón nowadays is not gastronomic, as the name of a Mexican Caribbean snack.
Poblano Chillies with Cream Recipe
One of the poblano chilli’s best mates in my kitchen is dairy produce, particularly cream which somehow manages to enhance its flavour, its aroma, its warmth and its texture all at the same time. Rajas con Crema makes a rich, mellow, utterly satisfying main dish or vegetable accompaniment.
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.
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 - 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 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.
The chillies of Mexico - El Serrano
The bullet-shaped serrano chilli, small, slender and dark green, reminds me of a delightful Mexican song, which goes: “soy como el chile verde, picante pero sabroso”, “I am like the green chilli, hot but tasty”.
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 Herbs of Mexico - Coriander
The very Mexican herb, coriander or cilantro, is a newcomer to the cuisine and yet it is such an essential ingredient – wherever you wander in a Mexican market, you will see great big bunches of coriander with the roots still attached, and green-flecked salsas fragrant with its pungent aroma.
The herbs of Mexico - Epazote
Epazote grows wild in Mexico and spread from there across America and eventually to southern Europe and beyond, but outside its homeland, it is seen as a weed rather than a culinary herb – only in central and southern Mexico does it play an essential role and find its way into the cooking pot.
The sauces of Mexico - Salsa Verde Cocida
Salsa Verde Cocida, cooked green sauce, is made with tomatillos or Mexican green husked tomatoes and comes in many guises, from nothing more than boiled, puréed tomatillos, to considerably more sophisticated versions.
The sauces of Mexico - Salsa Verde Cruda
A raw “salsa”, made from tomatillos, the Mexican green husked tomato, is one of the pillars, and joys, of the Mexican table.
The Sauces of Mexico - Yucatecan Salsa Xnipec
The Mayas’ nose of the dog has a rich sting, with the local habanero chilli providing unequivocal fire and brimstone. Salsa Xnipec is to the Yucatán Peninsula what Salsa Cruda is to the rest of the country: the most popular and traditional table sauce, served at virtually every meal.
The Sauces of Mexico - Yucatecan Sikil Paak
Rich and creamy with pumpkin seeds, spicy with roasted chillies and fresh with the juice of the very local sour orange, naranja agria, the Mayas’ Sikil Paak is one of the Yucatán’s great specialities.
Tomatillo and Mulato Chilli Sauce Recipe
My favourite way of serving this sauce is with a fried egg sitting on a lightly fried tortilla – very reminiscent in fact of that Mexican classic, Huevos Rancheros, Eggs from the Ranch. While the whole dish is typically served for breakfast, it also makes a delicious lunch or supper.
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.
Veracruz - El Torito Cocktail Recipe
Little Bull, the Jarochos’ favourite tipple, packs a powerful punch. Based on heady fire water and tinned milk, both evaporated and condensed, El Torito is sweet and sickly, yet deeply refreshing – let alone hopelessly moreish and a thirst quencher redolent of warm tropical climes!
Veracruz - Huevos Tirados Recipe
The “thrown eggs” from Veracruz, scrambled with black beans and topped with fresh cheese and fried plantains, are on offer in every restaurant and food stall in the state – and while they do not look wildly appetising, the texture and flavour more than make up for any shortcomings in appearance.
Veracruz - Molotes a la Veracruzana
Plump, torpedo-shaped and decidedly carbohydrate rich, the molote’s main characteristic is its pastry, which is more often than not a mixture of pre-Hispanic masa harina or corn flour and post-Conquest wheat flour often with the addition of mashed potatoes or, in Veracruz, mashed cooked plantain.
Veracruz - Picadas Recipe
The Veracruzana Picada, like its sister, the Pellizcada, is a very regional member of the vast clan of Mexican antojitos – snacks based on corn, cooked, served and consumed mainly on the streets and in the markets.
Veracruz - Sweetcorn Bake Recipe
Veracruz’s Torta de Elote is rich and savoury. With its grilled poblano chillies, its spicier jalapeños and chipotle, and its pungent cheeses, it is both palate tingling and soothing as well as deeply satisfying.
Veracruz - Tortillas in Black Bean Sauce Recipe
Enfrijoladas are a simple formula: stale corn tortillas bathed in a purée of whatever the local bean may be, red, black, white, speckled or tan – it is the food of the home, the market, the countryside, cheap, comforting, soulful - a favourite of street cooks, a truly pre-Hispanic antojito.
Veracruz - White Gorditas Recipe
The gorditas - little plump ones - of Veracruz are utterly pre-Hispanic, despite being deep fried, and as typical of the state as it comes. The negras which incorporate the local black beans and perhaps some Veracruzano chillies, are the most popular but the blancas are just as time-honoured.
Yucatán - Yellow Rice Recipe
Rice which has been dyed yellow by whatever means is popular throughout Latin America. The colouring medium is usually saffron or turmeric but the Yucatecos’ Arroz Amarillo or Yellow Rice is different in that it involves the very indigenous and even regional ingredient Annatto or Achiote.
Yucatán – Black Rice Recipe Mexican Food Homepage | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Mexican Food Site Map
Sinister and rather sullen looking, the Yucatecans’ Arroz Negro is cooked in the broth of the local black beans, which gives it a wonderfully earthy, mellow flavour. The colour is frankly muddy rather than actual black but once you taste it, you will forget about its appearance.
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