The very first class I taught at the Mexican Cultural Institute, after I switched from being a policy analyst at the Inter American Dialogue, was October 18, 2007. I remember the date exactly, because it was a day after Sami’s 6th birthday. For months, I had been teaching him and his two brothers, Alan who was then 8 and Juju who was just 1, how to make sopes every night for at least 3 months.
From one day to the next, heirloom corn became a strong topic of conversation in Mexico. However, heirloom corn varieties have been a cornerstone of Mexican cuisine. Chefs in Mexico City, Enrique Olvera included, have been using heirloom corn in their restaurants for years to make fresh tortillas, tamales, gorditas, or other antojitos that are made after the nixtamalized corn is turned into masa.
Mexican cuisine is riding such a high wave these days. Compared to when I first moved to the US, 20 years ago, you can now find all the ingredients you need to prepare Mexican food. People are not only eating Mexican food out, but are bringing it into their home kitchens. There’s the #tacotuesday and the #taconight. Wherever you travel to in the US, there’s Mexican food to be found…
Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most interesting states, rich with culture, ingredients and tradition, and is home to a small and simple eatery that a big part of the country’s foodies talk about. Itanoní is basically made up of plastic chairs, tables, colorful decorations hanging from the ceiling, clay comales and señoras who have a lot of experience cooking on them.
Over 140 years ago, the Guizar family opened a small candy shop in the heart of Mexico City’s historic downtown. Dulcería de Celaya was located on Plateros Street, which is now Madero, a rarity in Mexico’s downtown core because it is only open to pedestrians. Today, the dulcería is located on Cinco de Mayo Street. This dulcería is like a hidden jewelry store that sells some of the tastiest and most delicate candy in the city.
Maracuyá, also known as passion fruit in English, is one of the many exotic fruits of Mexico. It is grown in the tropical and semi-tropical regions of Mexico, like Oaxaca and the Yucatán Península. It is native to South America, originating in Brazil, and there are different varieties. In Mexico, the yellow- or purple-skinned varieties are the most typical.
Seven years ago, bread maker Hugo González opened up what is known to be one of the best bakeries in Mexico. As you walk along Chihuahua Street in Colonia Roma, a vibrant and historic neighborhood, the strong aroma of freshly baked bread will lure you over. Hugo studied culinary arts at Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, a highly esteemed culinary school in the south of Mexico City and completed his thesis on bread fermentation…
What to do with a couple cans of sardines? Do what the people from landlocked Aguascalientes do: make the tastiest empanadas. Over the past dozen years, I have been amazed by so many things, as I’ve ventured into a deep exploration of Mexico’s cuisine to share it with the world – or whoever will listen. Its richness, its diversity, its depth, its accessibility, its generosity… One thing that has also stood out, everywhere, is the resourcefulness of its people.
My grandpa was the first person to introduce me to this 50-year-old fonda. I’m not super keen on waking up at 5:00 in the morning, yet will wake up without a problem just thinking that I’ll soon be wrapping a fresh tortilla around all the different guisados. They open at 5:30AM and that’s when everything is the freshest. This early in the morning you’ll be bound to encounter people who sneak in a quick breakfast before work…
I don’t know if I have shared this with you before, but I am obsessed with eggs. I just love them. In fact, many of my dear childhood memories have eggs in them. Like sitting next to my mom before she left for work, so many mornings, as she ate her usual scrambled eggs with ham, always cooked until tender, along with a piece of black toast with a thin spread of honey.