Category Archives: FOOD

On the 8th Day…..

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God created chiles…..  I have a theory that Mexicans are happy and cheerful because when your body feels the pain of Capsicum, (the ingredient that makes chiles hot) it starts producing endorphins to combat the pain , which then brings about a feeling of euphoria.

Columbus brought back a few chiles and seeds from the Caribean but Cortes brought back a greater variety. Ninety per cent of the Worlds chiles started in Mexico. Upon reacing the Old World they were an instant success, Hybridization started immediately, Hungarian Paprika, Curry from India, Tabasco Sauce from Louisiana, Bell Peppers in the USA, and many Chinese and Asian dishes have a link to Mexicos Past.

During the Mexican – American War a young soldier from Louisiana stuffed a handful of red chiles in his pocket and took them home with him. This was the beginning of McIlhennys Tabasco Sauce Company a must have ingredient of Bloody Marys.

On the Average a Mexican will consume 15 pounds of fresh chiles and two pounds of dry chiles each year.

 My favorite Chile is the Chipotle, which in Nahuatl Indian language means “smoked chile”, a Chipotle is a Jalapeño that has been smoked and dried..

Poblano Chiles, which look like an elongated Bell Pepper, are used for the famous Pueblan Dish “Chiles en Nogada”or Stuffed chiles with Walnut cream sauce.   The Chile is roasted over open flames till its charred, then all the skin, seeds and veins are removed to make it mild. It is then stuffed with meats, pears apples, nuts, raisins and other fruits. then covered with walnut cream, pomegranate seeds and parsley leaves so it will have the colors of the flag. It was first prepared by Nuns in Puebla to celebrate a visit from the Emperor Iturbide.

When a Poblano chile is dried it becomes an Ancho Chile.

Chiles are rich in vitamin C, A & E and the lesser known vitamin P. It contains properties that help your skin, helps your heart and prevents many health problems. Chiles from the tropics are more pungent than from other places. Mexico produces 500 thousand tons of fresh chiles and 60 thousand tons of dry chiles annualy. So for a healthier happier life…Eat Chile Sauces.

Biologists say that there is one undeniable benefit  that Chiles offer, a benefit that increases fitness of those who eat chiles on a regular basis and consume chile powder, sauces and fresh pods and that is chiles reduce the voracity of microbes hiding in the food we eat and limit their capacity to poison us. So Bon Apetit !!!

heres my recipe for  VIVA ZAPATA SAUCE

10 jalapeños….   1 clove of garlic

1 small onion…. salt to taste…. juice of 3 limes..

blend everything at high speed except the lime juice.    then add lime juice and mix by hand… salt to taste if you like it milder deseed the jalapeños.

To see more photos go to this link…

and read this articleñ
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Mexican Bakeries

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the Sweet taste of Mexico

 

My wife & I lived in Georgia for awhile…I asked her..”What do you miss most of all from Mexico?”  She told me…”Pan Dulces” (sweet breads). And she is right , they are soooo tempting and appetizing.

 You can find bakeries all over Mexico, Big ones and small Mom & Pop bakeries that make the most exquisite breads. The Spanish brought wheat to Mexico and the art of baking and the French came along and polished it up.

My favorite are Bear Claws…….

Pan Dulces,  shortcake and Bear Claws with chocolate.

To see more Bakery photos check this link….

 
Hmmmmmmm…. pass the hot chocolate please.

Gastronomical Event

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Americas contribution to Mexican Culture

Americas contribution to Mexican Culture

Last Friday, October 23rd, was the culmination of Immigrants Week and the Immigration Department had a gastronomical event in which immigrants living in Tlaxcala all brought a representative dish of their countries.

 I brought Barbecued ribs with potato salad. There were many countries represented and everyone had a great time with a lot of camaraderie.  Mara Magadi, an American lady who lived many years in Kenya gave an exposition of her photographic work, the municipal band played musical accompaniment and many people came to sample the food.

The consumer protection agency of Mexico also attended and gave out free magazines of Consumers Guide.

To see all my photos go to this link:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30875826&l=b4081a5165&id=1162394476

Hope y’all can come down sometimes and pull up a chair and sit a spell…and have a healthy heapin’ of hospitality.  WAY DOWN SOUTH.

A Gringo’s Guide to Taco Stands

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tony's taco stand

tony's taco stand

pork taco with chipotle sauce

pork taco with chipotle sauce

taco stand

taco stand

This is an article I wrote for my chat group a couple of years ago, but I figure a good story is worth telling again.

If you´re going to blend in and assimilate with the natives you need to know the proper proceedure for selecting a street taco stand.

First of all in general, the more people at the taco stand the better the salsa is. There should be at least one or two dogs prowling around waiting for a hand out.

And there should be a few famous “Mexican Biological H2O Fly Repellers” hanging from the roof, (these are clear plastic bags filled with water, I don´t understand the scientific principle involved here but Mexicans assure me that it will exorcise flies).

The Salsa, chopped onion and cilantro bowls should be well stocked and there should be plenty of sliced limes to douse your tacos with.Also there should be plenty of cold “chescos”, (soft drinks or soda pops, depending on where you´re from), and cold beer.

THE TAQUERO OR TACO MAKER

The taquero should be an adult preferably with a moustache to show that he´s a macho mexicano, skillful with a butcher knife at least enough so to chop the meat on the chopping block while with his left hand he turns the tortillas warming on the griddle.

He should have a good memory as to who ordered what while hurling out tacos to his forever hungry clientel. And sufficient administrative capabilities to give orders to his trainees, (at least one).

When making tacos al pastor (sheperds tacos), he should be skillful enough to slice a piece of pineapple from the top of the barbecue spit (this is similar to gyros in the U.S.),

and have it land on the meat taco in his hand as f it fell from heaven. Theres a taco stand on Avenida Juarez in Puebla where this act takes place every night.a real work of artistic merit. And the Taquero has to have a white apron (absolutely mandatory)

HELPERS OR TRAINEES

Trainees also have to wear a white apron but a moustache is optional, after all they´re only helpers.

Their only natural talent is to identify and scan pretty “mamacitas”. they should have nicknames like, “skinny”, or “chubby” or “brother in law”. Their basic reading in literature is comic books like “Archie”.

The main function of a trainee is to chop onions and cilantro and quarter limes. Also to open cokes or beer after being asked two or three times.

They know the menu by heart and their classic answer around closing time is “we´re out of beef tacos”.

Taco patrons

Any gringo can be a serious consumer of tacos. Remember the taco is a vice that has no respect for sex, age or social status.

Before anything you should ask,” Whatcha got boss?” , Review the food and make your choice.

Make strategic moves by getting as close to the salsa bowls as possible at least arms length but not so far as to spill it on other patrons. A taco patron does not ask for forgiveness…he asks for more tacos…and only two at a time so they won´t grow cold

bon apetit…….

Open Air Markets

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Mexican Markets fascinate me. They always have new and different things. The Spanish tried to stop them but the custom was too deeply ingrained. Even the threat (during the colonial period) of 6 years of penal servitude in the Phillipines couldnt stop them.

Fried pork skins

Fried pork skins

Tropical fruit

Tropical fruit

Theres many fruits here you never see in the States, I guess some are hard to transport.

Noni fruit

Noni fruit

Then we have cactus or prickly pears.

cactus fruit

cactus fruit

Beets, Huazontles and fish

Beets, Huazontles and fish

heres an interesting combination….stove parts and fruit.

all kinds of things

all kinds of things

Grandma`s Delights

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So today was a special Day, our Goddaughter had a birthday and we got invited out to eat breakfast at Las Delicias de Abuelita…roughly translated thats Grandma`s Delights. A place we`ve ate  at several times and I strongly reccomend it if your in the area. A fantastic breakfast buffet for 80 pesos.

And today the owner was there , my compadre tells me he was a well known player on the Necaxca Soccer team at one time. We had a great time and the food was great . A trio came to sing  las mañanitas…(Happy Birthday) to our goddaughter…nice atmosphere.

Bob & Milo the owner

Bob & Milo the owner

mariachis

mariachis

grandmas delights

grandmas delights

Speaking of food its Chile en Nogada time, this is a special stuffed chile that you can only find at this time of year as all the fruits come into season.

Chile en Nogada

Chile en Nogada