We proudly present your majesty… the Mole Poblano!

Why is Mole Poblano the icon of Mexican cuisine?

Authentic Mole Poblano
“Mole Poblano”

Mulli, the Aztec word for mole means mix or sauce. An exquisite delicacy from the colonial city of Puebla, México. If I close my eyes I can remember that aroma of my grandmother’s kitchen – I see her mixing the chocolate with the mulato, pasilla and ancho chile mixture in a massive clay pot. This sauce was combined with a very unique paste that she made from scratch – pieces of bread, corn tortilla, tomatoes, garlic, onion, anise, cinnamon, black pepper, roasted nuts and other ingredients.

It is believed that this unique dish takes days to be prepared. The truth is that even it is a complex dish, in a few hours you are able to make an authentic Mole Poblano from scratch. There are cooking classes available that teach you how to make an exquisite home-made Mole Poblano in less than four hours.

~ Mulli  or Mole is a fragrant and legendary dish with more than twenty ingredients ~

Our grandmas used to take several hours or even days to prepare mole. Nowadays with technology and short-cuts you can have a mole from scratch in about 3.5 hours (chicken broth time not included).

Origin of the Mole Poblano

Chicken in Mole Negro
Chicken in Mole Poblano

There are many versions of the history of mole. Based on facts, Mole had its origin in pre-hispanic Mexico, when it was called mulli and was made with turkey and served in Aztec rituals and other festive occasions. One of the most treasured ingredients used in the mole is xocolatl – Aztec word for chocolate. The arrival of Europeans brought many new spices and ingredients that have been incorporated into the dish, modifying its flavor.

Other legends talk about the Santa Rosa convent in Puebla, where the nuns created this exquisite dish by mere accident back in 1680 to please Viceroy Tomás Antonio de la Cerda y Aragón. What is true is that the current Mole Poblano is from the region of Puebla and it is different from the Mole Negro from Oaxaca. Today, there are more than 300 different moles, as the combinations of ingredients could be endless.

Some of these moles are: Mole verde ‘Pipián‘ (green mole), encacahuatado (peanut mole), almendrado (almond mole), mole rojo (red with guajillo), manchamanteles (mole with various chiles and fruits), mole amarillo (yellow mole), mole negro (black mole from Oaxaca), etc.

Mole Poblano includes about 20 different ingredients – dried chiles, Mexican chocolate, a wide variety of spices, nuts and vegetables, which after hours of boiling, this concoction reduced to the rich mole sauce we are familiar with today.

Mole Poblano is considered the National dish in Mexico

Mole Poblano is used in many ways – enmoladas (mole enchiladas), filling for tamales, on top of Mexican rice, mixed with different meats or on top of huevos estrellados – sunny side up eggs.

Mole tamales
Tamales with mole

 

A feast of Mexican edible bugs! 

Grasshoppers, ant larvae, or maguey worms? Yes please!

Chapulines - grasshoppers
Grasshoppers – chapulines

Would you dare to try some of the most exotic edible bugs from Mexico’s pre-hispanic cuisine? Maybe they don’t look that appealing and actually they can even look gross at the first sight, but believe me they are really tasty! In Mexico, edible bugs are part of our cultural heritage from ancient times. The Aztecs used to eat them in many different ways and they were a main source of protein and nutrients.

There’s a bug in my soup! Yes, and it’s yummie!

Gusanos de maguey - stink worms
Maguey worms

When you think of a taco, probably the least ingredient you want in there is a worm. But gusanos de maguey – maguey worms – are one of the most exquisite flavors and textures of our Mexican cuisine. They have a salty flavor and a crispy consistence. Just add a little bit of guacamole and a nice spicy salsa, and the results will be delightful! Maguey worms come from Hidalgo, Mexico, but you can find them almost anywhere in central Mexico.

Grasshoppers, ant larvae, scorpions, stink bugs, and worms are few of the edible bugs you can try.

Chapulines – grasshoppers –  are my favorite insect! Just think, if we eat chicken, cow, pork and all types of other animals, we should give a chance to these small delicious creatures. Grasshoppers are one of the most amazing appetizers in our Mexican cuisine. Enjoy them fried with a bit of minced garlic, chopped onion and a squirt of fresh lime in a corn tortilla. Just add a couple of avocado slices and you will be gladly surprised! For me they taste like chicharrón – pork rinds.

If you are thinking about trying edible bugs, you can start slowly, with some of the most popular ones

Ant larvae - edible insects
Escamoles – ant larvae

Escamoles or Ant Larvae are simply beautiful and one of the most traditional in Mexico. They are typically harvested from the base of maguey or agave plants and, of course, are considered the Mexican caviar! If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, you absolutely need to try this dish. The taste is fine, slightly sweet and delicate to the palate. They can go in tacos or tostadas as well, and paired with citrus and veggies. Other insect options are Jumiles – stink bugs, Hormiga Chicatana – ants, Ahuatle – mosquito eggs, Alacrán – scorpion, and Tarantulas.

 

Grasshopper taco - chapulines
A. Bourdain eating a bug-taco

Best chefs around the world love the taste of  Mexican edible bugs!

 

Edible scorpions - alacranes
Alacranes – scorpions

 

If you have tried bugs before, now you are ready to take the next step into a more daring challenge – eating scorpions or even tarantulas. Honestly I am not there yet, but I am preparing myself for my next trip to Mexico and have a feast of bugs! Remember Mexican edible bugs are more healthy and nutritious than any other animal.

Nowadays you can find energy bars, chocolates, or ice cream made with insects, so the culture of edible bugs is growing fast! Take a look at Bugible website and see how you can eat bugs these days and get all the health benefits. Buen provecho!

Mexican Food – Truths & Myths

Mexican food is much more than burritos, guacamole, and salsa.

Mexican frutas in the Mercado Hidalgo. Tijuana, Mexico
Mexican fruits from a street mercado

What comes to your mind first when you hear about Mexican food? Tortilla chips, burritos, lots of cheddar cheese, flour tortillas or battered chiles? Perhaps a lot of elements that have defined Mexican food as ‘unhealthy’, right? But these are ingredients that are not part of authentic Mexican cuisine. These are variations or an adaptation to the Tex-Mex food, originated in Texas, which once formed part of Mexico. Tex-Mex and Mexican fast food have both largely come to define the U.S. perception of Mexican food.

Before the Spanish arrived in Mexico, the native diet was largely plant and grain based. The dairy and meat products commonly found in Texas (while similar to northern Mexico) are vastly different from what’s available in the rest of Mexico – hence the many iterations of Mexican cuisine. When Americans crave Mexican food, it’s usually the Tex-Mex variety they’re after, so they head straight to Taco Bell, Chipotle or so many so-called Mexican restaurants spread out through the United States.

Mexican cuisine is one of the most colorful, full of flavor and traditions, so it won the honor of being declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010.

Mole negro from Cocina Corazón
“Mole Poblano –signature recipe from Puebla, Mexico”

In the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History, Jeffrey M. Pilcher writes in the article ‘Taste, Smell, and Flavor in Mexico’ “Mexican cuisine is often considered to be a mestizo fusion of indigenous and Spanish foods, but this mixture did not simply happen by accident; it required the labor, imagination, and sensory appreciation of both native and immigrant cooks. Research from around the world has suggested the rise of sweetness as the predominant sensory experience of the modern dietary transition from peasant cuisines dominated by complex carbohydrates and vegetable proteins to industrial diets based on sugars and fats. This was certainly true of Mexico, but historical sources reveal a far more complicated picture of changing tastes. Although the arrival of sugar cane with the Spanish conquest did begin to shift the sensory balance from pre-Hispanic bitterness (chile peppers, cacao) toward sweetness, the introduction of other new foods brought complementary increases in sourness (lime, tamarind) and savory tastes (from the meat of domesticated animals), as well as new fragrances from spices (cinnamon, clove, pepper).” but many of today’s Mexican dishes preserve the original flavors and healthy aspects of this ancient cuisine.

“In Mexico, the act of feeding was also foundational to pre-Hispanic cosmologies. According to the sacred Maya book, the Popol Vuh, a goddess created the first humans out of maize.”

Lucy Rennick in her article “If you think Mexican food is unhealthy, think again” writes – “As with any cuisine, there are unhealthy elements to Mexican cuisine ­– it can often be high in salt, for example. But Richard Prout, Mejico’s food and beverage operations manager says “Many of the ingredients inherent to Mexican cooking boast an array of health benefits. Ancient grains, quinoa, chia, beans, and corn, for example, are all ingredients that you will find in the aisles of your local health food store and all of these ingredients have been consumed in the Mexican diet for centuries. Chili itself contains up to seven times the vitamin C level of an orange whilst also laying claim to aiding digestion, muscle, joint & nerve pain and packed full of vitamins A, E and a number of other benefits, including being delicious.”

Mexican cuisine began about 9,000 years ago

Agricultural communities such as the Maya domesticated maize, creating the standard process of corn nixtamalization, and establishing their foodways. Successive waves of other Mesoamerican groups brought with them their own cooking methods. These included the Olmecs, Teotihuacanos, Toltecs, Huastecs, Mixtecs, Otomies, Purépechas, Totonacas, Mazatecs and Mazahuas.

Tortillas, beans and chile peppers, three basics of the Mexican cuisine

Authentic Mexican Tamales
“Mexican Tamales”

The most everyday tastes among these cultures were corn tortillas. The fragrance of wooden fires further enhanced the flavor, although shortages of wood may have led to burning other substances, including perhaps dung. Beans, cooked until tender in earthenware pots, added further savory notes to the daily diet. Chile peppers and – for the elite – chocolate, were predominantly bitter rather than sweet.

The indigenous cuisine of maize tortillas, beans, and chiles, augmented during the colonial period by occasional meats and condiments, remained the dietary staple of the vast majority of the population. Nevertheless, the changes suggested during the first hundred years of independence would become widespread during the 20th century.

Healthy Facts of Mexican food

Mexican food cooking class
Mexican food – Fresh vegetables and chiles
  • The use of ancient grains, local herbs, and the variety of vegetables and fruits make the Mexican cuisine one of the most exquisite and healthy in the world
  • Mexican cuisine is based in these three healthy elements: Corn, beans and chile peppers
  • Other important healthy foods are: Squash, amaranth, chia, avocados, tomatoes, tomatillos, cacao, vanilla, agave, turkey, spirulina, sweet potato, and cactus
  • Edible flowers such as hibiscus, squash blossoms, chrysanthemums and carnations are a main source of vitamins, antioxidants, and medicinal properties
  • The abundance of tropical and exotic fruits makes it easy to drink fresh and healthy juices every day

 Mexican cuisine offers balance and variety. As with any food, eat in moderation to get all the healthy benefits

 

Cooking Together Improves Your Relationship!

cooking with your best half
Cooking together is an extraordinary bonding experience

 

 

 

Couples Who Cook Together Stay Together, Says Science

Cooking with your better half, family or friends can help you feel more connected and much happier. Actually cooking is one of the favorite activities according to a recent survey — sponsored by Calphalon and conducted by Light Speed GMI — asked about 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older how they think cooking influences relationships. And it turns out, people place a very high importance on cooking.

Study reveals, 87 percent of those surveyed believe that cooking is one of the top activities couples can do to strengthen their relationship. Learn more about this study. 

The reason? COMMUNICATION – people put a very high value on communication. Couples also think that cooking for your partner is a way to show your love – 78 percent of the respondents believe that couples who cook together stay together!

When cooking together you have more time to interact and connect, which can help strengthen your bond. Set aside one or two days a week where you can cook and create recipes at home. Join a cooking class every now and then and go through the process together.

A research by Smithsonian.com says cooking has become a common cure for stress or feeling down, but there might actually be some science to why small creative tasks might make people feel better. According to a new study, a little creativity each day can go a long way towards happiness and personal satisfaction on a daily basis. This isn’t the first time researchers have drawn a line connecting making food with positive feelings. In recent years, psychologists have started spending more time exploring cooking and baking as a therapeutic tool to help people dealing with things like depression and anxiety, says Daisy Meager from the Munchies.

Cooking Together Is A Sensual And A Soothing Experience

Of course, you don’t need to be the greatest home chef, to enjoy the fruits of cooking with your loved one. The key to cooking together is communicating. You see, food brings people together, and this is not about just a survey, it is a fact. Cooking is a sensorial experience – textures, flavors, colors, sounds and aromas. Teaching your partner how to chop or mince, your hands might touch during the process. Experimenting and preparing a dish, or learning a new recipe together, creates a different kind of connection between the two of you:

  • You use your hands
  • You create something
  • You put on your favorite music
  • You learn an art
  • You have your favorite drink, fire up the stove and let your worries melt away

So embrace it, and wear your aprons whenever you can!

Learning your partner’s favorite foods and likes in the kitchen is exciting and open the door to empathy. You can teach your partner different methods and techniques based on your particular skills and expertise, you can even play with food. Learning what your partner’s taste preferences are, also shows special attention to their needs and will counterbalance feelings of neglect. Just remember to relax in the kitchen and don’t try perfecting the dish; this activity is meant to be fun.

A Person Who Can Cook Is HOT.

Other findings from these surveys also note that many people cook to seduce a companion. It’s all about reinventing yourselves and play a different role, creating a different space for the two of you, where everything is about pleasure. Just wearing a sexy apron can make the difference.

But why is cooking together a great way to create an opportunity to connect with one another without any pressure? You each have tasks — like chopping, or mincing while the other is stirring or measuring ingredients — and both can catch up on each other’s lives. In simple words, It’s an activity that happens in a neutral field for the two of you to build up your relationship.

Cooking together
Friends cooking together

Nowadays many people even bring this activity to a next level, creating supper clubs to connect with other friends or attending specialized cooking classes just for fun or to meet new friends!

Bring Your Valentine On A Cooking Date!

On February 14th, join Cocina Corazón’s Valentines Day cooking class and learn the art of Chiles en NogadaLearn more here

 

Cochinita Pibil (piglet in achiote) – Mayan legacy to the world

Cochinita Pibil
“Tacos de Cochinita Pibil”

Cochinita Pibil – The signature dish from the Yucatán peninsula, and a delicious legacy from our Mayan ancestors, is one of the most famous in the Mexican cuisine. This mestizo dish is a wonderful result of the fusion between the Spanish and Mayan cultures.

Pibil comes from the Mayan word Pib, which means ‘cooking under ground’, where the meat cooks slowly until tender.

Cochinita means little piggy, as the original Cochinita Pibil recipe involved roasting a whole baby pig between the ages of 2 and 6 weeks. Today, the most common way is to cook it from the pork shoulder.

 

Pib. under ground oven to cook, steam, bake and smoke food
“Pib – Earth oven. Photo credit: Jeremias Tzul”

Pibil comes from the Mayan word Pib, which means ‘cooked under ground’. This earth oven is a hole in the ground specifically made to trap heat and bake, smoke, steam, or cook the food. With a base of embers and hot stones, the meat is wrapped in leaves and placed to be cooked for several hours under the ground. This pre-hispanic oven was used for big Mayan events, such as Hanal Pixan – rituals for the dead.

Some people believe that Yucatán was the first place in the Americas where people started to eat pork. But in the past, people used to cook a deer, a pheasant or a wild pork instead of the domestic pork. As these species became endangered, pork was used as an alternative.

Nowadays this slow-roasted pork marinated in the achiote sauce – a strongly acidic citrus juice – is cooked in a conventional oven, wrapped in banana leaves and aluminum foil to keep the heat and moisture, until the meat becomes very tender. Thanks to technology, we can save a lot of time cooking this amazing recipe. It can be prepared in a pressure cooker with great results, so in less than 1 hour you will have a delicious dish ready to serve! The slow-cooker (crockpot) is another way to cook cochinita and it is effortless.

 

Cochinita Pibil cooked in crockpot
“Cochinita Pibil wrapped in banana leaves”

Did you know? Guadalajara owns the Guiness Record for the largest taco in the world – made with 441 pounds of Cochinita Pibil and 44,000 corn tortillas, creating a 1.7 mile long taco!

 

 

 

Achiote – Annato Seeds

Achiote comes from annatto seeds, which impart a vivid burnt orange color to the food. You can find it in different versions: ground or paste.

Besides the achiote – the main ingredient of the Pibil marinade – the Yucatecan recipes always employ the juice of Seville or bitter oranges. If bitter oranges are difficult to find, lemons, limes, or vinegar are employed to approximate the effect of the bitter orange on the meat.

 

 

A variation of this dish is called Pollo Pibil, and uses chicken instead of pork.

Mayan dish -Cochinita Pibil at Cocina Corazón
“Cochinita Pibil cooking class”

 

Serve in tacos or tortas with cured red onions and habanero salsa. It goes perfect with white rice, black refried beans and Easy and Delicious! If you would like to discover how easy is to cook this amazing dish and impress your guests, BOOK A CLASS or host a class in your own kitchen and learn how to prepare this delight in a super fun 3 hour session.

 

 

 

 

Ponche – The Mexican signature drink during the holidays

Surprise your guests with a wonderful Mexican Ponche!

Ponche Mexicano
Mexican Ponche in a clay cantarito

One of our most cherished Christmas traditions in Mexico is the exquisite Ponche. A wonderful hot infusion made of several Mexican fruits – boiled in water with aromatic spices, piloncillo and sugar cane sticks (our traditional form of sugar).

The origin of Ponche is unknown. Some say it came from India, from a drink called Päc, then adopted by the Europeans, and brought to Mexico by the Spaniards

Normally we use a very large pot to make enough quantity to offer in the traditional posadas and holiday parties. This drink is served hot and adults like to add a splash of rum. During the chilly days, there’s nothing better than a cup of hot ponche.

Ponche is served really hot in clay jarritos or cantaritos, and you might need a small spoon to eat the pieces of fruit. Kids love it, and most of the times they need to wait a little to cool it down before drinking, to avoid burning their tongues.

Try to make a smaller quantity with your family and then you can go big!

Ponche Mexicano
Mexican Ponche
Ponche Mexicano RECIPE

Serves: 15 people – cooking time: 50 minutes

*All ingredients are available this time of the year at your favorite Mexican market

Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh guavas cut in fourths
  • 1 lb. hawthorn fruit (Mexican tejocotes) cut in halves. Set two full aside
  • 1 lb. fresh sugar cane, peeled and cut into 3″ sticks (available in Mexican markets fresh or frozen)
  • 5 cinammon sticks
  • 1 cone of piloncillo
  • 2 apples cut in chunks
  • 4 cups of brown sugar
  • 7 oz. hibiscus flowers (flor de jamaica)
  • 7 oz. tamarind beans – shells and veins removed
  • 3.5 oz. prunes (pitted)
  • 8 cloves (whole)
  • 1.5 gal. water

Preparation:

  1. After rinsing all the fruits, cut/chop as indicated
  2. Take the two full hawthorn fruits (tecojotes) and insert 4 cloves on each one
  3. Put the water and all the ingredients in a large pot to boil for 35 minutes. Add water if necessary
  4. Serve hot and Feliz Navidad!

If you would like to learn more Mexican recipes, you can host a cooking class at home and I’ll arrive to show you the ropes. To learn more click here!

Tamales – Featured dish of the month

Mexican Tamales from Cocina Corazón
“Tamales –rich and delicious Mexican delight”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Tamales (in plural)

-Tamal (in singular)

History of tamales

The word tamal comes from the Náhuatl tamalli that means envuelto (wrapped) – a legacy from the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican cultures to the world. Corn is the main ingredient. This grain is over four thousand years old and it is one of the most representative ingredients in Mexican cuisine.

This pre-hispanic delight has been documented by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún – a missionary priest who participated in the Catholic evangelization of colonial New Spain – as one of the ancient dishes of the Mexican culture, used in ritual activities as an offering for the dead. Many regions of Mexico still use tamales for their funeral rituals such as Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead), or for the independence celebration.

The concept of a tamal comes from the primitive idea of using the hand as a plate to wrap the food. Afterwards, plant leaves found in nature replaced the hand. Because of the abundance of the corn in the central regions and the banana leaves (plantain) in the southern regions, these two leaves became the most popular.

There are over 500 different types of tamales in Mexico. The most popular include: Pork in green chili, chicken in mole negro, red salsa and sweet with raisins.

What is a tamal?

Mexican tamales
“Tamales ready to be steamed”

A nixtamalized corn (hominy) masa, mixed with lard or vegetable shortening and rich broth. Nowadays there are many alternatives to replace lard, and we can find tamales for vegetarians and vegans – but the flavor, of course will not be the same.

Tamales from Mexico City are typically wrapped in corn husks and filled with different meats, salsas, vegetables or fruits (for the sweet tamales) before being steamed.

Perfect for celebrations, potlucks, or family gatherings. You can freeze them up to three months. Kids take them to school for lunch, and they are GLUTEN-FREE!

Eat them hot or cold. Unwrap them and they are ready to eat. Easy to take on the go.

There are 4 basic elements in tamales

Nowadays the tamales have many variations and due to the influence of other cuisines and cultures, they come in many different styles. But to be called a genuine tamal, they must have these four elements:

  • Wrapped – in corn husks or banana leaves (plantain)
  • Masa
  • protein filling
  • Salsa

Learn to make tamalesBook a class now!

Mexican corn for tamales
“Mexican corn”

Perhaps you’ve been wanting to learn how to make tamales? You’ll be surprised how easy it is to cook this fabulous recipe. Sign up to one of Cocina Corazon’s tamales workshops. Stay tuned for new classes and reserve your spot as this class is so popular.

Want to host a class in your kitchen? Invite your friends and family and host a class in your own kitchen. Send us a message and let’s cook!

My love for the art of Mexican cooking

“Every story in my family started in our kitchen”

Barbara Santos practicing the art of Mexican cooking
“Mexican cooking is an art. It takes skills and a lot of passion”

I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember. I used to enjoy the aromas of my abuelitas’ kitchens, and when they prepared my favorite things, I would steal a little bit of this or a little bit of that before dinner was formally served. I can still see myself standing on a stool watching my mother practicing her Mexican cooking, mixing condiments, grinding seeds, stirring all types of sauces and creating all these fabulous Mexican dishes.

When I came home from school, I loved that the whole house was permeated by a wave of smells: cooked tomato sauce, pasta soup, or the pungent aroma of roasted chiles that would often made me cough. I used to be so intrigued about all these women in the family, conspiring in the kitchen, discussing the next meal or other comadres issues. I never really pursued the goal of becoming a professional cook, but it was always there, present in every stage of my life, running through my blood stream like a vital part of my DNA. Somehow every story started in our kitchen.

“As a mom and a wife, I enjoy cooking new and delicious recipes everyday”.

I moved from Mexico City to Colorado Springs on 2012. Cooking my family recipes at home keeps me connected with my beloved country. I am so proud to share my culture with my community and today, through Cocina Corazón, this is a dream come true.

The art of Mexican cooking is a combination of three key elements:

  • Consider Malcolm Gladwell’s rule that ten thousand hours is the magic number to master a skill
  • Add Anders Ericsson’s deliberate practice theory -maximize improvement throughout development toward expert performance
  • And last but not least, my own contribution to this formula: passion put in every task, and overcoming frustration through persistence.

These three elements together have helped me succeed and master my passion through the years (without even knowing this would become my career path). Cooking is therapy for me, a space where the best part of myself comes out. This is how I discovered that cooking was not only about preparing food to eat on a daily basis, but a true work of art… The art of cookingThis is how Cocina Corazón was conceived.

“Passion put in every task, and overcoming frustration through persistence”.

Why is cooking so soothing?

Mexican cocineras in traditional huipiles
“Tres Mexicanas”

Despite reminding us of home, it encourages creativity. And creativity triggers every button of goodness -a way of feeling better, a sense of belonging, acceptance and bonding. Cooking for people you care about –family and friends- is a way to get nurtured by their appreciation, a space for connecting and please them.

While stress can numb your senses, cooking activates them. It is a sensorial experience: beautiful aromas and tastes, a world of textures through touch, visual delight, and bubbling and hissing sounds.

Here are some reasons to learn and practice the art of Mexican cooking:

  • Control over family’s health. When you make your food, you get to choose every ingredient
  • Choice about where food comes from. If you feel especially strongly about serving your family high quality food – your own kitchen is the only place you can make this happen
  • Budget. Eating out is expensive! It’s amazing how much you save when you eat at home
  • Your friends and family will be SO impressed
  • Connect with family and friends. Cooking at home together and sitting to eat with your loved ones, creates an amazing connection
  • Mastering skills. The more you cook, the more confident you feel in the kitchen. And the same is true for your kids. If your child knows how to use a salad spinner and what ingredients go into a guacamole. As he gets older, I believe his experiences in the kitchen will come in handy – and maybe he’ll be making YOUR dinner one day!
  • Mexican cooking is kind of hot. Wear that sexy apron. Cooking could be such a sensual experience. Cooking your partner’s favorite food or even cooking together would absolutely enhance the moment and will get you closer
  • Kids eat healthier. Whenever we eat out, our kids are guaranteed to order a grilled cheese or macaroni & cheese. They never, ever stray from these choices. At home, we make a wide variety of foods which they usually eat (sometimes even without complaining), and they are much more open to trying new things in the comfort of our own kitchen
  • You can finally stop buying instant food! Start eating healthy and delicious. Book a cooking class now and discover the art of Mexican cooking!

Why is Mexican food one of the top cuisines in the world?

Mexican food – a legacy to the world over the centuries

Mexican cuisine
“Mexican food”

Mexican cuisine means much more than just guacamole, tortilla chips and salsa. It has a wide array of ingredients, flavors and colors; for this reason, Mexican food belongs to the world’s cultural heritage. In addition, it is rich in vegetables, exotic fruits, sauces (moles and salsas), chiles, spices (like cinnamon, clove and cumin), and herbs (such as thyme, oregano, cilantro and epazote). Most of these ingredients are fresh, simple, and frequently locally grown, with such a variety of combinations to create exquisite dishes.

It was to be expected that UNESCO added Mexican cuisine to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010.

A fusion of ingredients with a big influence from Spain

Authentic Mexican cuisine is a fusion of several ingredients, condiments and indigenous vegetables through history. These include corn, mixed with other ingredients brought from other continents, such as cinnamon, almonds, beans, rice, cilantro (coriander), and plátano macho (plantain). Therefore, these ingredients now belong to the Mexican cuisine repertoire.

Only with corn there are more than 600 recipes!

Due to the abundance of corn in the central region of Mexico, this grain became the base ingredient of ancient recipes like:

  • Pozole
  • Rustic atole, made from corn starch
  • Tortilla, that didn’t exist in Europe
  • Tamales, one of the most popular Mexican traditions

Mexican cuisine preserves pre-hispanic techniques

Some of the most treasured utensils are:

  • The comal – round or oval flat pan
  • The metate – a flat or slightly hollowed oblong stone on which grains and cocoa are ground using a smaller stone
  • The molcajete – a stone tool, the traditional Mexican version of the mortar and pestle, used to process food instead of the blender
  • Ollas de barro (clay pottery) – a tradition of more than 3,000 years
Clay pot used to cook Mexican food
“Olla de Barro – Clay Pot”

“A good potter: he puts great care into his work, he teaches the clay to lie, he speaks with his own heart, he brings life to things, he creates them, he knows everything as if he were a Toltec he makes his hands skillful”  -Miguel León-Portilla

Traditional Mexican food – a cultural model that involves:

  • Agricultural activities
  • Ritual ceremonies
  • Ancient knowledge
  • Culinary techniques
  • Traditions

In fact, it involves a collective collaboration through the whole food cycle – cropping and harvesting, preparing and cooking, and tasting the dishes.

Because of its rich and complex flavors and colors, there are more than 54,000 Mexican restaurants all over the US, representing 8% of the total restaurant industry. Americans love Mexican food, and this popular cuisine type appeals to palates all across the nation. As a result, Mexican cuisine is the 3rd most popular menu type in the USA.

Mexican feasts – a celebration of life, but also of the dead

Mexican families have a special way of bonding, socializing, and connecting through food. In many towns of Mexico, people honor their muertos (dead) with their favorite food. Most of the women learn this art at a very young age from their madres (mothers) and abuelitas (grandmothers), who teach them how to cook using their instincts and creativity to prepare the most amazing delights.

Cooking with bare hands, sometimes without a formal recipe, using rudimentary utensils are basic characteristics of Mexican cooking. It is a unique way in which Mexican cooks reach the perfect taste and texture that everybody love.

In conclusion, Mexican cuisine continues to grow and improve, by incorporating more ingredients as a result of the global trade and cultural diversity, but always preserving its unique traditions and history.

If you would like to learn and cook some of this traditional recipes, I’ll bring my family recipes to you!

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