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Larry G

Jun 11, 2010, 9:12 AM

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"Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forums and I have a few questions and comments.

First, I've seen a product called "Crema Mexicana" so I asked a friend who lives and is from Mexico what that is, and he had never heard of it! So, um...lol. So I bought some and tried it, the Lala brand, and it tastes very similar to, but not exactly like U.S. sour cream. What is the equivalent of this Lala brand product sold in Mexico? I looked on both websites to no avail.

Secondly, "Mexican food" in general. I was talking to said friend who is from the Yucatan, and much to my surprise, much of what we would call "Mexican food" in the U.S., he had either never tried or heard of, common products such as sour cream, chili con carne, and even burritos were rare for him, though tacos and quesadillas are part of the staple diet. I am aware that the cuisine of the part of the country is unique. A staple dish is called Cochinita de Pibil, which looks delicious but I have never tried it. Also hard shell tacos are also a U.S. American thing apparently. But I don't care for those anyway, lol.

So anyway, this was somewhat of a surprise for me. Is U.S. Mexican food, really just a Tex-Mex border phenomenon? A fusion of Texas and Northern Mexico??



chinagringo


Jun 11, 2010, 9:32 AM

Post #2 of 20 (10061 views)

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Re: [Larry G] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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Larry:

You might go to the following discussion re: Crema
http://www.mexconnect.com/...;;page=unread#unread

With respect to your other questions - NOB versions of Mexican food (Tex-Mex, New Mexican, Arizona, California, etc) often have no comparable basis in fact when compared with various regional foods in Mexico! Much the same as Chinese in the U.S. when compared with true Chinese food in China.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Peter


Jun 11, 2010, 10:43 AM

Post #3 of 20 (10048 views)

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Re: [Larry G] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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You might be surprised what foods originated in Mexico and what came from the US. We've had discussions on this matter, often with little or varying agreement, but it seems likely the flour tortilla burrito probably originated in northern Mexico but the name was first applied NOB. Tacos dorados, fried taco shell, are not uncommon but in the evenings when the street corner taco stands appear everywhere the soft taco is king and tacos dorados nearly non-existent.

Crema Mexicana might as well be sour cream as it pretty much has the same uses. You can search and find sour cream here but much more common is the Lala type you described, crema acidificada which pretty much is just artificially soured. Probably it is just a less expensive method of preparation.

Different regions of Mexico have their favorite or more common foods that might be relatively unheard of in other parts of the country. What could account for many disagreements about origin, some recipes have gone across the border several times changing here and there. In larger cities you will find many food items that have done just that and will bear little resemblance from place to place. In some places I visit the quesadilla contains almost no cheese, just a little dried and grated cheese sprinkled on what whould appear to be a taco dorado - folded with lettuce, tomato, and onion - and alongside on the menu would be offered tacos dorados but they are rolled and fried and probably not contain any lettuce.

I hope that little bit of confusion helps your inquiry. That's the way things are here.


Manuel Dexterity

Jun 11, 2010, 11:38 AM

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Re: [Peter] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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Y Tacos dorados, fried taco shell, are not uncommon but in the evenings when the street corner taco stands appear everywhere the soft taco is king and tacos dorados nearly non-existent.


........tacos dorados but they are rolled and fried and probably not contain any lettuce.

I hope that little bit of confusion helps your inquiry. That's the way things are here.


Not exactly. Tacos dorados are a staple in cenadurías. Just about anyplace that sells pozole in the evening will also offer tacos dorados.

The rolled variety are most often referred to as flautas which use a tortilla made especially for that type of taco. The folded variety are also quite common and may come served with shredded lettuce or cabbage as a topping along with a tomato broth and dried cheese.


tashby


Jun 11, 2010, 2:23 PM

Post #5 of 20 (10018 views)

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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"Same, same but different."

Is this a common phrase in Mexico? I ask because a friend of mine from Guadalajara has used it several times when describing food.

I know I get confused with all the names for different dishes.....sometimes it seems like what can essentially be the exact same dish might have several different names, depending upon who's making it or, especially, if you travel from one region to another.

"Same, same but different." Wondering if others here hear this phrase a lot, or if it's just my friend who uses it.

P.S. I should point out that he's bilingual, and this is how he articulates the thought in English.


(This post was edited by tashby on Jun 11, 2010, 2:24 PM)


Peter


Jun 13, 2010, 6:31 AM

Post #6 of 20 (9956 views)

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Re: [tashby] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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"Same, same but different." Wondering if others here hear this phrase a lot, or if it's just my friend who uses it.

Not sure I use it much but I think it a lot. Except for on this board my contact with English-speaking people is rather limited so I don't tend to hear it much.

I wasn't being quite clear when I mentioned folded quesadillas that lacked queso and rolled tacos but that "same but different" was what I was thinking when making that description as those were the terms applied to those foods in the coastal areas of Michoacán when I go for cena in those parts. Manuel is right, flautas is what I hear those rolled tacos called here in Morelia and in most places.

It is in the ubiquituous taco stands that spring up on the street corners at night in Morelia that mostly sell soft tacos, even if some serve them very lightly fried they are still soft. On the coast or in the Tierra Caliente, in more sparsely populated areas, those soft-taco stands are much more scarce and the night spots for food are typically located around highway crossroads, they have a more extensive menu and tacos and other offerings are typically fried hard.

My travels around Mexico are somewhat limited overall. What I have seen of Mexico much of it it very much the same, but different.


Peter


Jun 13, 2010, 7:27 AM

Post #7 of 20 (9947 views)

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Re: [Peter] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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I was getting myself in deeper and not being at all clear but that has been my experience with food as I travel around various parts of Michoacán, it gets a bit murky as the names are applied to the foods in different parts.

In Morelia and Pátzcuaro, and places nearby, corrundas and huchepos are very common foods here, though scarce or non-existent in other parts of Michoacán. A very basic description would be to say they are like tamales but are not filled. huchepos are typically sweeter and have whole corn kernels, and either can be served with crema, corrundas with chile salsa also. Another case of same but different, perhaps.

A food that is very common on the coast, tierra caliente, and Tere tells me it is traditional in Uruapan, but is scarce in Morelia, is morisqueta. Essentially it is white rice topped with a salsa and usually includes a small piece of carne. A spoon of crema is frequently added. Cena at a streetside cenaduria in Guacamayas typically starts with a small bowl of morisqueta while waiting for a quesadilla, enchiladas, tacos or whatever else one might choose.


Manuel Dexterity

Jun 13, 2010, 7:34 AM

Post #8 of 20 (9945 views)

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Re: [Peter] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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Morisqueta here in Jalisco is just boiled white rice. When topped with boiled beans (frijoles de la olla) the dish is called "moros y cristianos". People then add whatever they like to the dish in the way of salsas, crema or queso etc.


tashby


Jun 13, 2010, 7:36 AM

Post #9 of 20 (9943 views)

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Re: [Peter] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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It's fun the way he says it, too. I puncutated it poorly, the way a writer of English would naturally punctuate it, but it doesn't reflect the way he says it. "Same, same" is really one fast word, with equal sing-song emphasis on each and no pause in between. It comes out more like:

"Same-same.....but different."


(This post was edited by tashby on Jun 13, 2010, 7:39 AM)


Peter


Jun 13, 2010, 3:02 PM

Post #10 of 20 (9907 views)

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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That's interesting. I guess it would not surprise me learn that morisqueta IS simply white rice and is just that there are regional variations in how it is served. Although there is variance in recipe where I've been served the morisqueta, I've eaten it at about three different locations, the meat sauce applied to the dish seems to be more part of the preparation rather than a condiment in western Michoacán. It appears on menus rather ubiquituously out there but I seldom have seen it offered in Morelia.

I'll have to try to remember where I've seen it here in Morelia and order it sometime just to see what I get.


Peter


Jun 13, 2010, 3:14 PM

Post #11 of 20 (9902 views)

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Re: [tashby] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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"Same, same" is really one fast word, with equal sing-song emphasis on each and no pause in between. It comes out more like:

"Same-same.....but different."


When you tell me like that it reminds me of my half-Japanese girlfriend of many decades ago. She had a fairly strong accent and very often used a similar expression seemingly in the manner you describe. What she was actually saying was "same-sang" with the words sounding almost exactly alike to for "same thing" in order to describe things as being same, but different.



esperanza

Jun 15, 2010, 2:35 PM

Post #12 of 20 (9833 views)

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Re: [Peter] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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That's interesting. I guess it would not surprise me learn that morisqueta IS simply white rice and is just that there are regional variations in how it is served. Although there is variance in recipe where I've been served the morisqueta, I've eaten it at about three different locations, the meat sauce applied to the dish seems to be more part of the preparation rather than a condiment in western Michoacán. It appears on menus rather ubiquituously out there but I seldom have seen it offered in Morelia.

I'll have to try to remember where I've seen it here in Morelia and order it sometime just to see what I get.

Sorry to arrive so late at this party, but I've been out of the country and off the computer.

Corundas and uchepos (not spelled with an 'h', although it is frequently MIS-spelled with an 'h') are both indigenous Purhépecha tamales. Corundas are blind (i.e., unfilled) tamales that are made in fresh corn *leaves* rather than dried corn husks. The masa is made from dried corn and lard. Corundas are always shaped like a pentagon. Corundas are usually served as a side dish with churipo, another Purhépecha dish. Churipo is a beef and vegetable soup.

Uchepos, on the other hand, are fresh, green corn tamales, also 'blind'. The masa is made from fresh corn, rather than dried corn, and they contain butter rather than lard. Uchepos are served topped with crema and a salsa usually made from chile perón.

Morisqueta is just plain white rice and can be served with any main dish. White rice is called morisqueta all over Michoacán as well as in some other places.




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Peter


Jun 15, 2010, 5:23 PM

Post #13 of 20 (9816 views)

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Re: [esperanza] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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Corundas and uchepos (not spelled with an 'h', although it is frequently MIS-spelled with an 'h') are both indigenous Purhépecha tamales. Corundas are blind (i.e., unfilled) tamales that are made in fresh corn *leaves* rather than dried corn husks. The masa is made from dried corn and lard. Corundas are always shaped like a pentagon. Corundas are usually served as a side dish with churipo, another Purhépecha dish. Churipo is a beef and vegetable soup.

Again, you have me wondering if we actually DO live in the same city. I don't recall ever having seen a pentagonal corunda nor have ever been served churipo alongside them. I have seen uchepos spelled either way but more frequently with an "H".

When purchasing corundas most often I am asked if I want mantecas or amarillos, and less frequently I am offered a choice of cenizas as well. The mantecas have always been trangular like the uchepos, the amarillos are flat and mostly shapeless and are wrapped two together. I don't recall having bought cenizas but they appeared like the amarillos and were maybe just another name for the same.

Uchepos being triangular, it gives way to locals sometimes jocularly calling each other 'chepo in referrence to a triangular-shaped part of the female anatomy.


esperanza

Jun 15, 2010, 6:50 PM

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Re: [Peter] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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I have never heard of or seen a triangular uchepo. An uchepo is usually about 4 or 5 inches long, wrapped in green corn husks.

Corundas sometimes look like they are triangles, but in fact they are five-pointed pentagons, shaped a little like slightly flattened-out pyramids. And yes, they are made either with lard or with ceniza. Using ceniza is the tradition pre-hispanic way of making corundas. Ceniza was used before the Spanish brought pigs to the New World.




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La Isla


Jun 15, 2010, 8:28 PM

Post #15 of 20 (9795 views)

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Re: [esperanza] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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I ate corundas when I was in Morelia last fall for the first time, usually as a side dish. Don't know if they were made with lard or cenizas. Ceniza usually means ashes in Mexico. What does it mean in this case?


Peter


Jun 15, 2010, 8:44 PM

Post #16 of 20 (9794 views)

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Re: [esperanza] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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I have seen long-shaped uchepos but usually triangular like the manteca corundas. I had thought uchepos were also made with harina de maíz but Tere tells me they are made entirely from fresh corn and butter as you describe. Since they can be found in long shapes as well there may be no absolutly correct way one must look, but since the guys teasingly call each other "chepo" it comes from that anatomical referrence I made earlier and if we really had to decide it would be for that reason we agree they are more correctly triangular.

We had a lengthy discussion on corundas and huchepos. Perhaps how they are wrapped might tend to flatten the corners somewhat, they were essentially triangular. The ceniza or amarillo corundas are wrapped rectangularly and might be somewhat squared but more patty-like and really more rounded, but basically without actual form other than to say they are flat.

Crema is typically applied to any of the above, corundas also with salsa. While corundas with crema and salsa are often a meal to themselves it is not uncommon to eat them with along something else, but with no specific accompaniment. Carne deshebrada and strips of chiles is what she suggested serving alongside corundas. I suggested charrales to which she winced, then shrugged and said OK without enthusiasm.

We discussed spelling and have seen it both ways but agreed by far we more often see it spelled "huchepo". We are willing to concede that you are absolutely correct and most of Morelia has it wrong.


esperanza

Jun 15, 2010, 9:11 PM

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Re: [La Isla] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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I ate corundas when I was in Morelia last fall for the first time, usually as a side dish. Don't know if they were made with lard or cenizas. Ceniza usually means ashes in Mexico. What does it mean in this case?

Wood ash.




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La Isla


Jun 15, 2010, 9:24 PM

Post #18 of 20 (9785 views)

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Re: [esperanza] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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I ate corundas when I was in Morelia last fall for the first time, usually as a side dish. Don't know if they were made with lard or cenizas. Ceniza usually means ashes in Mexico. What does it mean in this case?

Wood ash.


What sort of flavor does it give to the corundas?


Anonimo

Jun 16, 2010, 2:11 AM

Post #19 of 20 (9773 views)

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Re: [Peter] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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I like corundas, but I'm not especially fond of (h)uchepos, due to their sweetness. However, I had some last month at "El Gorjeo de Las Aves En Las Mañanas de Abril", a beautiful, breakfast only restaurant in Ziracuarétiro, Michoacán.

They were much better than others I'd had, as the masa was coarsely textured. The sweetness was balanced by the mildly picante costillas de puerco.

See photo below.

We have both purchased them in the mercado of Pátzcuaro and received others from neighbors, and the shapes ranged from vaguely cylindrical to shapeless. Haven't seen a triangular one yet. I suspect that nomenclature varies according to local custom, specific cooks, and relaxed usage, depending on who's describing.



Buen provecho,
Anonimo


Peter


Jun 16, 2010, 6:01 AM

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Re: [La Isla] "Mexican food" and "Crema Mexicana" etc.

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What sort of flavor does it give to the corundas?

Not sure how I would describe the flavor nor am I positive the ceniza and amarillo are the same, they appear to be, but I have always favored the amarillos to the mantecas. They are yellowish in color as the name implies, flatter and harder than the mantecas and a bit chewy. The mantecas are fluffy and somewhat crumbly.

I have had corundas once or twice downtown in the Portales at a restaurant and it was something of a different experience. As I recall I was given one small manteca type as part of a "traditional" combination plate.

We typically buy corundas in one of the mercados or at a tianguis; there are also little shops that sell them and I've gotten them from street vendors in Pátzcuaro, they are all pretty much the same except at that hotel restaurant in the Centro. Almost invariably we get them as a stand-alone meal as they can be very filling, but when we take them home to eat we will break from the usual "order of three" and have one or two as a between-meal snack or for cena.


(This post was edited by Peter on Jun 16, 2010, 6:08 AM)
 
 
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