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esperanza

Jul 26, 2010, 3:09 PM

Post #26 of 63 (9135 views)

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Re: [gpkgto] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Many people--myself included--have worked long and hard to achieve this UNESCO designation. UNESCO did not honor "Mexican food" as most of you know and recognize it--tacos, enchiladas, and the general run of Mexico's most common antojitos. UNESCO honored the prehispanic corn-based kitchen, particularly our ages-old Michoacán cuisine, for particular honor as a world heritage worthy of preservation, an intangible patrimony of humanity. It's taken nearly 10 years for the Conservación de la Gastronomía efforts on Mexico's behalf to come to fruition, and Mexico owes a tremendous debt to Dra. Gloria López Morales for her untiring work for this honor. Hundreds of others have participated, including Michoacán home indigenous cooks, world-renowned Mexican chefs and restaurant owners, culinary historians, and unsung multitudes who have stood by cheering. The marvelous news, announced at a culinary conference in Brazil on July 22, was then announced in all of Mexico's major newspapers.

It's far too easy to make fun of something you really don't comprehend--it's a little like saying, "Oh pooh, it's only the Pulitzer Prize. Doesn't have much to do with anything, does it?"

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(This post was edited by esperanza on Jul 26, 2010, 3:11 PM)


Peter


Jul 26, 2010, 4:45 PM

Post #27 of 63 (9117 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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I would guess chocolate would be of significance along with maíz, no? What else? These are now surely foods of world importance.


esperanza

Jul 26, 2010, 4:50 PM

Post #28 of 63 (9114 views)

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Re: [Peter] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Starting this coming Saturday, the lead article on Mexico Cooks! will be about the importance of corn in Mexico's history. I'll post a permalink to it on this thread when the article comes online.

Chocolate isn't even a runner-up, although its origin is Mexico.

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Hound Dog

Jul 26, 2010, 6:06 PM

Post #29 of 63 (9098 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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The UNESCO designation is simply that and nothing more. It recognizes the application as satisfying UNESCO criteria for designation of a national heritage cuisine and infers neither superior nor inferior status compared to any other national or regional cuisine nor, for that matter, even that it is particularly tasty. Look for many more awards for all kinds of designated national cuisines in the coming months and years. Perhaps Inuit cuisine is next in line. Not everone has mastered the art of preparing whale blubber or seal heart. These treats may not be to everyone´s taste but they are as authentic as they come and truly a part of what comprises the Inuit cultural heritage.


(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Jul 26, 2010, 6:29 PM)


ken_in_dfw

Jul 26, 2010, 6:43 PM

Post #30 of 63 (9090 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Chocolate isn't even a runner-up, although its origin is Mexico.


Chiles would be my nominee for runner-up to the incredibly versatile maíz.


Peter


Jul 27, 2010, 6:50 AM

Post #31 of 63 (9057 views)

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Re: [ken_in_dfw] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Chocolate isn't even a runner-up, although its origin is Mexico.


Chiles would be my nominee for runner-up to the incredibly versatile maíz.


I would certainly agree with you. Perhaps this recognition is something altogether different. Chiles have certainly made their way into various international cuisines and for many have become a defining characteristic.

Maíz, chocolate, and chile have worldwide popularity, but if chocolate isn't even a runner-up I don't know that chiles would make honorable mention. Maíz, on the other hand, in many parts of the world is no more than livestock feed.


gpkgto

Jul 27, 2010, 7:40 AM

Post #32 of 63 (9051 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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I think most/many of the people on this forum have never experienced Mexican home cooking--it has nothing to do with restuarant/street/mercado foods that many think of as "Mexican" food. I haven't had Esperanza's cooking (but I have heard its praises, so maybe some day...) but I do have several friends originally from Michoacan and a homemade meal at their houses is always a treat and sometimes a great surprise.


Peter


Jul 27, 2010, 9:10 AM

Post #33 of 63 (9034 views)

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Re: [gpkgto] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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I think most/many of the people on this forum have never experienced Mexican home cooking--it has nothing to do with restuarant/street/mercado foods that many think of as "Mexican" food. I haven't had Esperanza's cooking (but I have heard its praises, so maybe some day...) but I do have several friends originally from Michoacan and a homemade meal at their houses is always a treat and sometimes a great surprise.


That would seem a rather brash statement considering many of not most on this forum are or have been residents of Mexico.

Perhaps because much of the food I was accustomed to consuming in California is highly influenced by traditional Mexican cuisine if not truly authentic due to it often being prepared by first and second-generation transplants to the US, there has been extremely little I have encountered here that was entirely unique in content, preparation, or presentation. I grant, though, that others form other parts of the US, Canada, or other countries may have or have yet to encounter(ed) food entirely new to them here.

A food that is unique to Michoacán would be corundas but they are much more typically purchased at the mercado than prepared at home. I daresay the cocinas economicas of the mercados is a place where one would be more likely to find "home cooking" varieties of food if they were not fully integrated into the Mexican community - perhaps even more so than in many Mexican homes. Besides for moles, enchiladas, milanesa, bacalao, chicharrón, and dishes with nopales, my hosts often cook lasagne, spaghettis, and oriental-style preparations.

Due largely to my influence there is a rise in "gringo" foods circulating my colonia. Recently I was served peach cobbler in a neighbor's home - they told me they learned that from another neighbor I had introduced it to a couple years ago.


(This post was edited by Peter on Jul 27, 2010, 9:13 AM)


esperanza

Jul 27, 2010, 10:36 AM

Post #34 of 63 (9016 views)

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Re: [Peter] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Peter's comment about Mexican food in California (and Mexican food in Texas, although Peter didn't mention that style) is well-taken. Both Cal-Mex and Tex-Mex cooking are related to and influenced by Mexican food, but are, according to Robb Walsh, author of the authoritative and excellent The Tex-Mex Cookbook, actually regional cooking styles developed in the United States. Both Cal-Mex and Tex-Mex cooking rely predominately on takeoffs on antojitos, Mexico's 'little whims' which are usually served as snack foods, hors d'oeuvres, or a small meal. Antojitos include tacos, tostadas, taquitos, many kinds of enchiladas, and a hundred more small dishes. These foods are not usually served as comida, the main meal of the day in Mexico, but are usually served as street food, as snack food, as semi-substantial or light supper food, etc.

Mexican home cooking is an entirely different ball game. Peter's theory that Michoacán's regional tamal, the corunda, is sold primarily in mercados is misleading. Both corundas and uchepos (another regional tamal from Michoacán) are usually prepared in home kitchens. Even those sold in local mercados are usually prepared in home kitchens. These two styles of tamales come from Michoacán's regional indigenous cuisine and are prepared, in general, by home cooks brought up in traditional indigenous ways of preparing foods.

Part of the confusion about Mexico's home cooking centers around failure on the part of foreigners to understand that Mexico has numerous regional styles of food preparation. For example, here in Michoacán it is rare to find churipo, an indigenous soup, on a city restaurant menu--even in Morelia, which is near where churipo originated. Yet churipo is common in home kitchens, particularly indigenous kitchens. Served with home-made corundas, it's a filling and delicious treat.

I am not merely talking about indigenous recipes, although the many indigenous groups in Mexico have distinct cooking styles and specialties. CONACULTA has published a series of 55 Spanish-language cookbooks delineating many, many of these indigenous and regional recipes.

Rather, I am talking about home-prepared foods that come from the kitchens of traditional home cooks. Abuelita prepares her own style minguiche; we plan a party and beg Tía Rosita for her fiesta-style nacatamales, your mother from the state of Tabasco has to make her special sarampico for any family event. Veal kidneys a la mexicana, tortitas de huauzontle en caldillo de jitomate, chiles jalapeños rellenos de picadillo, chiles pasillas rellenos con queso, aporreadillo en salsa de aguacate--I'd wager that very few who are reading this recognize any of these fabulous home-prepared dishes from various regions of Mexico. There are hundreds of dishes like this, dishes that 99% of foreigners never know or taste.

None of these hundreds of dishes is served in Mexican restaurants north of the border. Few are ever served in Mexican restaurants in Mexico. These meals are what constitute home cooking in kitchens where traditional Mexican foods are prepared by traditional Mexican home cooks.

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(This post was edited by esperanza on Jul 27, 2010, 10:37 AM)


gpkgto

Jul 27, 2010, 11:07 AM

Post #35 of 63 (9004 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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My Michoacan friend sometimes brings me his mother's pozole--which takes 3 days to prepare!! It's fantastic and has nothing to do with restaurant/comida economica pozole. His sister makes uchepos--when the baby corn is available--that melt in your mouth--not the heavy, dough-ball things I've eaten in mercados.


yTABDGdW

Jul 27, 2010, 12:26 PM

Post #36 of 63 (8987 views)

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Re: [gpkgto] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Tex Mex is not real Mexican food for me either. After living in Mexico for almost a decade, I never once saw a "chimichanga" or even... a burrito.


esperanza

Jul 27, 2010, 12:31 PM

Post #37 of 63 (8981 views)

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Re: [Memo] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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The other day I was wandering around in the boonies of Michoacán and saw a street stand with the sign, "Burritos Estilo USA". Of course they meant those burritos that are long-as-your-arm, stuffed with everything but the kitchen sink.

Having said that, there are definitely burritos in the northern part of Mexico, including some really great ones from Moyahua, Zacatecas. They're very small, made with flour tortillas with a smear of beans and the guisado of your choice. Three to a meal would be about right.

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Rolly


Jul 27, 2010, 12:38 PM

Post #38 of 63 (8979 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Burritos, mostly bean and cheese with flour tortillas, are very common in Lerdo.

Rolly Pirate


arbon

Jul 27, 2010, 12:43 PM

Post #39 of 63 (8977 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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"Peter says, Maíz, on the other hand, in many parts of the world is no more than livestock feed."

If someone gave Peter "Animal Corn" to eat it's no wonder he has some strange ideas, Eh.

I have met people from Europe, that have eaten (animal feed) Corn.



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Peter


Jul 27, 2010, 1:52 PM

Post #40 of 63 (8962 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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There are hundreds of dishes like this, dishes that 99% of foreigners never know or taste.


What would you guess the percentage of Mexicans would be that have never known or tasted those same dishes?

You've just hit me with a list of some very regional dishes, some that may not be known beyond abuelita's cocina. Perhaps this is developing into a thread that would be better in Mexican Kitchen than here, pero aquí está the front line for where it is developing.

Perhaps some are known better by other names, some more generic names. No one I have spoken to here in Morelia seems to have heard of churipo but as you described it before some may just know it as a type of caldo de res. What does make it churipo? You might provide a brief description of those other dishes as well, they could be masquerading under a less common name.

If chiles pasillas relleno de queso is a comida - which I do not dispute - then why dismiss the more common chiles rellenos as antojitos those made from poblano chiles; chiles pasillas are poblanos matured and dried, verdad? Chiles jalapeños rellenos de picadillo really have more an antojito quality to them as do the jalapeños I bread and stuff with cheese; no one in the house would make them for comida because they are too hot for them, I have to make those for snack food for myself. Nacatamales? These are not antojitos then what is the difference from the full-size tamales?

The Mexican home kitchen often doubles as a commercial food-prep facility. Arguably it ceases to be one when it serves to be the other otherwise it is a sleight-of-mouth deception, wordplay. If your (or Gary's) huchepos purchased at the mercado are like lead balls, I understand. Nearby mercado San Juan really has some inferior products compared to those sold in the mercado cerca La Inmaculada in colonia Vasco de Quiroga, it's worth making the trip for the better ones.

One can cut corners making pozole by buying #10 cans of hominy and going from there, but time here is no constraint so we also buy the maíz and soak it to conceivably make it a 3-day process. BTW, I prefer the pozole rojo made with pork.

Two days ago my breakfast omelette was made with flor de calabasa and one last week with cuitlacoche (talk about ugly corn), but today's had asparagus - another little thing I introduced to our kitchen.

OK, no one in this house, Tere or her sobrina visiting from Toluca, knows what minguiche is or sarampicos so we would all appreciate a description. Aporeadillo en salsa de aguacate strikes us all as sounding good so that is on our meal plan soon. I have the dried beef ready for some aporeado anyway so we're going to wing it with an aguacate sauce.


(This post was edited by Peter on Jul 27, 2010, 2:16 PM)


esperanza

Jul 27, 2010, 1:52 PM

Post #41 of 63 (8962 views)

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Re: [arbon] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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"Peter says, Maíz, on the other hand, in many parts of the world is no more than livestock feed."
If someone gave Peter "Animal Corn" to eat it's no wonder he has some strange ideas, Eh.
I have met people from Europe, that have eaten (animal feed) Corn.

Arbon, here in Mexico we usually eat 'dent' corn in pozole, nixtamal-ized and ground for tortillas, tamales, etc. That kind of corn is normally considered to be 'field corn', or animal feed, in the USA. You Canadians may think differently.

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Peter


Jul 27, 2010, 2:00 PM

Post #42 of 63 (8951 views)

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Re: [arbon] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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"Peter says, Maíz, on the other hand, in many parts of the world is no more than livestock feed."

If someone gave Peter "Animal Corn" to eat it's no wonder he has some strange ideas, Eh.

I have met people from Europe, that have eaten (animal feed) Corn.




We had some neighbors' family visiting from Norway. My uncle thought it would be humorous to invite them all over for a barbecue where everything was meant to be eaten by hand, as is contrary to their custom to even eating a hamburger with a knife and fork.

When the food was brought to the table the 10-year-old boy exclaimed something in Norwegian at the sight of the corn-on-the-cob. It translated to, "Chicken food!" He had never eaten it before but did think it was delicious.


Peter


Jul 27, 2010, 2:09 PM

Post #43 of 63 (8949 views)

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Re: [Memo] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Tex Mex is not real Mexican food for me either. After living in Mexico for almost a decade, I never once saw a "chimichanga" or even... a burrito.


The food in California has been changing in recent years and in restaurants becoming more like family food here in Mexico. It has gone a long way from fried tacos with american cheese as served in Foster's Freeze. It is also coming full circle because I have seen various burritos here in Morelia. Despite California's Mexican food changing there is still a lot of popularity in the Mexican food take-offs.

It has been a few years since I been outside Mexico though, but I doubt it has reverted back to Bell Beefers.


yTABDGdW

Jul 27, 2010, 2:10 PM

Post #44 of 63 (8947 views)

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Re: [Peter] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Btw, I LOVE Texmex food. No slight intended.


esperanza

Jul 27, 2010, 2:23 PM

Post #45 of 63 (8942 views)

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Re: [Peter] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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1. Chiles pasillas are not chiles poblanos matured and dried. It is an entirely different kind of chile, grown in many places in central Mexico but primarily cultivated in Queréndaro, Michoacán. The annual Queréndaro Feria del Chile is coming up soon and I bet you would love it. Known when fresh and green as chile chilaca, it's called chile pasilla or chile negro when it's mature and deep mahogany-brown . You can taste a fantastic carne de res en salsa de chile negro (aka pasilla) at Morelia's Mercado Nicolás Bravo. Here's the story: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/...-michoac%C3%A1n.html.

You can read more about the chile chilaca here: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/...-michoac%C3%A1n.html.

2. Churipo is indeed a beef 'soup', but very unlike a standard caldo de res. You can taste a delicious and fairly representative example of churipo at Restaurante LU, at the Best Western Casino in Morelia. Churipo is made with braised beef, onion, cabbage, xoconostle, and chile, among other ingredients. It's always served with corundas to add in big chunks to the soup.

3. The dishes I 'hit you with' are quite common, although each is common in its own region of the country. You and your friends aren't familiar with these dishes, but that does not mean they don't exist. Each of them is well-known by the names I posted; they don't have other names that I know.

4. I did not say that chiles rellenos are an antojito. Chiles jalapeños rellenos con picadillo is served as a platillo fuerte (main dish), not as an antojito. They bear no resemblance to the breaded jalapeños you prepare, which are commonly known in the USA as poppers.

5. Minguiche is a common and delicious Michoacán dish made of egg, chile, and requesón.

6. Sarampico is a kind of semi-ripe mango salsa that originated in Tabasco and a couple of other southern Mexican states where many varieties of mangoes are available.

7. Aporreadillo is most often served in a caldillo (light tomato broth), but it is also frequently served in a thin salsa de aguacate.

Peter, don't forget that for 30 years I have lived, cooked, and eaten in 28 of Mexico's 31 states, as well as the Distrito Federal. I'm a food professional and consider it my duty to know as much as possible about the incredible variety of comestibles available in this country.

Generally, even Mexican people don't eat very far outside their immediate frames of reference and are not familiar with dishes that come from places outside their usual stomping grounds. When people base any generalization on narrow personal experience, it's normal--but not usually very accurate.

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esperanza

Jul 27, 2010, 2:27 PM

Post #46 of 63 (8940 views)

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Re: [Memo] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Btw, I LOVE Texmex food. No slight intended.

Me too! Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex, too. Give me a big plate of carne asada nachos dripping yellow cheese and sour cream or a burrito stuffed with the works and slathered with that odd sauce. Mmm...take me to Roberto's or Aliberto's or Rigoberto's or any of the XXXberto's in San Diego--any old time.

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Peter


Jul 27, 2010, 2:59 PM

Post #47 of 63 (8934 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Generally, even Mexican people don't eat very far outside their immediate frames of reference and are not familiar with dishes that come from places outside their usual stomping grounds. When people base any generalization on narrow personal experience, it's normal--but not usually very accurate.



Precisely the point of my lead question in response to your earlier post:

"There are hundreds of dishes like this, dishes that 99% of foreigners never know or taste. "

"What would you guess the percentage of Mexicans would be that have never known or tasted those same dishes?"

It is not just foreigners with narrow personal food experience here in Mexico.

OK, you got me on the chiles pasillas, Tere thought they were the same as chiles anchos, which were another chile we've stuffed.

I didn't want to have to visit there again since that restaurant took a major down-turn some three years ago, but until I do churipo remains in my mind a variation of caldo de res. I was there several weeks ago and tried the aporreadillo but it was to me nothing more than carne seca in tomato stew and not very flavorful at that. Perhaps the aporreado at Fonda Marceva is thickened with aguacate. It is more like I find in Tepalcatepec or Apatzingán.

Thanks for the decription of the others, I'll pass that along.


(This post was edited by Peter on Jul 27, 2010, 3:18 PM)


esperanza

Jul 27, 2010, 3:06 PM

Post #48 of 63 (8930 views)

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Re: [Peter] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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As much as I love Restaurante LU, the aporreadillo is not very good. The chef admits as much.

For the best aporreadillo in Morelia, Fonda Marceva is definitely the place. It's not made with salsa de aguacate, though. For that, you have to go to Ziracuarétiro, to La Mesa de Blanca.

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ken_in_dfw

Jul 27, 2010, 3:59 PM

Post #49 of 63 (8920 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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Rather, I am talking about home-prepared foods that come from the kitchens of traditional home cooks. Abuelita prepares her own style minguiche; we plan a party and beg Tía Rosita for her fiesta-style nacatamales, your mother from the state of Tabasco has to make her special sarampico for any family event. Veal kidneys a la mexicana, tortitas de huauzontle en caldillo de jitomate, chiles jalapeños rellenos de picadillo, chiles pasillas rellenos con queso, aporreadillo en salsa de aguacate--I'd wager that very few who are reading this recognize any of these fabulous home-prepared dishes from various regions of Mexico. There are hundreds of dishes like this, dishes that 99% of foreigners never know or taste.

None of these hundreds of dishes is served in Mexican restaurants north of the border. Few are ever served in Mexican restaurants in Mexico. These meals are what constitute home cooking in kitchens where traditional Mexican foods are prepared by traditional Mexican home cooks.


I guess I feel doubly fortunate and blessed to have good friends who are native to México who have shared their home cooking with me. Having enjoyed light-as-air chiles rellenos picadillos and juicy, cool and refreshing ensalada de nopalitos, I could never mistake restaurant fare for comida casera.

But that said, in spite of living in the land of Tex Mex (and loving every cheese-drenched moment!), there have been some new restaurants on the rise here in Dallas-Ft. Worth that are bringing regional variations other than from the northern border regions. I love the huachinango a la Veracruzana from La Calle Doce. And I've become addicted to the caldo de pollo from El Pollo Regio - though I'll admit I'm not sure how authentic it is!

Anyway, it's not all tacos and enchiladas in Texas. There's some good eating thanks to our friends in México!


tashby


Jul 28, 2010, 10:35 AM

Post #50 of 63 (8859 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Mexican cuisine declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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On the subject of regionality....

I was at a party last night and a fellow there was originally from the Tierra Caliente in Michoacan. Can't remember the name of his pueblo. He was pretty surprised that I was even aware of the region, but when I mentioned how much I LOVED some of the food from his area (aporreadillo....etc.) he was flat out stunned.

I pulled a recipe for Aporreadillo en salsa de aquacate months ago from a magazine. Haven't gotten around to trying it yet because I haven't found any dried beef that inspires me to bother. Not yet.

If I knew how to cook three of the dishes they make at Marceva, I'd be happy for the rest of my life.


(This post was edited by tashby on Jul 28, 2010, 10:37 AM)
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