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Artículos en Español Articles and Mexico's regional cuisines

Immigrant cooking in Mexico: The Mennonite kitchens of Chihuahua Karen Hursh Graber

In recent years, immigration has become a topic of intense focus, not only in the United States and Mexico, but worldwide. Although generally seen as a political question, there is no doubt that the mo... read more

The chiles of summer: Pick a peck of poblanos Karen Hursh Graber

Poblano chile peppers
Characterized by the thick skin which makes them ideal for stuffing, poblanos were being used in the cuisine of Puebla when the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century. Puebla nuns of the Colonial era created famous chiles en nogada, considered Mexico's national dish. Poblanos go particularly well in a variety of cream sauces for meat, chicken and pasta. See the recipes at the end of the article... read more

Mexican Christmas menu ideas: Posadas, Noche Buena, Navidad Karen Hursh Graber

In Mexico, the Christmas season is a month-long fiesta, starting with the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 12th, and continuing through the posadas, Noche Buena and Navidad, right up to the Three Kings Day on January 6th.

During this celebratory month, preparing seasonal dishes is an important part of the festivities, with each occasion having its own specialties. These can be easily adapted to holiday menus everywhere, and a Mexican culinary theme is fun, festive, and versatile. read more

Autumn in Mexico: Iconic ingredients for Fall Holidays Karen Hursh Graber

Pollo con Manzanas
Karen Hursh Graber 2015
In recent years, “seasonal” has become a culinary buzzword, something seemingly new and novel in the U.S., where just about anything is available at any time, no matter its origin or how far it must be shipped. In contrast, Mexican cooks have traditionally relied on local availability to determine what to buy and serve. Although the rise of supermarkets and chain groceries has brought an increasing number of products that have traveled great distances, Mexicans do continue to base many meals on what has customarily been prepared and served at certain times of the year. And autumn, with its many important celebrations, is one of those times. The end of the rainy season brings the gathering of summer’s bounty, and the fall harvest yields many of the country’s characteristic ingredients. read more

Mexican spring produce: fresh ideas for warm weather dining Karen Hursh Graber

Agua de Melon
The change of seasons in Mexico brings a shift in the kinds of produce available in the markets. The young greens, stone fruit, and baby new vegetables that appear in mercados in springtime are ideal ingredients for lighter fare in warmer weather. For unlike its north-of-the-border neighbors, Mexico experiences its hottest time of the year in spring, rather than summer. The time between Easter and the start of the rainy season, which brings cooling relief, finds those who can manage vacations headed for the beach, and others seeking shade in parks. Both settings call for picnic food, the kind of portable meal sometimes called itacate, after the bundled mid-day meal that workers used to bring to the fields. read more

For graduation celebrations: Mexican summer buffets Karen Hursh Graber

Besides the seemingly endless string of fiestas, weddings, baptisms and saints' days throughout the year, the warm months bring graduations galore. Everything from a kindergarten commencement to the completion of a PhD is celebrated exuberantly in Mexico. And the season's balmy weather invites merrymakers to move outside. Even the start of the rainy season does not deter al fresco festivities. read more

Mexican winter produce: making comfort food healthy Karen Hursh Graber

The winter season brings with it a culinary conundrum. Part of you craves the comfort foods, mostly creamy and carby, that the cold weather seems to inspire. Some of this is induced by childhood memories of Mom baking bread and cooking hearty stews as chill winds blew outside. Another part of you is facing the expanded waistline and added pounds that arrived as unwanted holiday gifts. This is the adult part, the one who dreads being mistaken for a beach ball on that vacation at Playa del Carmen. read more

Traditional Food Festival in Morelia David Haun

Run, don't walk to the next Michoacan Traditional Food Festival (Cocineras Tradicionales) at the Convention Center in Morelia. The entrance is a stairway to heaven and you are about to eat food fit for gods and goddesses. The name "Traditional" only partially describes the Festival because it is traditional woman, in traditional clothing, cooking traditional recipes, with traditional utensils. However,...

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Artichoke season: a Mexican Springtime treat Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican chorizo and rice-stuffed artichokes 
© Karen Hursh Graber, 2015
Artichoke season has arrived in Central Mexico, the time of year known locally as the temporada de calor, or hot season. By the standards of most other places, it really would not be called "hot," but at 7000 or so feet, it doesn't usually get much hotter.

And the arrival of this Spring weather means artichoke season, when our friend Tim, a French-trained chef and a professor at a Puebla university, makes the eagerly anticipated drive to what we call the "artichoke farm," where the odd-looking thistles are waiting to be picked... read more

Using pistachios in Mexican cooking Karen Hursh Graber

pistachio crusted chicken breast sandwich
© Karen Hursh Graber, 2015

Northern Mexican climate of Chihuahua is ideal for pistachio trees, which require only half as much water as the more common pecan trees and can survive drought conditions.

I knew that a dry climate can indeed support pistachio trees because a friend in Oaxaca bought one as a sapling some years back and it has flourished in the semi-arid Oaxacan climate and borne fruit....

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