Mexican Queretaro-style lentil soup with nopales: Sopa de lentejas con nopales estilo Queretaro

This recipe, adapted from Diana Kennedy’s The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, contains the characteristically Mexican ingredients nopales, fresh green chiles and cilantro. Ingredients ½ cup brown lentils, rinsed 6 cups water ½ pound nopal cactus paddles, cleaned and diced salt to taste 1 large green onion, quartered ½ pound tomatoes, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons […]

Continue Reading
Queretaro crest


The state of Querétaro is part of the Central Highlands Region of Mexico, along with the states of Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Mexico (State of), Mexico City, Morelos, Puebla, and Tlaxcala. Its capital city  is also named Querétaro. Its immaculately preserved colonial center is a UNESCO World Heritage site. While the state of Querétaro is one of […]

Continue Reading
Aguascalientes chicken with fruit sauce goes beautifully with a Mexican chardonnay © Karen Hursh Graber, 2012

Mexican wines: Perfect pairings with holiday dishes

Many years ago, our intrepid little band of gypsies became hopelessly lost on a trip through what was then relatively undeveloped Baja California. Too dark to be on the road, and too late to find accommodations, the situation called for some ingenuity, and we got permission from a farmer to park our van alongside his […]

Continue Reading

Making merry in May: Mexico’s National Cheese and Wine Festival

To the north and west of Mexico City lies the region known as El Bajío, often called “Mexico’s breadbasket.” This rugged, high plateau bears a distinct resemblance to central Spain, home of its original settlers. Religious and hard working, they preserved many of the Spanish cultural and culinary traditions, and this part of Mexico is […]

Continue Reading

Enchiladas with buttermilk sauce: Enchiladas de jocoque

Enchiladas with cream sauces are popular in Querétaro, and these use the thick Mexican buttermilk called jocoque, introduced by Mexico’s many Lebanese immigrants. A mixture of regular buttermilk (which is much thinner than jocoque) and Mexican crema, crême fraiche or sour cream makes a good substitute. Ingredients For the green salsa: 1 pound tomatillos, husked 1 medium white onion, coarsely […]

Continue Reading
Mexican Lentil Stew © Beth Moncel, 2011

Heart healthy lentils: Mexican fall favorites

Sometimes the humblest ingredients have the most exotic histories. So it is with the lentil, whose journey to Mexico dates back thousands of years, to approximately 8000 B.C. in Southwest Asia. It traveled to Greece during the Neolithic period, and to the Mediterranean area during the Bronze Age. Along the way, it journeyed to ancient […]

Continue Reading

A Gastronomic Circuit Around the City or When Lost in Mexico, Follow Your Stomach: El Estado de Mexico

A friend from western Mexico is on the phone, planning a trip to visit us down south in Oaxaca. “From the map, it looks like there’s a freeway loop around Mexico City,” he says hopefully. Yes, well. We explain to him that the map was evidently put together by someone with great futuristic vision, because […]

Continue Reading

Calendar of Mexican food festivals

Possibly no other country in the world has as many festivals, fairs and feast days as Mexico. National holidays, religious holidays and people’s santos (saints’ days) are all celebrated with gusto, as are the observances of the patron saints of virtually every city, town and pueblito. The santoral, or calendar of saints’ days, is so crowded with names […]

Continue Reading