Piñata. © Maria Elena, 1999

A Mexican Christmas dinner: tamales, turkey, tejocotes

Mexican Kitchen The usually bustling Mexican markets become even more so in December, when the mountains of fruit for ponche navideño (Christmas punch) compete with a wild array of tinsel-y decorations for shoppers’ attention, and the excitement leading to the posadas and pastorelas builds up. The culmination of all this preparation is, of course, Noche […]

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Mamay © 2018 Marisa Burton

Mexican frozen treats: Helados, nieves and paletas

The long, nasal cry of the ice cream vendor reverberates throughout the mercado. On a busy market day, he has some serious competition from people hawking other wares, but he trundles along with his huge wooden containers, successfully drowning out many of the other vendors. “¡Nieve-e-e-e-e-s!” The Spanish word for snow, a general term for frozen treats in […]

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Caimito or star apple is a regional fruit in the Valladolid area of the Yucatan, related to the mamey and other sapote species. It is used in ices and ice cream. — Caimito es una fruta regional del área de Valladolid en Yucatán, relacionada con el mamey y otras especies de sapote. Se utiliza para preparar hielos y nieves.

Exotic summer refreshment: a guide to Mexico’s tropical fruit

Mexico is blessed with an abundance of fresh tropical fruit. Beautifully arranged platters of fruit are served in restaurants, and disposable cups or bags of fruit on street corners. No matter how humble the setting, these street-corner offerings are always cut into attractively uniform strips or wedges and served with a squeeze of fresh lime […]

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Flan © Daniel Wheeler, 2011

Flavorful flan: Making Mexico’s classic dessert

Bundled up against the cool early morning air of Central Mexico, the “flan lady” arrives at a busy corner in front of our local mom-and-pop grocery store. She brings a small table, sets a glass case on top, and begins to arrange perfectly molded individual portions of the custard called flan, along with glistening, multihued […]

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Green and yellow plantains in a street market stand © Karen Graber, 2012

El platano macho: The plantain is the banana’s big brother

Although grown most frequently in the tropical coastal areas of the country, plantains are found in markets all over Mexico, where they are called plátano macho and look like bananas on growth hormones, ranging in color from bright green and unripe to nearly black and looking overripe. Like the banana, the plantain is an herbaceous flowering plant, […]

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Dried chile guajillo, fresh vegetables and yierba santa leaves figure in Oaxaca's regional Mexican cuisine. © Alvin Starkman 2008

Authentic Mexican cuisine at Oaxaca’s La Casa de los Sabores cooking school

If visitors to Oaxacan cooking school La Casa de los Sabores came away with nothing more than great recipes and a wonderful meal, they would leave fully satisfied. Oaxaca’s unique gastronomy is rich in unique herb- and spice-accented flavor combinations that are its hallmark. But a visit with owner and chef extraordinaire Pilar Cabrera also […]

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A culinary guide to Mexican herbs: Las hierbas de cocina, Part Two

Part One: A culinary guide to Mexican herbs: Las hierbas de cocina Last month’s column contained a list of Mexican culinary herbs – some as well-known as cilantro, and others a bit more esoteric – and their uses. This month’s column contains recipes using fresh Mexican herbs, as well as a list of sources for ordering seeds. […]

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