Spicy Braised Pork: Puerco Estilo Apatzingan

The area around Apatzingan is famous for its pork. The flavor of this dish is somewhat reminiscent of the carnitas for which Michoacán is famous. Unlike carnitas, the pork is baked in the oven instead of fried in lard, and the seasoning ingredients make serving a salsa unnecessary. Ingredients: 2 pound piece pork shoulder (do not substitute with […]

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A Meal in a Sandwich: Tortas, Cemitas, Pambazos

For months after we moved to Mexico several years ago, my favorite place to eat here in Cholula was a hole-in-the-wall tortería called Tortas Alex. Although a Mexican torta goes far beyond what is normally described as a sandwich – it was something delicious, satisfying and comforting when we needed it most. This was long before tortas […]

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Criollo Avocados. Photo by Beth Kelly

The Avocado: On Beyond Guacamole

The rich, yellow-green pulp of the avocado, nowadays most frequently associated with the ubiquitous Mexican dish known as guacamole, was once an appetizing mouthful for the mastodons that roamed the American continent, spreading the seeds of the fruit they swallowed whole. Thus the avocado tree, a native of the Tehuacan Valley of Southern Mexico, whose seeds have […]

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The fruit of the tamarind tree has an acid pulp and smooth black seeds. — La fruta del tamarindo tiene un pulpo ácido y semillas negras.

Tart, tasty tamarind: From candy to cocktails

One of my younger daughter’s most vivid food memories of Mexico was her first taste of tamarind candy. As a newly-arrived fourth grader, fascinated by the huge assortment of candies available nearly everywhere, from the dulcerías to the corner store, she seemed determined to try all of them. But the one that hooked her, with its tangy, […]

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Mexican guavas with an alebrije cat © Sergio Wheeler 2011

Fragrant, festive Mexican guavas: For Christmas punch and other delights

Many of Mexico’s holiday dishes are inspired combinations of seasonally available ingredients. Just as the chiles en nogada prepared for Independence Day celebrations combine the best of the late summer harvest, ponche navideño, the traditional Christmas punch, uses the fruit of late fall. Various combinations of apples, pears, tamarind, and tejocote (hawthorne fruit) come together in a drink flavored with sugar […]

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The whole enchilada: Thrifty variations on a Mexican classic

After several years of reading cookbooks, newspaper food sections, online culinary magazines and endless food blogs, I realize that the enchilada, an iconic Mexican food, is quite often turned into a completely different dish when it leaves the country. While the basic elements are present, the techniques frequently used north of the border turn enchiladas […]

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