Did You Know? Vanilla Festival in Papantla, Veracruz

The Vanilla Festival is held in early summer every year in Papantla, Veracruz. The origins of the festival pre-date the Spanish conquest. Its timing is now tied to the Catholic celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi (Body of Christ), sixty days after Easter. Papantla is the heart of Mexico’s vanilla-growing region. Vanilla, surely one […]

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The cuisine of Veracruz: a tasty blend of cultures

Exotic-looking even on a map, the Mexican state of Veracruz stretches along the Gulf Coast like the graceful tentacle of a sea creature. Within the boundaries formed by the warm coastal waters to the east and the Sierra Madre Oriental to the west is an enticing pot-pourri of cultures. The indigenous, the Afro-Cuban and the […]

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Veracruz crest


The state of Veracruz is part of the the Gulf Coast Region of Mexico, along with the states of Tabasco and Tamaulipas. The state capital is the colonial city of Xalapa (900,,000). Other major cities include the industrial twin cities of Coatzacoalcos (250,000) and Minatitlán (360,000) in the extreme south, and the port city of […]

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Tamales de elote © Daniel Wheeler, 2008

Los Tamales: Five Hundred Years at the Heart of the Fiesta

Mexico is the land of fiestas, and never more than during the month of December, when the feasts are so many that they overlap by several days. Starting on December 3, the beginning of the nine-day tribute to the Virgin of Guadalupe, and continuing through until January 6, Three Kings Day, there is non-stop celebration. In addition […]

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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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Scene from "Pasion jarocho" (1949), directed by Carlos Vejar © Producciones Churubusco, Coleccion IMCINE

Whole fish in Mexican green sauce: Pescado en verde

What better recipes to accompany a still from the 1944 film Pasión Jarocho, or “Veracruz Passion?” This classic regional dish od whole fish in Mexican green sauce goes perfectly with the story of lovers in a small Mexican fishing village who seem destined to be kept apart by rumors and jealousy. Will Rosalinda and Hugo ever find […]

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