A man carries home a very fresh fish in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca © Geri Anderson,1999

Cooking in Puerto Escondido: Fish and fruit from Mexico’s tropics

Two of the biggest buzzwords in today’s media-dominated culinary world are “fresh” and “local,” and on a recent visit to Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, we found the food to be both. Taking advantage of the region’s abundant fresh ingredients, we shopped, cooked and ate our way through the beach town of Puerto Escondido. We had […]

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Chef Pilar Cabrera at her La Olla restaurant and cooking school in Oaxaca © Douglas Favero, 2011

A Oaxaca culinary ambassador: an interview with Chef Pilar Cabrera

On a recent trip to Oaxaca, I had the pleasure of speaking with Pilar Cabrera, chef, cooking instructor and, most recently, participant in Iron Chef Canada. Chef Cabrera kindly took time out from her busy schedule to sit down and discuss the influences that led to this career, as well as her cooking school, ever-changing menus […]

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Traditional Mexican cooking school in Tlaxcala: An interview with recipes

September is back-to-school time, so what more fitting topic for this month’s Mexico Kitchen column than a Mexican cooking school? One of the questions most frequently asked by readers concerns the availability of cooking classes here in Mexico. While several cooking schools exist in Mexico City, the best and most authentic regional cuisines are passed […]

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"Pepper Pail" By Linda Paul

The comadre and her sixteen children, or how I started cooking Mexican food

I first met the comadre through a colleague of mine at the University of Puebla, Mexico. I was in the habit of bringing meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and other “gringo food” that the professor’s elderly American father missed, to his house in Cholula, the small town where we both lived, and where the comadre worked as his housekeeper. She […]

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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 […]

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Fabulous frijoles: Mexico’s versatile legumes

When asked by the New York Times magazine to write about the most important contribution of the past millennium, Italian author Umberto Eco chose the humble bean. In How the Bean Saved Western Civilization, Eco points out that in the five centuries after the year 1,000 A.D. Europe’s population nearly tripled, and the amount of […]

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A yearly culinary ritual: La matanza

Beginning in mid-October, and lasting for a month, a five-hundred-year-old ritual encompassing history, tradition and cuisine takes place in the valley of Tehuacan, in the Mixteca Poblana region of southern Puebla. Traveling through this rocky, hardscrabble land, one wonders how the inhabitants have sustained themselves for thousands of years and marvels at the fact that […]

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Campeche: Cocktails and Seafood in a Pirates’ Paradise

Picture a small tropical city nestled up against sparkling coastal waters, surrounded by fortress walls, complete with drawbridges and moats to keep out invading buccaneers. Where, in the twenty-first century, could this possibly be? No, it isn’t Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. Nothing constructed by a theme park could come close to the real […]

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