From New Spain to nouvelle cuisine: Pasta mexicana

As anyone who has ever eaten a comida corrida – the “daily special” at restaurants in Mexico – knows, the course called sopa seca will either be a plate of rice or some shape of pasta with the ubiquitous tomato sauce. Up until recent years, this sauce hadn’t varied much since the colonial era, but the influence of Mexican […]

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Corn drying in a Oaxaca milpa © Megan Schlow, 2009

Corn, beans and squash: the life cycle of the milpa

The milpa, or cornfield, is probably the most important element in the life of the rural Mexican farmer, apart from his family, or maybe alongside his family, because the milpa represents generations of his people working the soil. Even in places where agricultural production has been industrialized to the point of overshadowing any importance a milpa might have had before, the […]

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April in Aguascalientes: Food and drink at Mexico’s national fair

April is a warm month in Mexico and, while some people choose to spend time at the beach, many others prefer to stroll the streets of the beautiful colonial cities. One of the most architecturally impressive of all, having originated during the era of Spanish colonization, is 400-year-old Aguascalientes, known for its magnificent public buildings, […]

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Immigrant Cooking In Mexico – Part Two: The Italians of Chipilo

The previous column on immigrant cooking in Mexico dealt with the Mennonites of Chihuahua, a group that brought Northern and Eastern European culinary traditions to their new country. A far different cuisine came with the Italians, who largely migrated during the Porfiriato, in the last part of the 19th century. The great wave of migration from Europe during the […]

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Immigrant Cooking in Mexico Part 3: The Lebanese of Puebla

From Cholula to Chicago, taco lovers everywhere know that any taqueria that calls itself poblana, or “from Puebla,” will have tacos arabes on the menu. But not everyone knows that this regional specialty of meat roasted on a vertical spit and served in the thick, pita bread-like wheat tortilla called pan arabe is a prime example of the Mexican- Lebanese culinary fusion that […]

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Beet and mango salad © Karen Hursh Graber, 2013

The beautiful beet: A Mexican salad and drink favorite

Having family members spread out across the globe, we are fairly frequent travelers, with chances to try the cuisines of different countries and their regions. And inevitably, when presented with a new ingredient or use for a familiar one, I ask myself, “How is this used in Mexican cooking?” or even “Is this used in Mexican […]

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Pollo con Manzanas Karen Hursh Graber 2015

Autumn in Mexico: Iconic ingredients for Fall Holidays

In recent years, “seasonal” has become a culinary buzzword, something seemingly new and novel in the U.S. and Canada, where just about anything is available at any time, no matter its origin or how far it must be shipped. In contrast, Mexican cooks have traditionally relied on local availability to determine what to buy and […]

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