Beautiful paths through the gardens. Photo: Edythe Anstey Hanen

Preserving the Past: The Cactus Gardens of Cadereyta de Montes

If Mexico calls to you with its old-world beauty, its bloody but glorious history, its rich culture and the profound pride and love of life that is reflected in the faces of its people, then like me, you will never tire of searching out the country’s endless natural treasures. From the cathedrals of power to […]

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Riding the cart to the train, near Ixhuatan, Oaxaca © Tony Burton 1985

Did you know? Mexico has many “Est”raordinary railway places

An earlier column, “Microwaves (with a view)”, examined the scenic delights to be found by following the “Microondas” road signs that puzzle many first-time visitors. That column probably didn’t appeal to any passing historians, but another road-sign abbreviation, “EST”, could easily have been invented just for them. EST stands for Estación. In some contexts, this would […]

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Making merry in May: Mexico’s National Cheese and Wine Festival

To the north and west of Mexico City lies the region known as El Bajío, often called “Mexico’s breadbasket.” This rugged, high plateau bears a distinct resemblance to central Spain, home of its original settlers. Religious and hard working, they preserved many of the Spanish cultural and culinary traditions, and this part of Mexico is […]

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Enchiladas with buttermilk sauce: Enchiladas de jocoque

Enchiladas with cream sauces are popular in Querétaro, and these use the thick Mexican buttermilk called jocoque, introduced by Mexico’s many Lebanese immigrants. A mixture of regular buttermilk (which is much thinner than jocoque) and Mexican crema, crême fraiche or sour cream makes a good substitute. Ingredients For the green salsa: 1 pound tomatillos, husked 1 medium white onion, coarsely […]

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Mexican Queretaro-style lentil soup with nopales: Sopa de lentejas con nopales estilo Queretaro

This recipe, adapted from Diana Kennedy’s The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, contains the characteristically Mexican ingredients nopales, fresh green chiles and cilantro. Ingredients ½ cup brown lentils, rinsed 6 cups water ½ pound nopal cactus paddles, cleaned and diced salt to taste 1 large green onion, quartered ½ pound tomatoes, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2 tablespoons […]

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