Mexicans synonymous with beans to you? You need to learn about Nopales my friend.


There are those who will automatically connect Mexicans with beans some so much so as to venture to stereotype.  The truth unbeknownst to them however,  there is a Mexican diet staple which far surpasses beans when it comes to being emblematic and symbolic. The nopal is a true symbol of our people.  Depicted in artwork,  named in songs , and referenced in sayings.  For example: when a person tries to deny their Mexican heritage they are greeted with the following saying  “Luego,  luego se te ve el nopalote” which would translate to something like “Oh please you might as well have a big o’l  cactus plant growing out of your head, because there’s no denying you’re 100% Mexican.”

But why does the  nopal hold such a notable position in our culture? Although it does play a big role when it comes to : Mexican  diet, agriculture, traditions, and the economy the most  important reason is yet another.  The nopal is  important  because of  it’s role in Mexico’s history. It is forever linked to our people through being  part of our folklore &  mythology.  Mexico’s legendary founding is a tale of how the heavens guided the Aztects to their future kingdom Tenochtitlan by sending them in search of a cactus plant with an eagled pearched on top eating a snake. The tale which  is what is depreciated on our flag.

TORTILLAS MADE OUT OF NOPALES :http://store.nopaltilla.com/

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WHAT’S A NOPAL ?

Nopales (from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit) are a vegetable made from the young cladophyll (pad) segments of prickly pear, carefully peeled to remove the spines. These fleshy pads are flat and about hand-sized. They can be purple or green. They are particularly common in their native Mexico, where the plant is eaten commonly and regularly forms part of a variety of Mexican cuisine dishes. Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica, although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible.

Nopales are generally sold fresh in Mexico. In more recent years bottled, or canned versions are available mostly for export. Less often dried versions are available. Used to prepare nopalitos, they have a light, slightly tart flavor, like green beans, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture. In most recipes the mucilaginous liquid they contain is included in the cooking. They are at their most tender and juicy in the spring.[1]

Though Nopales are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales (eggs with nopal), “carne con nopales” (meat with nopal), “tacos de nopales”, or simply on their own or in salads with Panela Cheese. Nopales have also grown to be an important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine.[2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nopal

Health Benefits-

Nopales are very rich in insoluble and especially soluble dietary fiber. They are also rich in vitamins (especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, but also riboflavin and vitamin B6) and minerals (especiallymagnesium, potassium, and manganese, but also iron and copper). Nopales have a high calcium content, but the nutrient is not biologically available because it is present as calcium oxalate, which is neither highly soluble nor easily absorbed through the intestinal wall.[3] Addition of nopales also reduces the glycemic effect of a mixed meal.[4] Nopales are low carbohydrate and may help in the treatment of diabetes.[5]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nopal

Nopales are a recognized in culinary circles as a gourmet ingredient.

photo credits : http://cdn0.grupos.emagister.com/imagen/flor_de_nopal_330684_t0.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/Nopal_cacti_in_Merced.JPG

whatscooking.us

For all your authentic Mexican Product Needs


Get to know MexGrocer  an awesome online company who’s mission is to share with you Authentic,specialty,

Mexican products.  MexGrocer is definitely Mega Super Chido stuff!  Some of the products they sell you can find in regular super markets, but other stuff is exclusive & special finds that are only available online. And even though some stuff is sold in supermarkets there are those who do not live near a Hispanic shopping center. But if that’s your case, then no prob, MexGrocer is her to help.

Mexicans: Why they’re so fresh


In today’s Mexican food section we have the thirst quenching , smile widening ,comfort food(drink actually)  “AGUAS FRESCAS” =  translated  Fresh waters.  “Aguas Frescas” are a very popular drink found in Mexico. “Aguas Frescas” can  easily be found in  all sorts of  restaurants or at vendor stands in Mexico. Truly there is  never a wrong moment for this delicious beverage. Proud to hold a place in Mexican homes(in Mexico & abroad), an essential part celebrations, & even sold after mass by the parishioners at some churches….  Just like a nice cold bottle of pop is a match made in heaven for a delicious order of burger & fries, no  drink gets along better with Mexican food than aguas frescas. Aguas frescas are know for not only their refreshing flavor & eye catching color, but also the famous large pitcher/jugs in which they  are made & stored in. Aguas frescas  are sold both in cups & for extra fun &  for more of a quirkiness factor, in plastic bags tied up with a straw inside.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aguas_frescas

Aguas frescas (Spanish for “fresh (cold) waters”) are a combination of either fruits, cereals, or seeds, and sugar and water, blended together to make a refreshing beverage. Although they originated and are most common in Mexico, aguas frescas have also become popular in Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States. Some of the most popular flavors include agua de tamarindo (made with tamarind pods), agua de jamaica (made with roselle), and agua de horchata (usually made with rice and cinnamon).

It is possible that from these aguas frescas the production of bottled fruit sodas such as Jarritos arose. In Mexico the beverage is often sold by street vendors, but in many cases fine Mexican restaurants will have a good selection of Aguas Frescas available.

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Aguas frescas come in all kinds of flavors :

WATERMELON

STRAWBERRY

RICE & CINNAMON

ALFALFA

DRIED HIBISCUS FLOWERS

TAMARIND

PINEAPPLE

LIME

GUAVA

& the list goes on & on!

In case U are wondering  =P Jamaica (hibiscus tea) is my favorite! Give me some & I’ll be in a good mood/ totally agreeable all day long =)

You can find “Aguas Frescas”   here in the U.S. in :  Mexican restaurants, or you can look for “Agua Fresca” shops too, they’re kinda like  a  smoothie shop only better =D  You can sometimes buy a nice tall fresh glass of “agua fresca” in your local Hispanic supermarket.

Although, I highly recommend that you enjoy a freshly made glass of this yummy treat, just in case you can’t get your hands on some of this awesome elixir freshly brewed… Worry not! You can buy instant “Agua Frescas” powder or canned drinks(also found in larger carton)in your local supermarket in the International foods isle, refrigerated  or you can also try online.  I love having these on hand for convenience.

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For more Aguas frescas info, recipes & products visit

http://www.mexgrocer.com/mexcocina-sep4.html

You can shop @ Superior Grocers

http://www.superiorgrocers.com/

http://www.klass.com/home.html

Stater Bros

Food 4 Less

Gigante Supermarkets

Just to name a few, don’t be shy. Go ahead & explore, there are many Mexican grocers through out =D


AGUAS FRESCAS RECIPES

from Foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • 1 large cantaloupe or half a watermelon, seeded and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 to 3 limes, juiced

Directions

This and other similar fruit drinks, which translate literally as “fresh water,” are served all over Mexico and they’re a cinch to replicate at home. The key is to strain the pulpy fruit to make a clearer liquid. Instead of melon, you could use strawberries, pineapple, or mango — any fruit that is soft enough to puree.

Puree cantaloupe and pour through a fine sieve to eliminate pulp. In a pitcher, mix strained fruit puree with water and season with sugar and lime juice, to taste.

FROM MEXICANGROCER.COM

Agua de Tamarindo (Tamarind-flavored Water)

Tamarinds are used frequently in both Thai and Indian cooking. In Mexico they’re hugely popular and are regularly used to make aguas dulces, or sweet waters. They’re also used to make dulces de tamarindo, or tamarind candies. The pods of the tamarind tree are used in this delicious, unique drink. This recipe takes about an hour to prepare and another hour or so to chill. It makes a half gallon. Or, to buy a quick and easy mix for Agua de Tamarindo at MexGrocer click here at,Agua de Tamarindo.

20 tamarindo pods(three packages)
2 quarts water
1 1/2 cups sugar (or to taste)

Peel the tamarindo pods, removing the veins that run along the sides. Leave the seeds.

In medium saucepan, bring one quart water to a boil. Add peeled tamarindo pods. Boil over high heat for approximately 15 minutes, or until the pulp is soft.

Remove from heat and let cool until the pulp is ready to handle. Remove seeds from pulp and discard, along with any remaining bits of peel. Empty the saucepan into a blender. Add sugar and blend until liquified. Run the mixture through a strainer, discarding extra pulp. Pour into a pitcher and mix with remaining quart of water. Chill thoroughly before serving. Pour into tall, ice-filled glasses and serve.

FROM SIMPLE RECIPES.COM

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound diced seedless or seeded watermelon (without rind), about 3-4 cups
  • 8 ounces strawberries, stems removed (about a pint)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cold water

SHOP MEXICAN


Remember the post about “Pan Dulce Mexicano” (Mexican Sweet Bread)?  If not I suggest ya check it out 😉  Well if you did check it out, I think you’ll find this next little post kinda quirky & amusing.  If you love Mexican stuff, or  if you are in the market for cute accessories and or knick knacks or if you just love novelty items,  boy have I your fix! Hold on to your socks It’s PAN DULCE themed!! In my humble opinion they are just too awesome to pass up on!  Items available include: Make up bags, coin purses, and what I think  to be the piece de resistance : A BACKPACK!! Seriously these are way way wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy to cute & cool for words. The coin purses  come in Concha(Shell bread) Oreja(ear), & Puerquitos(Piggy cookies).  The conchas come in chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. Conchas are also available in backpack form. The make up bag is a big yummy churro.  Also there are couch pillows available in choncha & empanada styles.  If you want to impress Mexican friends I think this is a really really cute, funny,  fun  way to. Or if you’re Mexican, this is a supermega chido way to represent. Seriously these are conversation starters, and other while definitely fawn over them & be green with envy. Guys, your girl will love them as a present! But enough yakity yak about them, let me post the awesome links and pictures now. P.S  Here is the cherry on top of it all!  The kicker!!! The true Highlight! They are delivered in real pink pastry boxes!! OMG! I’m so like way into this product, maybe I should marry it… Hmmm.. JK  =p

OK, ALL these “Sweet” products can be found on xochico.com Feel free to surf through the whole site or go directly to the items with the following links.

KEYCHAINS http://xochico.com/PD/KC/llaveros.html

BACKPACKS http://xochico.com/PD/BP/PDbp.html

COIN PURSES http://xochico.com/PD/Monederos/PDcoinP.html

PILLOWS http://xochico.com/PD/Cushions/PDcushions.html

MAKEUP BAG http://xochico.com/PD/MUB/Churro.html

FUZZIES(Mirror Hanging decor) http://xochico.com/PD/Fuzzies/PDfuzzies.html


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EMPANADA PILLOW

EMPANADA PILLOW

OREJA BREAD

OREJA BREAD

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FNMCornMuffinChurros_s3x4_lgCHURRO MAKEUP BAG

CHURRO MAKEUP BAG

PUERQUITO COOKIE

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PUERQUITO COOKIE
REAL CONCHAS FOR REFRENCE & COMPARISON

REAL CONCHAS FOR REFERENCE & COMPARISON

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A CONCHA BACK PACK

CONCHAS REARVIEW MIRROR HANGIES

CHOCOLATE CONCHA COINPURSE

CONCHA KEYCHAINPDchair

CHOCOLATE CONCHA COIN PURSE & KEY CHAIN & PILLOW