Mex Xmas Drinks


Baby it’s cold outside ♪  Then let’s have some ponche & champurrado! Take a look at these vids about warm drinks that are traditionally enjoyed during Christmas =)

I’ve heard Champurrado described as  mix between hot chocolate & porridge. The drink is thickened with cornstarch/cornflour.  Champurrado comes in many flavors, &  can be seen during Xmas time served with tamales =) During “Posadas” = Xmas processions/parties, “Ponche Navideño” (Christmas Punch) a warm drink brewed with a blend of fruits is given to guest.  The basic punch recipe contains: Guava, Cinnamon, Hibiscus flower, tamarind, cane, Tejocotes (hawthorn).  For both the champurrado & ponche pilloncillo are used which is cone shaped Mexican dark brown sugar.


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Mexican Cultural Treasures added to UNESCO heritage list


Forty six new cultural assets have been added to UNESCO’S (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)  list of  “Intangible Cultural Heritage”. A list containing traditional treasures from different corners of the globe, cornerstones and representations of diverse communities and cultures. A list that gives these treasure distinguished status, & tells the world they are patrimony that is to be admired and safeguarded. Among those treasures are Mexican customs & staples.  Please enjoy the following videos showcasing the Mexican assets that have made it on to UNESCOS’s list.  Congratulations Mexico & fellow Mexicans! May we continue to feel pride for our roots and preserve them with honor.

More on this topic: UNESCO’S Webpage –http://tiny.cc/k8xra , Article: Mexican Cuisine Makes UNESCO’s Heratige Listhttp://tiny.cc/0porm


Mexico – Parachicos in the traditional January feast of Chiapa de Corzo

Mexico – Pirekua, traditional song of the P’urhépecha

Mexico – Traditional Mexican cuisine



Mexican Food: Machacado con Huevo


It’s that time again! Time for some delicious Mexican gastronomy!  Today’s dish is  know as  “Machacado con Huevo”, “Machaca con Huevo”, or simply “Machaca” = Eggs & Mash/ shredded with eggs. Pronounced something like  : mah-chah-kah-doh-kohn-oo-eh-boh.  The verb “Machacar” means to mash/grind.

This is a typical dish from Monterrey &  is “said to have originated in the town of Ciénega de Flores, about an hour north of MonterreyMexico.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machacado_con_huevo

This yummy & easy recipe makes use of  eggs & cured, dried meat. In other words beef jerky, but not the kind you buy at the 7 eleven, the one you buy at the butcher shop.  Although, hmm who knows?  Maybe if you’re  in a bind the 7eleven jerky could work?  lol  Maybe not =S   The original dish, traditionally would call for beef jerky, since people in the olden days use to swear by cured meats due to the convenience and shelf life.  Variations do exist , some use shredded beef instead.  I’ve seen my mom make this with “carne seca” (meaning dehydrated meat) she’s brought home from Mex,  meat like this: http://www.vtdviaje.com.mx/vtd/images/stories/Nuevo_Leon/Gusto_Gourmet_Nuevo_Leon/carne-seca.jpg & shredded beef, so both ways.

In the first video they have a pre-machado mix, which I had never seen, actually…  But in the end it’s up to what’s to your liking & or convenience  =) You can look for “carne seca”  in packages in your local Mexican, Latin American Supermarket.  Like this for example: http://loscorrales.net/products.htm This is just me, but I think the dish is neatest when you can start  with whole pieces of “carne seca” from the butcher shop.

 

*Notice how the first recipe adds a tomato sauce, but in the  succedent recipes the tomatoes are diced and added. See there are many variations, just learn the basics and make the recipe your own.

This chef notes that, the dish is typically eaten with flour tortillas, but is equally tasty with corn tortillas.

Mexican Food : The treat known as Amaranto


Amaranto is a traditional Mexican candy also know as “Alegría” (happiness, joy, cheer).  A treat who’s ingredients &  manufacturing process have a long standing  history. The candy’s main ingredient is the intensely nutritious grain knows as amaranth, it is so nutritious than it surpass both rice & wheat. Amaranth was a staple food of the Aztecs.  Alegría candy bars contain : nuts, pepitas(pumpkin seeds), rasins, & the amaranth grain  which are “glued” together with pilloncillo(a type of unrefined sugar that usually comes in cones, known to some as “Mexican brown sugar”)

MORE INFO :

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

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

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

Curious Mexican Expressions :A Taco is not always a taco


A  taco is not always a taco, what does this mean? Taco is a word often used in very colloquial expressions in (Mex)Spanish to refer to a meal or something to eat. A “taco” could mean: a tostada, a sandwich, pasta, rice, steak, a burger, a caldo, pizza, sweet bread, ham and eggs, a microwave meal….etc  In a word, a variety of things. Reminds me of how in Korean the word “pap” means rice (cooked) but also means, meal.

Examples of  Expressions with “TACO” :

#1 “No tengo que ofrecerte, mas que un taquito. “ = Literally this means I have nothing to offer you, but a small taco. *Notice how the word taco takes on the diminutive “taquito”.  Remember the post on diminutives? Diminutives are used to soften commands, statements, express politeness. So the expression would mean something like “I don’t have much to offer you except a humble meal.”

#2 “No he comido un taco en todo el santo dia! “= Literally ” I have not eaten a single taco during this whole blessed day!” Meaning:  I haven’t had a single bite to eat today.

#3 Say you have company and your parents aren’t around when they come home and see the guests they ask you “Ya les ofresciste un taquito?” Literally: did you offer them (guests) a small taco?= Did you offer the guests something to eat?

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

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