The ways in which ingredients are prepared and combined to create the robust tastes and textures characteristic of Mexican cuisine have changed little over the centuries. Yes, in many homes, blenders often do the work that was once done by hand in a molcajete carved out of volcanic rock, and pressure cookers sometimes replace the large clay pots in which the household's daily beans were simmered for hours. Stoves, some with ovens, are used by most cooks, yet cooking over coals is still the preferred method to prepare certain dishes, such as pescado tikin xik. And for many indigenous families, charcoal is still the only source of cooking fuel. But preparing Mexican food, though not complicated, remains labor-intensive, especially if you want to capture its essential flavors. Luckily, most of the components of the dishes can be prepared in advance, often resulting in even richer and more balanced flavors.
Food, shared with friends and acquaintances, brings us together in elemental hospitality. Food and the sharing of it in Mexico have, since earliest times, given rise to wonderful dichos (sayings) from the kitchen. This hand-embroidered tablecloth was made for display at Pátzcuaro's Museo Regional del Arte Popular (Regional Folk Arts Museum). Every one of its many, many sayings stiched into the cloth is a dicho de la cocina. The one closest to the bottom of the photo says, \"Del plato a la boca, se cae la sopa.\" (\"Between the plate and the mouth, the soup spills\"--which means \"between one's intention and one's accomplishment, a lot can go wrong\".
La Palapa focuses on Mexico City tacos and authentic regional Mexican cuisine featuring Tacos al Pastor, Mole Negro Oaxaqueño, Salsa Pibil and many other specialties from different regions of Mexico. Salsas and sauces are rich and spicy and fresh ingredients are used. A palapa is a palm-thatched shelter on a Mexican beach where you can relax with your feet in the sand looking at the ocean while you sip an ice cold cerveza flavored with lime and salt, and eat a spicy shrimp taco with salsa guajillo.
Celia Florián sums up Oaxacan cuisine with the words mole, corn and mezcal. But the cuisine and the culture behind it are a complicated tapestry of local and seasonal ingredients that distinguish dishes among the many small valleys of this mountainous state.
Octavio Paz comes to this topic as a native speaker, of sorts, in two cultural and culinary discourses, with all the benefits signaled in the epigraphs from Sor Juana and Carpentier. Already of a philosophical turn of mind, he brings to his work the metaphorical depth and imagination of the poet, including a richly contextualized body of food metaphors. Likewise, in a number of his essays on the United States, he highlights the inherent comparative advantage of a deep immersion in the Mexican culinary philosophy, which enhances his intellectual appreciation of culture from both sides of the U.S.A./Mexican border. At the same time, the essays in Paz's oeuvre that support this line of reading also make clear that the U.S.A., with its laughably weak food culture, has very little basis to support its end of a potential debate. Thus, alongside his explicit comparative discussions of Mexican and U.S. political and cultural systems, we find sprinkled in brief discussions of Mexican cuisine and U.S. food, as well as other essays that focus even more specifically on the topic, often with titles like: \"La mesa y el lecho\" (this key essay was written in Cambridge, Mass in 1971, and included in Ogro), \"El banquete y el ermitano\", \"Hartazgo y nausea,\" \"Conocimiento, drogas, inspiracion\" (Corriente alterna), \"Lo lleno y lo vacio\" (Vislumbres), \"La pluma y el metate\" (In/mediaciones).1 To follow one line of metaphor prominent in these essays, we might be tempted to conclude that it is not the Protestant Reform and the Catholic Counter-reformation that defined the much-referenced civilizational differences between the two nations, but the presence or absence of a developed \"filosofia de cocina.\"
After thirty years of leading culinary tours throughout Mexico, Marilyn Tausend teams up with Mexican chef and regional cooking authority Ricardo Muñoz Zurita to describe how the cultures of many profoundly different peoples combined to produce the unmistakable flavors of Mexican food. Weaving engrossing personal narrative with a broad selection of recipes, the authors show how the culinary heritage of indigenous groups, Europeans, and Africans coalesced into one of the world's most celebrated cuisines. Cooks from a variety of cultures share recipes and stories that provide a glimpse into the pages. 59ce067264