The Journey Begins

The grocer, not the conquistador, is the real Spanish father of Mexican society” (Pilcher, 1998)

The food culture of México has been poorly represented. We take ingredients such as corn, tomatoes, avocados and chocolate (and a hundred other things) for granted. Not a lot of thought goes into how far these plants have travelled nor the impact they have had on the culture of the whole world. There is no continent, except perhaps Antarctica, where a Mexican plant has not gained a foothold and thrust its roots into both the soil of that land and the kitchens of its people. In many circumstances this has happened so completely that the inhabitants of that land believe the plant involved actually came from right where they live. More than one culture believes that the chile is indigenous to their homeland. Not just our kitchens have been affected. Plants such as the prickly pear cactus and the agave are recognisable in many landscapes but how many of us know where they originated? One thing I found was that although many of the foodstuffs that originated from the Americas are easily identifiable and well known (even if we don’t know their origin) I was almost completely unaware of the herbs that were endemic to México. As a chef I was enamoured of all things herb and spice. I was known as the “herb guy” even as an apprentice but my knowledge was limited to Western and Asian herbs and spices. My knowledge of Mexican food was truly non-existent. I had only been exposed to the most hideous of Tex-Mex food, you know, the kinds of restaurant where your pina colada (also not Mexican) came in a 1 litre bucket. Oh the travesty. Then I stumbled over one word. Papaloquelite. By this time I was studying as a Naturopath and herbs had taken on a new meaning and I realised that my knowledge of México was abysmal. And thus began my journey. I have since been to México with the intent to study the herbs and the street food and will again return one day to delve more deeply into the practices of Curanderismo. What you now see before you is my take on México. It is a culinary, botanical, medicinal, historical and mythological look at only a very small portion of Mexico’s impact on me.

The stones of this land speak to me. I hear their songs in my dreams.


The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice.

The information contained within has been researched and written with the greatest possible care. It must be noted that due to ongoing research in the field of nutrition and continuing developments within the field of herbal medicine, errors may appear.

Do not attempt any self-diagnosis or treatment of any serious illness or long term ailments without first consulting a qualified practitioner.

Do not undertake any course of self-treatment if taking pharmaceutical medications without first seeking the advice of a qualified practitioner.

Always seek medical advice if symptoms persist.

Neither the author nor the publisher can be held responsible for claims arising from the mistaken identity of any herbs/plants, whether used as food or medicine or the inappropriate use of any remedy or healing/dietary regime.

If you are not 100% sure of the correct identification of a plant/herb then do not use it.

All opinions on this site are solely those of the author and do not represent any organisation or business that may be mentioned.

All attempts have been made to accurately reference any organisation, business or product mentioned within and any such organisation, business or product have only been mentioned due to the authors own interests.

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