Authentic Mexican Food?

See also my Post :“Cultural” Appropriation of Cuisines? for another aspect of this. What is authentic Mexican (1) food? In my mind it is the food cooked in the homes, by the people. Restaurant food is one aspect of a cultures food but it is a distorted aspect. Just as I don’t eat at a café or restaurante every day for every meal nor does … Continue reading Authentic Mexican Food?

Estrella del Mar (Ulam Raja) : Cosmos caudatus

Cosmos caudatus Synonyms Common Names Sometimes called “Spanish needles” although this name is typically used for the (closely related) herb Bidens pilosa. Some Common Names in Asian countries Indonesia: kenikir (Java), randa midang (West Java). Philippines: cosmos (Tagalog), turay-turay (Bisaya), onwad (Ifugao). Thailand: daoruang-phama (Bangkok), khamhae (northern). Malaysia: ulam raja, hulam raja, pelampong. In Malay culture, the word “ulam” refers to certain plants found locally … Continue reading Estrella del Mar (Ulam Raja) : Cosmos caudatus

Cempasuchil Confusion During Dia de Muertos.

It’s that time of year again. No! Not pumpkin spice season. Dia de Muertos season cabrones (pardon my Galician). This means it is cempoalxóchitl (1) season (2). I have Posted on this herb/flower previously (3). This previous Post discussed the edible and medicinal uses of cempasuchil (and supplies a few recipes too) My social media feeds of late have been filled with a lot of … Continue reading Cempasuchil Confusion During Dia de Muertos.

Ixmiquilpan : Land of the Obsidian Arrow Quelite

Ixmiquilpan, equivalent to Nahuatl Itzmiquilpan, from itzmīquilitl (purslane/verdolagas) +‎ -pan (locative suffix), from Mezquital Otomi Nts’u̱tk’ani, from tsꞌu̱tkꞌǎni (purslane). Ixmiquilpan is a city and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo. It is located in the central west part of the state of Hidalgo in central-eastern Mexico. The first ethnic group to settle in the Mezquital Valley in Hidalgo state were a group of Otomies … Continue reading Ixmiquilpan : Land of the Obsidian Arrow Quelite

Quelite : Piojito : Galinsoga parviflora

Researching this herb has been a joy. It has identified a plant I have seen (as a weed) and am now able to identify as a useful quelite. Research has also uncovered several related plants that also fall into the same categories as weed/quelite. This has expanded my knowledge both as a medical herbalist and as a chef. These are the plants I find the … Continue reading Quelite : Piojito : Galinsoga parviflora

Medicinal Ash.

The tortilla is without a doubt a wonder food. It is produced from that quintessential of all Mexican grains maize (1). Maize is a highly nutritious plant (2) The figures below show the nutritional profile of nixtamalized corn tortillas (and some of their offspring such as totopos/corn chips) in comparison with that of white bread. The plain corn tortilla is nutritionally superior to white bread … Continue reading Medicinal Ash.

Cooking Technique : Tatemar : “Chef, you realise you’re burning that?”*

*Quote from Podcast interview with Aaron Sanchez : Cooking in Mexican From A to Z : A Culinary Journey to the Soul of Mexican Cuisine. Episode 13 (March 17 2021) : Mole Through the Generations. A (non-Mexican) chef was commenting on a (Mexican) chefs preparation of ingredients for a mole negro. Cover Image is from a supermercado in Matamoros that “tatemars” your chiles for you. … Continue reading Cooking Technique : Tatemar : “Chef, you realise you’re burning that?”*

Mole de Olla

Let’s deconstruct a recipe. ¡A darle que es mole de olla! A popular saying of Mexican origin that variously translates to….. Mole de olla (1) is a traditional Mexican soup. It is made of xoconostle, squash, zucchini, green beans, corn, potato (or other vegetables), chambarete and aguja (cuts of meat), submerged into a broth of chile guajillo and chile pasilla seasoned with garlic, onion, and … Continue reading Mole de Olla


Cover Image by Carl Nebel – Voyage pittoresque et archéologique dans la partie la plus intéressante du Mexique par C. Nebel, Architecte. 50 Planches Lithographiées avec texte explicatif., Public Domain Nejayote Also nijayote : from Guerrero Nahuatl nexayotl, Tlamacazapa Nahuatl nexayotl Corn was traditionally processed by cooking and steeping the kernels with lime or wood ashes (1), discarding the cooking liquor or nejayotl (from tenextli … Continue reading Nejayote

The Queen of Tomatillos : Reina de Malinalco

We all know (at least I hope we all know) that the home of the tomato is Mesoamerica. This where the greatest genetic diversity of this plant can be found. If we include the cultivars as well as the heirloom and landrace varieties there are over 10,000 (that’s right TEN THOUSAND) types of tomato out there (Moore 2021). In Nahuatl this fruit was known as … Continue reading The Queen of Tomatillos : Reina de Malinalco