Mexican cuisine combines the traditional indigenous foods of the Aztecs and Mayas, like chocolate, corn, tomato, avocado, beans and chile peppers, with the meats, rice and garlic brought to Mexico by the Spanish conquistadores.
One of the best ways to learn about a culture is by examining the way its people eat. How do they see food? What role does it play? What techniques have they developed for creating meals using their indigenous foods?
Cookbooks are like snapshots of a people. La Parilla by Reed Hearon captures the Mexican culture by examining the mainstay of their kitchens, the simple grill. Grilling in Mexico is an integral part of the lifestyle. Hearon masterfully details the ingredients used—ingredients not found in other countries or at least not in the same combination. He notes the use of "recados"—spice blends that mimic in function but not in taste the garam masalas of India, or France's herbs de Provence. What a country does with its native fruits and vegetables also paints a picture of the resources, terrain and climate. In Mexico, the heat of the chiles causes sweat, making us cooler, while banana leaves act as both cooking vessels and flavoring agents.
Take a trip beyond the tacky border towns, past the cantinas, and go deep into the interior of Mexico. You'll be treated to Charred Habanero Salsa, Red Snapper, Duck and Pomegranite Tacos, and other everyday foods bursting with flavor from La Parilla.
from La Parilla
from Kate's Global Kitchen
Mexico on Wikipedia
More country Destinations
This page modified January 2007
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