Im not a Foodie

I´m from Mexico, a country full of flavors, where every important moment of our life is accompanied by a delicious food. I love my culture and my roots, i enjoy listening to the stories that are told about each dish in traditional kitchens, around the fire and the laughs, stories full of passion and proudly to be Mexican. Let´s travel through a wonderful cuisine…

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Benedicta Alejo, mexican cook, and her family sharing secret recipes. (Picture: Mexico Tourism Office)

Welcome to MexicoFoodie, a simple space to share ideas and feelings about my passion, is time to open the door to know more about an amazing world, I believe that the food and the best moments of our life always have a conection, you may think for a second about this?, come with me to travel around Mexico and all of things that happens around the food. Yeap, all of us have stories to share, I have one too. Let me write a little more.

I want to start to say that I am not a foodie, actually I am not sure about the exactly meaning of this fancy and new popular word, but I have my own definition, for me, be foodie is be passionate about the food, if you are a person who enjoy every meal, every ingredient, if you smile when you eat your favorite food, between us exists one item in common…

By the way, do you know that Mexican Cuisine was registered in the Representative List of Intangible World Heritage by UNESCO?, yes, was in 2010 when the Government presented a very interesting file that was accepted and published, since 2010 Mexico have an important work about its food, if you want to know more about it, please go to the button: Mexican Cuisine.

To go deeply in the amazing world of the Traditional Mexican Food, we need to start by the roots, but before that, I want to share with you my own history…

I was working for the Goverment of Michoacan, was in 2008, 2 years before the nomination, when I received an email from my boss: you have to go to Angahuan to talk with a woman, her name is Juana, she is a traditional cook and lives near to the Paricutin Volcano, it is the youngest volcano formed in the Northern Hemisphere and one of the very few volcanoes whose birth has been witnessed by man, is located in the Mexican municipality of San Juan Parangaricutiro, Michoacan, 29 km west of the city of Uruapan and about 322 km west of Mexico City.

I prepared my travel, I was really excited about the place, the volcano, food, a woman with a good story, but my idea was insignificant compared to what I found.

Was 8 years ago when my love story began, a love story between the mexican cuisine and me, I really have an affair with the traditional food, with the flavors, the smells, the colors, the ingredients, with the cooks, with the corn and the beans, with the stories that the elderlies talk around the fire while we are drinking a pumpkin atole, my favorite, with the moles, bicolor tortillas, tamales, atapakuas, sauces, grains, utensils, and with the real tradition… Juana introduced me in this dream with her story.

After Juana, i met Benedicta, Antonina, Amparito, Esperanza and Maria Ines, six women that people called: Nana Keris.

Nana Keri is an old woman in a indigenous community that all knows, the young women in the town ask her about the ingredients, about the recipes, about the secrets in the kitchen, but her deepest secrets will only be shared with her daughters, starting with the knowledge process during their childhood, step by step, improving their skills, learning a new recipe in every celebration, following all the instructions from the Nana Keri, until the right time comes… The time to know everything about the Mexican Cuisine in their community, because is how the tradition continue alive trough the years.

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Tha granddaughter of Benedicta, her name is Melita. (Picture: Mexico Tourism Office)

They do not use book recipes; all ingredients amounts and forms of preparation have them in your mind. That is why each has its special touch, no exist two identical dishes all depends the form to prepare it. Use organic ingredients, many of them cultivated by themselves in their small home yard, they know every product, the time it is ready for use and the best way to transform it into a delicious dish. They do not use seasonings or oil, seasoned only with herbs and salt, grinding in the metate cooking with simmered on wood stoves using clay pots and wooden spoons.

The art of cooking in the indigenous towns of Mexico is not a solitary activity; they do it in community, because the dishes will be shared with the family or with the people in a special celebration. Sounds fantastic? This is the reason that this kitchen is alive, today, at this moment, you can find traditional cooks in Mexico, in any small town, behind a stove, cooking traditional dishes with ingredients from the farm, sea or garden, teaching the younger ones with patience and love, but with discipline and respect for tradition.

That is why the traditional cuisine of Mexico today is considered one of the most extraordinary, by the process through the years has remained in force, including the techniques, using ingredients and recipes saved with a passion for older women since ancient times.

 

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