Crafts for Traditional Cuisine

Captura de pantalla 2015-02-27 a la(s) 09.36.38
Photo: Mexico Tourism Office

We talked to one of the most important elements in traditional cooking is the transmission of recipes from mother to daughter, the secrets that are shared only with family and go generation to generation. But another of the wonders of traditional cuisine is the legacy and heritage of the tools used to achieve the best dishes.

To cook in Mexico, the hands of artesans produce pieces that are fundamentals to grind, to mix, to flatten, to grind, these crafts dedicated to the kitchen are also inheritances. When the youngest daughter of a family marries, she will inherit the most precious instruments cookery from her mother, the symbolism is very important, it is not only inheriting a beautiful piece that used in the kitchen, also is receiving tradition and a living heritage as it is in Mexico our traditional cuisine.

Here 5 of handicrafts popular in Mexico kitchen, when you visit one of the regions of the country, you have to look for some of them, tortillas and sauces do never have the same flavor without a good comal of mud or a morter made of stone.

1. Metate  (Grinding Stone)

metate maiz
Metate (Photo: FotoRecurso 2016)

El Metate is one of the most popular instruments by traditional cooks. It is a large stone square which is accompanied by another cylindrical piece made of volcanic stone that crushed food .

In the metate the masa is ground to make tortillas, seeds, grains and many ingredients to be used to make the dishes.

The metate is very appreciated by grandmothers and only inherit the daughters or granddaughters who have learned the technique and recipes, but when the time of the wedding, is delivered in a symbolic way to express that the new wife is ready to cook for her new family.

2. Molcajete (Mortar)

Molcajete ThingLink
Molcajete (Photo: ThingLink)

The Molcajete is one of the most beautiful pieces in traditional cuisine, this object is made of volcanic stone and its use goes back to pre-Hispanic times.

Forms depend on their creator; the most popular is the round shape. Molcajete or mortar used with a small stone that will be the tool to grind food. But we can find made out of different materials, sets and figures, depending on the creativity of the artisan.

In Mexico it is used to make sauces, of all colors and flavors, from the simplest to the spiciest.

3. Molinillo (Beverage Frother)

Molinillos (Photo: Ven a Comer – Goverment of Mexico)

Our ancestors valued cocoa as one of the most appreciated products. One of the most representative mexican beverage is definitely the hot chocolate drink, made in the traditional way.

To make that this special beverage can be perfectly well mixed with sufficient foam is necessary to use a tool called Molinillo, is made of wood and at the same time helps to mix and to achieve a perfect hot chocolate using the correct technique.

4. Tortilla Press

Tortilla Press (Photo: Ven a Comer – Goverment of Mexico)

A good traditional cook does not use it, she with her hands manages the dough is completely flat to make tortillas, but certainly over time the tortilla press has become more popular in our country.

A small portion of dough is placed in the center and only pressed to get a perfect circle after cooking will become a delicious Mexican tortilla.

You can find them made of wood or metal, square or round, magic is that after used the press tool always the tortillas have the same shape, the secret is in the dough must form a small ball so that when pressed always achieve the same figure.

5. Clay Pot and Wooden spoons

Ollas de Barro
Clay Pot (Photo: Ven a Comer – Goverment of Mexico)

In the house of all Mexican grandmothers there is a clay pot telling a family story. They say that the taste of food is totally different when this type of artisanal pot used. Sizes, shapes and colors, for beans, rice or main dishes, a great result will depend on the touch of the cook.

Undoubtedly wooden craft spoons give a special flavor to our traditional cuisine. You find them all over Mexico and are so colorful that sometimes are also used to decorate. Wooden spoons help the noble task of cooking, to make a good atole being necessary stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, a Mexican mole or some beans.




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