Cooking in Mexico began as a chronicle of my baking experiences. My very first post was for a delicious almond pound cake and I intended for many more cakes to follow. Instead, my blog took a different direction as I found that my interests really lie with the food of Mexico and its part in the colorful culture of this country. I still love to bake, especially cakes, but there is so much more to explore and share. If Cooking in Mexico can give you a better appreciation for this complex, ancient land and the contributions it has made to culinary history, past and present, I will be satisfied.
My husband Russell, mi esposo, is my chief taster and seafood purchaser. He is the one who can tell me if the mole has enough garlic, the shrimp should be peeled or not before they are cooked, and which is the best fish to buy for caldo de pescado. I can count on him.
In my cooking, I try to minimize chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors — anything that isn’t real food. We have come so far from the food our great-grandparents ate — food that was raised locally and minimally processed. The change has been so complete that a new generation sees food in boxes and cans, laden with chemicals, as the new normal.
I look for organic foods, which are not common in stores in Mexico, but are increasing with each year. Whole wheat flour is usually used instead of white flour in my baking recipes, and sugar is decreased, as I have found that most baking recipes call for at least twice as much sugar as is needed to make delicious desserts.
I buy beef from a local carnicería that sells meat from animals raised on grass on the fields outside of town. When we can, we buy eggs from free-range chickens. And raw milk is purchased from a local family who milk their own cows that are never given antibiotics or growth hormones. Yogurt is made from the milk, and the cream becomes butter and buttermilk. Wild-caught fish are purchased from local fisherman, with sustainability a major consideration.
Animals commercially raised for food often live in terrible conditions with extreme overcrowding and fecal filth, no sunlight, and are fed processed food instead of the natural food they evolved to digest. With poor government oversight and regulations, it becomes the individual’s responsibility to make intelligent and humane decisions when purchasing food.
Pure food, free of chemicals, results in dishes that taste fresh and more intense. I hope Cooking in Mexico inspires you to try a few recipes or create some of your own using traditional Mexican ingredients of the highest quality. Buen provecho! (That you eat well!)
Update: After a four year hiatus, I’m blogging again. New recipes and reviews are posted regularly once more. Thanks for waiting for me. (October, 2015)
Update #2: After living on the west coast of Mexico near Puerto Vallarta for 17 years, we have moved inland to the mountains for cooler summers and a more quiet life style. We now live near Mascota in the state of Jalisco, “the most Mexican of Mexican states”. (December, 2015.