Andreja Brulc's Blog

MEXICO Project: Happy 2013 from Mexico!

Posted in Greetings Cards, Marketing material, MEXICO by andrejabrulc on 31/12/2012

Thank you for following my blog – I wish you a prosperous Happy 2013 and greetings from Mexico!

This typo ‘Happy 2013’ card consists of food ingredients, all of which are staple foods and native to Mexico. It starts and ends with the essential ingredients of Mexican cuisine – beans as in beans and beans as in chocolate. The ‘typo card’ is my idea of Como agua para chocolate! If you have not read the book or seen the movie, read or see it in 2013! Only then you can understand Mexican ‘love affair’ with their food!

Feliz 2013! Srečno 2013! Glücklich 2013! Felice 2013!

Happy_2013

H – frijol (bean) – One of the Three Sisters that were the three main native crop plants that originated in Mexico: the other two are maize (corn) and squash. These tasty beans come in or with just about anything. I am hooked!

A – chayote (pear squash) – It is a delicious salad ingredient. Definitely absolutely hooked!

P – Catarina chile – It is related to the Cascabel chile (rattle chile) group that originates in Mexico. All other chillies, when dried, looked at first quite similar to me, while I fell under the spell of these two species almost immediately as they look so different, interesting and recognisable with their teardrop shape. They are also quite musical – their rattling sound of the seeds inside when shaken surpasses all the maracas on the market, a traditional Mexican toy that has unfortunately almost disappeared (thanks to China!) and therefore hard to find. The chilli is used to make tamales, marinades, stews and soups. Tamales are a must when in Mexico!

P – Tomatillo ( Mexican tomato) – It is an essential ingredient to prepare green moles (sauces) together with the poblano chile peppers. One of my favourite dishes – Angela’s Espagueti con chile poblano, our chef at Arquetopia. I was spoiled rotten!

Y – Chile de arbol (literally translated as ‘tree chillies’ as the bush on which they grow resembles a small tree). The chilli is a very narrow and curved that starts out green and matures to bright red colour. Unlike many chillies, this one remains bright red even after drying. The fresh version has the same name. So, definitely another chilli pepper that I can easily recognise – and I better as it is so so so hot! They are very small, and the smaller the chilli pepper the hotter a burning sensation. I managed to get them into my eyes when taking photos – I cried!

2 – Habanero chile – These chillies, the hottest chilli peppers found in Mexico, are the dreaded and deadly Yucatán killer, known to the Mayas as the ‘crying tongue’. They are very small (2–6 cms long) and lantern-shaped. They range from light green when unripe to bright orange when ripe. They are grown on the Yucatán peninsula only and are thus an essential ingredient of Yucatán food. When researching this chilli for my book I found the following warning: ‘The peppers are actually so hot and dangerous that precautionary measures should be taken when handling them, including nylon or latex gloves and goggles to prevent getting capsaicin in your eyes. Capsaicin is the chemical used in Pepper Spray. When cooking with these, be conservative in the amounts used. Habanero chilies are rated 100,000–350,000 on the Scoville scale.’ Another account tells me that ‘some chillies [habanero are part of it] are so pungent that a farmer needs to wear gloves in order to avoid the skin on their hands from blistering. Blimey! An exeggeration or what! But I only now understand my agony of 10 years ago when I was in Yucatán – my food must have contained this chilli! I am now absolutely certain. The sensation of the heat in my mouth felt as if I was buring in hell! I had to drink 5 cervezzas afterwards and I was still in agony! The only good thing is that I now feel I am a veteran – I can eat anything with chillies and nothing will ever feel like that experience in Tolumn!

0 – Aguacate (avocado) – Well, no need to explain. Our favourite dish of all generations on our planet – guacamole dip – with tortilla chips accompanied by a bottle of cervezza. I will never forget the experience of the best-flavoured avocado I ever tasted in my life – it melted on my tongue like butter! The secret – it was freshly picked from a tree! Wow, double in heaven!

1 – Calabacín (squash or courgette) – Leaving in a boring land of northern Europe where exotic fruits and vegetables have a long way to travel to, to my pleasure, squash can grow quite well in our climate, so no wonder why courgettes find their way on my plate quite often (yeah, I am a bit of a courgette addict!).

3 – Maíz (maize or corn) – A daily staple food to make tortillas, a Mexican ‘bread’. It comes in three colours: white, yellow and blue.

! – Granos de cacao (cocoa beans) – Essential: CHOCOLATE, yes, with capital letters! ‘I can resist everything but ???‘ Perhaps my new year’s resolution but I shall say no more!

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2 Responses

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  1. Graham & Phai said, on 31/12/2012 at 5:31 am

    Fantastic! Happy New Year Andreja . . . . we will bring chocolate next time we are over 😀 – Love, graham and Phai

    • andrejabrulc said, on 31/12/2012 at 5:54 am

      Happy New Year to you both in Bangkok. Yes please do (I hope it is soon), chocolate is the cure to everything :). Love, Andreja


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