It seems like quite a long time since I cooked according to the plan, doesn’t it? I got so distracted by Thanksgiving and December and Disney and cookies and all the normal holiday foods that somewhere along the line I forgot that I was supposed to be cooking new and exciting Central Mexican things. Oops. Well, all those cookies were good! Nevertheless, I remain dedicated to my task and I shut the door to 2014, I look forward to all the new flavors that await.
You may recall some time ago that I set off to Mexico, and divided the country into three culinary regions. The north wasn’t too shabby, but it offered the type of food that we’d normally associate with Mexico: flour tortillas, meat, beans and cheese. Moving on to the center, I think I’m going to find a few surprises.
According to Serious Eats, the Puebla and Central Mexican region is where “the Spanish settled and really declared it their own,” and its food consists of meat wrapped and roasted or braised in tomatoes and tomatillos, pumpkin seeds 1000 ways, bread adored as in France, and of course, the quintessential Mole Poblano.
Due to its location, Puebla and Central Mexico were stops along the trading routes, and therefore is in its own right a melting pot of flavors from the Middle East, Continental Europe and Africa all enhanced with a Mexican filter. Heavy, fried meats, thick sauces and soups that incorporate traditional Mexican staples such as chiles, beans, meat and cheese combined with more regional ingredients like huitlacoche mushrooms and nopales, the paddle-shaped pads of the abundant prickly pear cactus, are the trademark of Central Mexico.
One category of food that showcases the outsiders’ influence on this particular kind of Mexican cuisine is the street food. For example, tacos arabes, deemed “the taco of Puebla” speaks to either Lebanese or Iraqi influence, and is pork seasoned with a chipotle sauce and cooked in the style of shawarma. They are served on bread rather than traditional corn tortillas.
Hang on to your butts, because 2015 is kicking off with a bang!
I’m sorry that I don’t have any pictures of holiday food or Central Mexico to share. I do, however, have this too-adorable picture of our family cat, Sneakers, asleep by the fire snuggling with a tennis ball. We are a tennis family,and this cat is a Buddha to the core. Anyway, I apologize if you don’t like cats, or cat pictures, but I think you can allow me this one slip up in the 2+ years that I’ve been blogging. If you do like cats and cat pictures, I encourage you to check out Emergency Kitten for your fix.