Tag Archives: Culture

Death is a Party: El Día de Muertos

  

“The Mexican is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, and celebrates it. It is one of his favorite playthings and his most steadfast love.”   

-Octavio Paz

Photos: Lissette Storch – Puebla, Mexico

 

Death is a verb and a noun.

In Mexico, death is an ultimate experience of life, and in what seems to be a constant attempt to make it look approachable, we have made her look human and we have dressed her up; we have given her nicknames, le hablamos de tú*.

Death is a ‘she’.

Originally, sugar skulls were created as a reminder of the fact that death  awaits us at any turn, and it is one of  the many expressions of our inevitable relationship with “the lady with many names”: La Catrina (“the rich or elegant one”), La Tía de las Muchachas (“the girls’ aunt”), La Fría (“the cold one”), La Novia Blanca (“the white bride”). Death is a character that wanders amongst us.

Death is life.

Like any other Mexican celebration, food is at the center of el Día de Muertos. Along with pan de muerto (literally, “bread of dead”) and cempasúchil flowers, sugar skulls are staples of this festivity. It is virtually impossible to stumble upon any particular element of  el Día de Muertos that does not have a deliberate purpose or meaning. From the bread that symbolizes the circle of life and communion with the body of the dead, to the flowers that make a nod to the ephemeral nature of life, this ritual, especially in rural Mexico, is rich in both form and content.

I grew up in the city, and for the most part, I participated in these festivities as a spectator. It was not until my grandmother died a few years ago, when my uncle and my mother took over perpetuating this three-thousand-year-old tradition, that I became involved and more intrigued by it.

Year after year, the family travels to a small village in the outskirts of Puebla to  set up an ofrenda for my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and other deceased  relatives. They are remembered with their favorite food and dishes. My grandmother  for example, loved to cook, so aside from prepared meals, her favorite kitchen tools are also set around her picture.

Candles are used either as symbol of hope and faith, or as a way to light the path of the dead as they descend. Water is included to quench the thirst of the souls, and as a symbol of purity. With these ofrendas, the dead  are remembered and invoked.

The celebration continues in the cemetery, where the living and the souls eat together, listen to music, and even enjoy fireworks.

For a few days in November, in Mexico, death is a party.

The cementery of San Francisco Acatepec, where my grandmother is buried.

Hablar de tú‘ means to address someone casually, vs. the respectfully ‘usted’ that is reserved to address those who you don’t know or those who haven’t granted you permission to do otherwise.

 

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5 Tips de 5 Papás para la Parrillada Perfecta #DíadelPadre

 

Hasta aquí en las latitudes más septentrionales, desafiando el clima que no se decide completamente a cambiar de estación,  las parrillas ya están a todo lo que dan. Para ayudarlos a prepararse para el Día del Padre, hemos consultado con varios papás expertos en parrilladas. Aquí les compartimos cinco de los tips que más nos gustaron para que usted los ponga en práctica.

Tip 1.  Los mejores cortes de carne para asar son los cortes  marmoleados con o sin hueso. Es decir, aquellos en los que la grasa se encuentra distribuida en la carne. Fíjese que este sea el caso cuando la compre, o pídale a su carnicero que le ayude.  Uno de nuestros papás, carnicero por más de 60 años, nos recomienda que asemos cortes como el rib eye, el porterhouse y el T-bone. Ahora que si la fiesta va a estar concurrida y necesita estrechar el presupuesto, pida tri-tip, un corte muy famoso en California. Este corte es bueno, bonito y barato.  Sí va a asar este tipo de carne,  aunque parezca abundante, no lo corte hasta que esté listo para servirse.

Tip 2. Los cortes más delgados quedan menos suaves al asar. Considere marinarlos antes de ponerlos a la parrilla. Esto aplica también para el pollo.

Tip 3. Si tiene una parrilla de carbón, cree dos áreas con dos intensidades diferentes. Entre más alta la pila de carbón, más intenso el fuego y más fácil será quemar la comida. Puede usar el área de mayor intensidad para sellar la carne. Gire la carne 45 grados para hacerle marcas en a parrilla. Cocine la carne a término en el área de menor intensidad.

Tip 4. Espere a asar su comida hasta que el carbón esté blanco. Si comienza a cocinar antes de que el fuego alcance su mayor intensidad, su comida sabrá a combustible.

Tip 5. Si cocina su carne en brochetas, considere alternarla con fruta como piña o manzanas. Las mejores manzanas para asar son las Granny Smith por su sabor y textura. Otra idea que nos encantó es la de poner tomates cherry al final de sus brochetas. Cuando la piel del tomate empieza a pelarse, es un buen indicador de que la carne está lista.

Pasa a visitar nuestra tienda en línea si quieres cocinar con una sal mexicana deliciosa la Sal de San Felipe

¡Feliz Día del Padre!

 

 

Let There Be Fire! – The Universal Language of Grilling

Chimney starters help accelerate the process of getting the coal ready for grilling.  
Photo credit: Illya Samko

 

Summer is finally here, and in these latitudes, barbecue season often evokes images of sporting events and patriotic-themed cookouts. Of course, you need weather to cooperate, so as the words “barbecue” roll off your tongue, you have unconsciously summoned the idea of a picture-perfect day. Growing up in a part of the world blessed with rather benign weather year-round, it was not until I moved to Chicago that I understood why the state of the atmosphere often finds its way into the conversation or the news. Here, grilling is definitely a seasonal event and sometimes it is referred to as barbecuing.

In Mexico, barbecue or barbacoa, means something different- it is a dish that typically entails cooking meat on an open fire (usually lamb) in a hole that has been dug in the ground for this purpose. Barbecuing to us, is a parrillada or a carne asada (literally, “grilled meat”). These words immediately make me think of a Sunday spent surrounded by family and friends in Mexico. Putting the meat on the grill is the main event, and the process entails an unspoken ritual that, like any other party in Mexico, takes at least a whole day. To me, the most curious part of the custom is what is often done in hopes that the rain won’t spoil the day- scissors and knives are staked into the ground. In some instances, this is done forming specific shapes, in others, these artifacts are put outside along with ribbons or even eggs…

Last year, we asked a few suburban dads for their grilling tips right on time for Father’s Day. As I asked around, I realized that ideas were incredibly diverse-  from ingredients to techniques. Something I found particularly fascinating was that no matter who I was talking to, this conversation resonated.  The joy of grilling seemed universal.

Is it? I think it might be. I asked my friend Illya for a few grilling tips. He happens to be Ukrainian and someone who, like me, is truly passionate about food. What do you have in common? You speak the same language-  He is another guy who loves to grill.

Sizzling Hot: Our Primal Love for Food over Fire

 By: Illya Samko

 

Grilling in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo credit: Illya Samko

Grilling in Monterrey, Mexico. Photo credit: Illya Samko

Since man started cooking with fire, food has never been the same. There is something deeply primal about putting a piece of steak on the fire; the sound of  meat sizzling on the grill, its aroma and the divine taste of a fresh steak. I believe these images are seared into our DNA.

In the Ukraine, grilling is mainly associated with cooking pork. Pork shoulder is usually cut into cubes and marinated in mayonnaise, salt and onions. It is then skewered and cooked over charcoal slowly until it is well done.

Ukrainian grill. Photo credit: Ilya Samko

Ukrainian grill. Photo credit: Illya Samko

My greatest learning experience as far as grilling goes, took place during my first trip to Monterrey, Mexico (birthplace of my lovely wife, Myrna). Here, grilling  is a way of life to say the least. I was impressed with how Regios* know their grilling. They use a specific type of charcoal, Mesquite, which gives the meat a very smoky and distinctive flavor. The preparation process is as important as grilling itself- It takes a certain number of cheves** to get the thing going. First the fire, then the botanas*** and few hours later, when you are so hungry that you could eat just about anything, you finally hear that “magic sound” and smell the beef- you are lovestruck.

 At that point, in spite of all the beers you’ve had, your senses are heightened and the level of salivation is downright dangerous. Finally, the teasing is over and it is time to feast- the plate full of grilled goodness makes it to the table. Devour you will. Believe me. Not only is grilling a ritual that takes hours, it is also a way to celebrate anything. Mexicans seem to celebrate life if there is no other particular reason to party.

When grilling there are a few important things that you need to know. I believe these basic steps make a huge difference.

  • Never put any meat on the grill that came straight out from the fridge. Let it warm up a little. Room temperature is ideal.
  • Season your meat with kosher or sea salt and pepper. Good steak needs absolutely nothing else.
  • Be patient. You cannot rush a good burger, steak or whatever you are grilling.
  • After you take your steak off the grill, let it rest for about five minutes. This will allow all the juices to be redistributed back into the steak evenly.
  • I use a chimney starter to speed up the process of getting the coal ready for grilling. Using accelerators on the coal gives your food  a chemical taste.

Enjoy!

Born and raised in Western Ukraine, Illya Samko is a food enthusiast who loves to travel, learn about different cultures and try new cuisines. With a  degree in law, and a knack for anthropology, Illya has worked in London, New York and Chicago, where he currently lives with his Mexican wife, Myrna. 

 
*Regios short for regiomontanos, are a citizens from Monterrey, Mexico.
**Cheves is slang for cerveza or beer.
***Appetizers, snacks
 
Originally published 6-23-2013 www.lavitaminat.com 

Un Festín de Otro Mundo #DiadeMuertos

 

Foto: Bertha Herrera para La Vitamina T

El Día de Muertos, un evento tan difícil de entender para otras culturas, tiene para los mexicanos un significado especial, especialmente en la gastronomía, aquí los detalles.

POR MARICHUY GARDUÑO/FOTOS: BERTHA HERRERA

Próximamente los mexicanos estaremos de fiesta, pues los Santos Difuntos estarán de regreso. Serán dos días, 1 y 2 de noviembre, que trataremos de honrarlos con las mejores viandas que adornarán sus altares. Donde la luz de las velas juega un papel importante para mostrarles el camino y la flor de cempasúchil lo llenará de aroma y color.

Mole de guajolote, champurrado, tamales, pulque, pozole de carne de puerco en chile guajillo, mezcal, dulce de calabaza, buñuelos de viento, cigarros, café, frijoles, tortillas, chocolate, frutas y pan de muerto, que se elabora de diversas formas humanas y animales, son tan sólo algunos manjares que conformarán el banquete de las ánimas que estarán de visita.

Edmundo Escamilla, historiador gastronómico explica que, los antojos que en vida gustaban al ser querido revestirán el altar, el cual es adornado de acuerdo a la región que pertenezca en nuestro país.

TRADICIONES DE NORTE A SUR

México es un mosaico de ricas tradiciones y cada región vive la fiesta de los Fieles Difuntos con sus diferentes tradiciones. En Michoacán, por ejemplo, se les lleva comida a los panteones y las tumbas se adornan con flores de cempasúchil.

“En algunas comunidades se hace un altar adornado con filigranas de papel de china de variados colores y figuras que van desde catrinas, animales, calaveras y huesos, por mencionar algunas”, agrega Escamilla.

También, se incluyen sahumerios o copas con incienso, velas y veladoras. Los vasos de agua con primordiales para calmar la sed de nuestros seres queridos que llegan de visita.

Además, reina la música que se suma a la explosión de cohetes para alegrar la visita de los difuntos.

Sin lugar a dudas El Día de Muertos es una fiesta que gozan vivos y difuntos. Una algarabía de sabor, pues los mejores manjares son elaborados con el amor que sentimos por nuestros seres queridos que han dejado de existir.

 

 

Receta para Hacer Pan de Muerto – Nuestra Mesa

Foto: Manuel Rivera Ciudad de México, México

 

CLICK TO SEE THIS RECIPE IN ENGLISH

Con las celebraciones del Día de Muertos a la vuelta de la esquina, pensamos en traerles la receta para hacer un tradicional, delicioso e indispensable pan de muerto.

Esta receta requiere dejar reposar los primeros ingredientes durante un día, así que si piensan hacerla, les recomendamos prepararla con tiempo suficiente.

Rinde para 45 panes de 100 gr. cada uno o un pan familiar de aproximadamente 4.5 kilos.

Paso 1:

Ingredientes

  • 120 gr. levadura fresca (usa 1/3 de la cantidad si es que piensas usar levadura artificial)
  • 340 ml. de agua
  • 400 gr. de harina

Proceso

  1. Entibia el agua en el microondas
  2. Revuelve los ingredientes con el agua hasta formar una masa
  3. Deja reposar la masa por un dia entero en un recipiente engrasado con aceite. Cubre el recipiente con plástico y colócalo en un lugar fresco.

Paso 2:

Ingredientes

  • 32 huevos
  • 320 gr. azúcar
  • 2.250 kg harina
  • 40 gr. de sal
  • 1 kg. mantequilla
  • 4 cucharadas de agua de azahar

Proceso

  1. Incorpora los primeros cuatro ingredientes con el agua de azahar,  hasta formar una masa homogénea y que no se pegue.
  2. Agrega la masa que preparaste un día anterior sigue amasando hasta que este bien incorporada.
  3. Deja que la mantequilla esté a temperatura ambiente y  agrégala en trozos de alrededor de 100 gr.  hasta integrarla toda.
  4. Forma bolas  de 100 gr si quieres hacer porciones individuales y de 400 gr.  para hacer un pan familiar.
  5. Forma los huesitos con pedazos pequeños de masa, Las puedes rodar en la mesa y aplanarla con los dedos.

Foto: Manuel Rivera – Ciudad de México, México

  1. Barniza con yema de huevo y deja fermentar durante una hora.

Foto: Manuel Rivera – Ciudad de México, México

  1. Mete tu mezcla a hornear a 200 grados hasta que los panes estén de  color café claro

  2. Saca tus panes del horno y déjalos enfriar.

  3. Derrite mantequilla y barniza con ella los panes. Después espolvoréalos con azúcar refinada hasta que queden cubiertos

¡Acompaña tu pan con un buen chocolate!

Publicada originalmente en octubre de 2012.

El chef Aldo Saavedra ha cocinado para huéspedes de establecimientos como el conocido Hotel Condesa D.F. y ha contribuído con sus recetas en proyectos con marcas de la talla de Larousse y Danone. En Nuestra Mesa, el chef Saavedra comparte con los lectores de La Vitamina T, su pasión por la cocina y por México. Encuentra más información sobre el chef Saavedra en RutaAlma

Para esta #Cuaresma: Escabeche de Camarón Estilo San Felipe

Foto: Manuel Rivera para La Vitamina T

Si estás pensando en platillos creativos para esta cuaresma, te compartimos esta receta para preparar un inolvidable escabeche de camarón estilo San Felipe.

Este plato estuvo entre los manjares que los chefs (de izquierda a derecha) José Bossuet, Paola Ramírez y Aldo Saavedra prepararon para representar a México en el World Congress of Culinary Traditions en Rumania, en marzo del 2012.

La receta es una recreación del platillo de la señora Salvadora Soberanes, una de las fundadoras del pueblo de San Felipe, Baja California.

INGREDIENTES

  • ½ taza aceite olivo
  • 2 cebollas cortadas en rodajas
  • 1 cabeza de ajo entera partida por mitad
  • ½ kg de chiles jalapeños cortados en rajas sin semillas
  • 4 zanahorias cortadas en rodajas
  • 10 pimientas gordas
  • 10 pimientas negras
  • 5 clavos de olor
  • hierbas de olor
  • 1 cda orégano seco
  • 1 tz vinagre de manzana
  • 2 tz agua
  • Sal de mar de san Felipe al gusto
  • ½ kilo de camarones de buen tamaño

 PROCESO

Escabeche

1.  Calienta en una cacerola el aceite de olivo.  Agrega la cebolla y los ajos. Sofríes durante 2 minutos aproximadamente.

2. Agrega los chiles, las zanahorias, las especias y las hierbas. Pon a sofreír por 5 minutos.

3. Incorpora el agua y el vinagre. Retira del fuego una vez que hierva.

Camarones

4. Ya fríos, escurre y pasa los camarones  al recipiente con el escabeche que aún esta caliente y dejar reposar por 12 horas. El proceso se puede hacer en el refrigerador.

¡Sirve y disfruta!

Marida con:

Aqua – Alximia

Viko – Torres Alegre

 

Agradecemos a los chefs Aldo Saavedra y José Bossuet por compartir la receta y fotos de este manjar con La Vitamina T.

Gefiltefish Goes Technicolor with Spanish Subtitles

Photo: Brenda Storch

The timing of this post is partly accidental, and partly intentional. I thought at first it might make sense to talk about the Lenten dishes that in an overwhelmingly Catholic Mexico, frame a series of events that culminate in Semana Santa or “Holy Week”: from the visits to the seven churches and the burning of big cardboard structures representing evil, called “Judas” (tradition which has permeated the culture to the point that the name Judas is synonymous with “traitor” when used as colloquial expression), to the reenactments of the crucifixion in the town of Iztapalapa.  What I remember the most about this season, aside from its coinciding with a nice break from school, is that somehow, every aspect of the celebration ended at the table of the family matriarch…

Matriarch!

My great-grandma, Rachel “Rae” Storch would have turned 102 this month. She died 13 years ago, a few days after my birthday, as if she were holding on just long enough to avoid it. I think of her often and I miss her dearly.

Grandma Rae was Jewish, and whether we visited during Easter or Christmas, she would always make us feel at home. I remember that one Easter Sunday she cooked picadillo-stuffed peppers for us because, she assessed, the dish showcased a bit of Latin American flair. She also had a Christmas tree if we were around during the Christmas holidays, despite the fact that this triggered a few neighbors in her all-Jewish building to knock on her door to make sure she had taken her pills.

It is not until now, that I am much older, that I realize how lucky I am to have such a diverse family; and I am incredibly grateful that grandma Rae was so embracing and open-minded. She did not speak Spanish, and I did not speak much English at the time, but we managed, and we definitely bonded over food. She loved to take us to her favorite place, “La Paloma”.

Grandma Rae in her home in Miami in 1996

The more I talk about food, the more I find it a particularly powerful element of national and religious identity. During the holidays, among many cultures, dishes often have ritualistic qualities and are charged with plenty of symbolisms. At the same time, dishes provide us with a common ground: we eat, therefore we exist.

This season, I wanted to remember one of my favorite family matriarchs with a dish from her table. But, where to start? I do not have any of my grandma’s recipes. Luckily for me, Celia, mom of one of my closest friends, makes a delicious Veracruzan gefiltefish.  Thank you, Celia for generously sharing it with us!

The concept “Veracruzan style” when referring to food,  evokes images of a fusion cuisine that blends tropical and Mediterranean flavors and ingredients.  Usually, tomatoes, olives and chili peppers are part of the meal.

This dish never looked sexier!

The recipe called for carp, and I had no idea that getting it in a Chicago suburb would be so difficult, which explains the accidental part of timing of this recipe, as I was hoping to post before Passover. We also took a few creative liberties. Enjoy!

Gefiltefish a la Veracruzana (Veracruzan-Style Gefiltefish)

Inspired in a recipe generously shared by Celia Presburger –  Querétaro, México

Serves 6

Broth:

  • 12 cups of chicken stock (this helps soften the fish flavor)
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1 carrot
  • Head and fish bones (to provide consistency and flavor)

Patties:

  • 1/3 lb of filleted carp
  • 1/3 lb of filleted sea bass
  • 1/3 lb of filleted red snapper
  • 2 bolillos (or 4 slices of bread) soaked in milk
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup of matzo meal

Note: If you don’t find the three types of fish, use two, but make sure the carp is part of it.

Sauce:

  • 1/4 onion
  • 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of capers
  • 1/4 cup of olives
  • 1 dried chile güero pod (available in your ethnic food aisle)

Directions:

Broth:

  1. Put the fish bones, carrot, onion and chicken stock in a pot. Bring to boil and simmer.

Patties:

  1. Cut the fish into cubes. Put in the food processor until finely ground. Put in a bowl and set aside. 
  2. Grind the onion and the carrot in the food processor. Fold into the fish along with the matzo meal, salt, sugar, pepper, bread and eggs until you achieve a pasty consistency that will allow you to make patties.
  3. Drop the patties delicately into the boiling broth, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook in boiling water alone.

Sauce:

  1. Sautée the onion, add the tomatoes and spice to taste. Incorporate the olives, the capers and the chile.

Once the patties are cooked, transfer them into the sauce along with some broth. Simmer.  Let cool and served chilled. I did not wait to eat it cold, I hope my grandma forgives me!

*We did not use ingredients considered  kosher for Passover to make this recipe.

Originally published March 29, 2013.

Pastes, Soccer and other Welsh Gifts to Mexico

Phyllis Marquitz is a food-industry professional. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, her job relocated her and her family to Mexico City, where she had the opportunity to enjoy, understand and appreciate the local culture and flavors first hand. These gracious guests were in turn, a gift to Mexico- they are vocal Mexico enthusiasts, even to the point that Phyllis’ husband is the editor of soccer blog, soccer mexicanaPhyllis is also a long-time reader of La Vitamina T.  The pasties she is referring to in her article, are known as ‘pastes’ in Pachuca, Mexico.

By: Phyllis Marquitz

Welsh leek soup served in my Mexican pottery bowl to celebrate St. David's Day

Welsh leek soup served in my Mexican pottery bowl to celebrate St. David’s Day

Today is St. David’s Day, a Welsh holiday, which you can read about thanks to Wikipedia here. My husband (Jason) and I have Welsh heritage. We are both from a coal-mining region in Pennsylvania that had an influx of Welsh and Cornish immigrants in the later part of the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. I’m always looking for an excuse to pair food with learning for my kids. We honor the day via the kitchen at our house.

So what does that have to do with a food blog that is primarily about Mexico? Well…St. David’s happens to remind us of Mexico too, now.

In February 2011, our family made an unplanned move to Mexico City for my job and stayed for a few years. Neither of us had spoken Spanish previously and it was a big change. Unlike mine, Jason’s work left him with little opportunity to practice Spanish or interact with locals. He turned to a natural outlet: sports. A long-time Liverpool fan (he used to wake early EST to watch), he went about researching, Google translating, and trying to find his Mexican team. He found it and bought season tickets to Cruz Azul. He would scour the internet for English information about opponents and the league and eventually settled on filling the void himself. His blog, Soccer Mexicana, was born and I watched Jason fall in love with Mexico one game and one city at a time.

But this blog is about St. David’s Day and Mexico… and food. That is because after returning from an away game in Pachuca when I interrogated him about the street food, I learned something amazing. Instead of tacos or tortas, the food stalls on the road to Pachuca’ Estadio Hidalgo were full of pasties.  Unlike the low-spice Methodist-church fundraiser versions we were accustomed to, these had chilis blended into the filling,  I’m told. He didn’t bring me one.

Now, before I go further and tell you that the Cornish have been credited for bringing soccer to Mexico when they came to work the silver mines, (and specifically to Pachuca), I should mention that the pastie is actually Cornish. They have a Protected Geographical Indication for the thing in the EU! Apparently the Welsh version is called an “Oggie” lamb (and I add veggies) pies in a crust with a rim so that it could be carried into the mine and held without dirty hands putting coal dust all over the rest. To this I say, “potato, potahhhto” Welsh and Cornish share a Celtic language and much much more in common. And for us…well…the pasties were Welsh. (although when the Prince of Wales visited Pachuca last year, the media declared it Little Cornwall)

It is all a testament to how food shapes our experience. So today is about us: Welsh Pennsylvanian… Mexican!

 

Prepping for St. David’s at my house: Leek Soup and Pasties (Oggie?)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Rosca de Reyes – A Slice of Gospel and Tradition #Recipe

 

Photo Courtesy of "El Deleite".

Photo Credit:  “El Deleite”.

Often used as evangelizing tools, celebrations in Mexico feature elements that are charged with symbolism. Take the piñata, for example, used as an allegory of sin (colorful and appealing on the outside, yet hollow and empty on the inside). Still today, during parties, people are blindfolded (a nod to faith being blind) when facing the piñata, which will yield fruits once fought and defeated.

The Rosca de Reyes (cake of kings) is no exception. Even as I type, kids who have been taught to expect the arrival of the three kings or magi, during Epiphany have already gone to bed with the hopes of finding gifts by their shoes when they awake. This festivity marks the culmination of the “12 Days of Christmas”.

Rosca de Reyes is shaped and decorated as if it were a crown. Inside, little figurines representing baby Jesus while in hiding from Herod can be found. Whomever discovers  the figurine it their slice of rosca gets to share their good fortune- they will buy tamales for the group on February 2nd, to celebrate the presentation of Christ at the temple.

Without even knowing it, tradition is celebrated and perpetuated in a delicious slice that is typically enjoyed with a cup of hot chocolate.

Yanet Hernández Tabiel, owner of “El Deleite”, a bakery in Mexico City, shared her popular recipe with La Vitamina T readers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of crystallized fruit
  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 5 plastic “muñequitos de rosca” (plastic rosca dolls). These can be substituted with large beans.

For the butter crumble:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Combine the yeast with one of the tablespoons of flour and the warm water. Let rest for 1o mins. or until it’s foamy
  2. Combine the remaining flour with the sugar, vanilla extract, salt and milk in a mixing bowl. Mix until incorporated. Add the eggs and the yolks.
  3. Continue mixing until smooth. Add the yeast and mix until you have a smooth, and flexible ball.
  4. Add the butter and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
  5. Add the mix in a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Keep at room temperature until it doubles in volume.
  6. Make a dimple with your finger and knead.
  7. Extend the dough into a rectangular shape, add the crystallized fruit and the plastic dolls. Twirl to form a crown shape.

Crumble and Decoration

  1. Mix the butter with the sugar, eggs and the vanilla extract
  2. Decorate the rosca with strips of this mix.
  3. Glaze your rosca with the eggwash and decorate it with crystallized fruits
  4. Bake for an hour at 375 degrees or until golden brown

Enjoy!

 

Pair your “Pavo” like a Pro – Cava Córdova’s Head Winemaker Shows you How

Winemaker Fernando Farías Córdova will launch Cava Córdova in 2015 Photo: Cava Córdova

Winemaker Fernando Farías Córdova will launch Cava Córdova in 2015 Photo: Cava Córdova GSM

From the Series “World Class: Mexican Wine and the Hands who Make it”

Mexican entrepreneur and winemaker Fernando Farías Córdova  followed his love for winemaking all the way from his native Jalisco to Valle de Guadalupe. Impressively,  although barely thirty, this young wine and tea sommelier is now making a living out of his passion, and is preparing to release his own wine label.

Sleeping in a cellar awaiting for its 2015 debut, is Cava Córdova GSM. Originally from the southern Rhône Valley, here, this blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes is being nurtured to become a wine that is both elegant and approachable.

It is impossible to resist asking an expert how to pair your food. Just in time for the Thanksgiving meal, Farías Córdova gives us tips for every palate:


White 
Look for wines with low acidity and high floral or fruit notes to highlight the flavor of cranberry sauce, such as wines made with Viognier, or Riesling grapes. A Moscato is a great option as long as it is not too sweet; and the butter notes of an oak-aged California Chardonnay would complement rich dishes very well.

Rosée
Dry, medium-bodied and very fruity wines will offer a refreshing contrast to pair elaborate dishes. Look for wines made with Grenache, Syrah or Carignan grapes

Red 
Red wine and turkey? Absolutely. Long gone are the times where poultry was usually only accompanied with white wine. Serve young red wines with notes of red fruit, jam and spices that intensify the flavors of our dishes. Look for Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Malbec or Syrah.

Sparkling
For a night of celebration, chose to pair your pecan pie with a Proseco Brut. Sparkling wines are also a great complement to spicy foods (in case mole or tamales verdes find their way to your table) and, why not, go ahead and pop that bottle of champagne that you were saving for a special occasion. This is one of them.

How do you know what wine is best for you? It is the one you like… and hopefully, it is wine from Valle de Guadalupe.

¡Salud!

 

Stay tuned for an update on the 2015 release of Cava Córdova GSM.

 

 

Prior articles in the series:

< AlXimia: The Art and Science of Extraordinary Wine

<¡´Biba´México! The Zeal Behind Mexico´s Pasión Biba  

< World Class: Mexican Wine and the Hands who Make it (Introduction to a Series)

 Originally published on 11-25-14