Remember those old Westerns where some poor character would die in the desert if they did not slice open a cactus to drink the water inside? Too bad they did not think to eat some, too. It is very edible, and is often used in Mexican cooking. It is a very tasty ingredient that few outside Mexico appreciate.
Since around 7500 BC, chilies have been making their mark in the Americas. Columbus discovered their wonderful flavor when he landed in the Caribbean. He called them peppers rather than chilies since they reminded him of the spicy peppercorns back in Spain. Here in the Americas, they are still called chilies.
The pear squash, or chayote, is also known as choko or chuchu. You may have seen it as you wandered around your local market. It is that odd green looking vegetable. It has wrinkly pale green skin, and a distinctive crease down the whole length of its pear shape. You can savor it cooked or raw. The mild taste captures the wonderful uniqueness of all the flavors surrounding it. Its history goes back to the great empires of Mexico; the Aztecs and Mayans.
Decorating is part of the fun of any celebration. After all, would Christmas be quite so festive without all the tinsel and twinkle lights? Why not decorate more for other holidays? Cinco de Mayo is a great holiday for decorating. You get to immerse yourself in Mexican colors and styles.
Even though adults may head to celebrations in the neighborhood or to nearby Mexican restaurants to party, there are plenty of ways to celebrate this holiday from the comfort of your own home. It is a good way to bring some multicultural flair to your household, learning many new things while you are at it.
When you think of Mexican food, most people will think of beef. We have all eaten beef burritos, tacos, and enchiladas. Beef is one of the primary industries in northern Mexico. When the Spanish invaded Mexico in the 1500s, they found that cattle would fit in perfectly in northern Mexico’s fields and plains. They built large ranches for raising their cattle.
Cinco de Mayo should be fun for kids, too. Why not make the day extra fun for them with some games they can enjoy? Some games can even be fun for the adults at the party, so go ahead and invite them to participate.
If you have ever eaten at a Mexican restaurant, you have probably had a version of Mexican rice. This tomato and spice flavored rice has become a permanent fixture in Mexican cuisine. It was not always so, however. Rice did not grow in Mexico originally. It was introduced to Mexico from the Philippines. The Spanish found that rice grew very well around Veracruz and the rest is history.
It is the herbs and spices used in Mexican cooking that truly make the meal. If these ingredients were not added, a Mexican dish would not differ greatly from many others. The herbs and spices used in Mexico help make the cuisine special. It is good to learn all you can about them.
It is not news that the cuisine of America and the cuisine of Mexico are quite different things. Mexican food recipes, for example are certainly not all that similar to those found in America. Strangely enough, Canadian food is rather similar to our own, as is often the case with neighboring countries – so why is the culinary tradition of our southern neighbor so different than ours? Mexican recipes use different ingredients than we commonly see in the average grocery store and create flavors, which seem exotic to American palates.