Author Archive: Ben

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The Almost Magic Beans

| April 23, 2012 | 7 Comments
The Almost Magic Beans




Legumes have been cultivated throughout the world for thousands of years. There’s evidence that they were some of the first cultivated crops in human history. This makes them an essential part of the evolution of early civilizations. When hunter-gatherer groups started to develop agricultural systems they were able to establish into more stable communities that […]

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The Xochimilco Chinampas: Floating Farms in Mexico City

| March 20, 2012 | 10 Comments
The Xochimilco Chinampas: Floating Farms in Mexico City




In a previous article, I wrote about Xochimilco and the chinampa system that was developed by the civilizations living around the lakes in the Anahuac Valley, where modern Mexico City sits now. This system consisted on creating floating islands for agriculture using mud from the bottom of the lake and decaying vegetation. The system is […]

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The Anatomy of Taco

| February 13, 2012 | 9 Comments
The Anatomy of Taco




What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word taco? That might well depend on the part of the world you’re from. If you’re from the US, you might think of a hard folded corn shell filled with meat cooked with “taco seasoning”, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. Even worse, you […]

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Noche Buena salad

| December 5, 2011 | 6 Comments
Noche Buena salad




In Spanish Noche Buena means “Good Night” and it has a couple of meanings that closely relate to this time of the year. Noche Buena is the Spanish name for the poinsettia, a small tree native to Mexico which leaves turn red, pink or yellow during this season. It also refers to Christmas Eve, a […]

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Jicama

| September 22, 2011 | 10 Comments
Jicama




In Mexico, I grew up with a lot of ingredients that I missed when I moved out of the country. Gladly, some of those ingredients started to be available where I lived. For example I was easily able to find tomatillos, Poblano peppers, nopales and jicama. What is Jicama (hee-kah-mah)? The name jicama comes from […]

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Azul Condesa

| August 18, 2011 | 4 Comments
Azul Condesa




If you are in any way familiar with the culinary scene of Mexico City (and even if you are not), you have most likely heard the name Ricardo Muñoz Zurita. Before coming to Mexico I had heard of this chef, but I must confess I didn’t know much about him. However, ever since I started […]

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Xochimilco: ‘Flower Field’ in Nahuatl

| July 14, 2011 | 2 Comments
Xochimilco:  ‘Flower Field’ in Nahuatl




Xochimilco means flower field in Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs. This region has always been important not only for its flower production, but also for the crops grown here that have been destined to Mexico City since pre-Hispanic times. The Xochimilcas were farmers and founded their first dominion under a leader named Acatonallo, […]

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Coyacan

| June 9, 2011 | 10 Comments
Coyacan




Mexico City is an amazing place to visit. There are so many things to do and places to see that one can spend years here and not see them all. I was born and raised here, but I moved to the US in 2000. In 2004, I came back for a little while with my […]

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Cinco de Mayo: Mango Guacamole

| May 5, 2011 | 15 Comments
Cinco de Mayo: Mango Guacamole




There are a few things that I’m really passionate about in life. One of them is history. I love to read history books, talk about history with other history buffs and watch the History Channel. And when it comes to Mexican history, I can really be a nerd. That’s why the Cinco de Mayo celebrations […]

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A Country of Markets

| March 31, 2011 | 15 Comments
A Country of Markets




Jorge Luis Borges wrote that the best way to know Mexico was through its markets. Although this can be said for most countries, in the case of Mexico, this is especially true.  Markets in Mexico remain essentially unchanged since pre-Hispanic times. A good example of this is the tianguis. Tianguis (from the word tianquiztli in […]

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