From the Stacks: Five Exceptional Books About Mexico (Gringo Edition)

Books about Mexico

As you may have suspected, the life of a freelance writer is no cake walk. But there are perks. Like getting free books in the mail. The other day I received the latest from Tony Burton, Mexican Kaleidoscope: Myths, Mysteries, and Mystique. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I have high hopes. Burton is one of the best. Which got me thinking about my  favorite Mexico books and reminded me that it’s been some time since […]

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Book Review: Diana Kennedy, Rendered Lard, and the Late, Great Steve Rogers

Originally published in June of 2012, republished in 2017. My dad Steve Rogers was a good cook, maybe even a great cook. He could turn a few wilting odds and ends  into a memorable lunch, and his obsessive interest in traditional methods and ingredients was matched by a fearless creativity that led him far off the beaten path. When I was a little girl, I loved to sit and watch him in the kitchen. Watching Steve cook was like watching […]

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Friday at the Tienda

people's guide to mexico

Loyal People’s Guide correspondent El Codo with a taste of life in Baja… This is where I spend the days connected by modem. Visiting Eduardo, and chatting with locals. Can’t remember the last time I spoke ingles. Must be several months now. Jeez, was it before New Year’s? It might have been last summer. Hablo ingles en los estados unidos, pero aqui solo idioma espaňol. Eduardo’s kids asked me to participate in their pogo stick contest. 193 is the record so far. […]

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The Real Deal With the Dollar/Peso Exchange Rate

A Mexican peso coin from 1982.

With the Mexican peso over 15 to 1, the U.S. dollar purchases 18% more pesos today than it did a year and a half ago. In theory, this means a person should be able to purchase 18% more today than they did back then. In the sixties and the seventies that would have been true, but not today. Today merchants and hotel owners have cellular phones with WiFi access, and in a matter of minutes they can access the official […]

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Cost of Living Update: Baja

A Mexican peso coin from 1982.

How much will it cost me to live/travel in Mexico? This query has been making our top 10 FAQ for over forty years. Sadly, the answer has changed significantly since 1972, when the first edition of The People’s Guide to Mexico hit the shelves. But take heart! We can’t complain too much with a peso/dollar exchange rate of 15.  Keep in mind that the prices below are for Baja. The mainland, barring major tourist traps, should be a little cheaper. […]

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In Tequila News…

Forbes reports that tequila could be a good choice for people who want to drink AND lose weight. The study was conducted on mice. For a minute I was excited to imagine mice wearing tiny sombreros and drinking tiny tragos of Herradura, but then the author dashed my dreams: “Agavins, derived from the agave plant that’s used to make tequila, were found in mouse studies to trigger insulin production and lower blood sugar, as well as help obese mice lose […]

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Where’s My Tacos?

A man cuts meat at a Mexico City taqueria.

Just stumbled across “36 Hours in Mexico City” from The New York Times. I enjoy this series and this installment is not half bad. The suggestions are predictably heavy on Colonia Roma and Condesa, but props to the grey lady for at least suggesting that visitors eat at a market, in this case Mercado de Medellín. That said, this is the only market on the itinerary, which seems crazy to me. Also, there’s no mention of The National Museum of […]

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Shopping Oaxaca Markets: Beyond the Tame

Chiles at Oaxaca market.

editor’s note: Our friends Billy and Kaki Burruss sent this dispatch from their annual trip to Oaxaca. For a little taste of Mexican shopping, venture beyond the tourist shops and head south of the Zocolo into the heart of commercial Oaxaca. In just a few blocks you”ll find the excitement and busy bustle of the Mexican shopper. Unlike our department store shopping, here the shops are squeezed together, each offering a different product. You´ll find shoe shops, fragrance shops (where […]

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Improved Mezcal Norms in the Works

Maguey field in guerrero

I consider myself more knowledgeable about tequila and mezcal than your average gringa, but I felt out of my depth during today’s fascinating interview with mezcal expert Clayton Szczech. Szczech is the owner of Experience Tequila and Experience Mezcal  and has published a series of well-written and extremely informative articles on potential changes in the norm for mezcal labeling, a process “that would take major steps toward elevating the status of artisanal mezcal and its producers by means of some […]

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Stone Soup? Sarah Borealis on Oaxacan Cuisine

Oaxacan stone soup

Visual historian Sarah Borealis talks about culinary tradition, eating in Oaxacan markets, and her new documentary “The Path of Stone Soup,” which explores the culinary heritage of Oaxaca’s Chinantla region. As Borealis explains,Chinantla’s specialty is a freshwater seafood soup “cooked to perfection using red hot stones.” I was interested to learn that the dish is traditionally prepared by men. The 24-minute documentary is the work of an international team that includes Borealis, director Arturo Juarez Aguilar, and César Gachupin de […]

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