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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Improve Your Mexico Adventure: Eight Tips

Girl walks down Mexican street.

1. Get off the beaten path. Even if you plan on spending your entire vacation in a tourist hot spot like Puerto Vallarta or Mazatlan, it’s easy enough to step off the tourist trail and experience authentic Mexico. Ask a cab driver to take you to his favorite taqueria, or just keep walking until Señor Frog recedes into the distance. 2. Pack a few nicer items of clothing. Mexico is a dressy country. When you’re invited to a fiesta or […]

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Top Five Mexican Cities for Hangout Travel

Churpa sits in lamplight in La Condesa.

In 1999, when I was 20 years old, I flew into Mexico City with my friend Abigail. Between the two of us, we carried $1000 in cash. Our plan? Travel from Mexico City to the Yucatan, spend a month hitting all the major sites of interest and then return to Mexico City. Our budget was based on very vague calculations on my part: I’d spent the previous winter camping on a beach on the Pacific coast, and it’d cost me […]

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Food Tourism in Mexico?

A bin of Mole Negro mix in a Oaxaca market

I recently received the following note from a reader who is planning a week-long trip to Mexico for his dad’s 70th birthday. Daniel writes: My brothers and I want to take our Dad to Mexico this December or January–Oaxaca and Mexico City maybe. My Dad is a chef and so we were thinking there might be a guide that could show us the best food experiences with the most appropriate accommodations etc. My Dad has been cooking Mexican for years […]

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Tacopedia? Yes please!

  So this is an amazing map. Further analysis and enlarged views here. It really makes me want to get a hand on the book from which it originated: La Tacopedia. Enciclopedia del Taco.  Review copy, por favor! How many of these tacos have you eaten?   (also, special thanks to the always interesting blog Geo-Mexico for alerting me to this delightful bit of ephemera.)

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Lorena's Shrimp Addiction Revealed…

  “Well maybe…we should go get a shrimp cocktail,” Lorena said slyly. This phrase would become a constant refrain on our trip through Nayarit and Jalisco. Going to town? Maybe we should get a shrimp cocktail…Going on ice mission? Maybe we should get a shrimp cocktail…Sunburnt? Maybe…You guessed it. While I did not actually tally the number of shrimp Lorena consumed on the trip, I’m guessing it’s in the thousands. My five week trip proffered many pleasures: delicious pulpo (octopus) […]

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More on the Hidden Perks of the Mexican Bus System

I found myself alone around noon on a 1st class bus just north of Mazatlan. I watched with curiosity as the “ayudante,” the driver’s helper, worked his way back to my seat midway down the length of the vehicle. “¿You speak Spanish?” I replied to the affirmative. “¿Do you like pollo al carbon estilo Sinaloense?” Yes of course I love charcoal grilled chicken. Why the questions, I wondered? “Si!” Me gusta pollo al carbon estilo Sinaloense.” Without another word the […]

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Exploring Oaxaca's Pueblos Mancomunados

Couple stands in front of agave on hike in Oaxaca mountains.

editor’s note: the following post is from Billy and Kaki Burruss, who have kindly capitulated to my request for chronicles of their Oaxaca adventures. If you are interested in arranging a trip in the Pueblos Mancomunados, Billy and Kaki recommend Expediciones Sierra Norte. Kaki writes: Pueblos Mancomunados are seven towns that have united to form an ecological preserve. They manage their forests for conservation and firewood, they bottle water, and provide cabins and guides for hikers. At nearly 10,000 feet, […]

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Oaxaca Attractions

Check out Viator.com for Oaxaca travel recommendations written by an, ahem, renowned Mexico expert. Also of possible interest: the three day itinerary and an overview of Oaxaca cuisine. I’m impressed by the company’s dedication to finding writers who have actually recently visited the locations in question.

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

Originally published in June of 2012, republished for father’s day 2013, My dad Steve Rogers was a good cook, maybe even a great cook. He could turn what looked like nothing into something delicious, 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 a […]

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