Wordless Wednesday: Store-bought Tepache

As I’ve been checking out as many Mexican grocers in Los Angeles as possible, I’ve noticed one product (made by a few different brands) that was not common to find in the Mexican supermarkets in Chicago: bottled tepache. I haven’t tried any yet, but I think I will soon just because I’m seeing it everywhere and I’m getting more and more curious how it tastes compared to the homemade tepache I’ve had in Mexico and Chicago from taquerías and street stands.

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The fermented pineapple drink has a hard cider quality and is originally from the state of Jalisco.

For a home-brewed recipe, check out this step-by-step tepache recipe and tutorial from my friend Pati Jinich from Pati’s Mexican Table.

I used to frequently find tepache at an aguas frecas stand at the Maxwell Street Market (every Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; free admission and most vendors only accept cash). For more places to find tepache in Chicago, check out this August 2012 article from the Chicago Tribune.

  • Have you had store-bought or bottled tepache? Is it any good and do you have a preferred brand I should try?

Wordless Wednesday: Finding a good concha

If you’re a frequent reader, you know all about my deep love for pan dulce and all kinds of Mexican pastries and other baked goods. So, of course it was one of the first things I sought out during my first week living in Los Angeles. A good friend introduced me to this place and I can’t seem to stay away!

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This perfect concha is from La Monarca Bakery in Santa Monica (they have two more locations: Huntington Park and South Pasadena). I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this place soon, as I like to stop by there whenever I can since it’s not too far from where I work.

  • Is there a perfect piece of pan dulce in your neck of the woods? Let me know in the comments where you like to buy your pan dulce, wherever you  live!

Wordless Wednesday: A peaceful view in Cancun

Sometimes we get caught up in the madness that is work, regular life or the holiday season and we forget to be thankful for the small things. My cuñada was recently in Cancún and sent me this photo of the beautiful turquoise ocean. I’ve been looking at it often, whenever I need a slice of tranquility. And it won’t be long before I see the ocean again, so looking at the photo is a nice reminder that my holiday vacation is not very far away.

  • Do you have a photo that you look at often to remind you of a place in Mexico or that takes you to your happy place? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Wordless Wednesday: Las Catrinas

In September, I went on a quest for some new decorations to add to my altar for Día de los Muertos. I headed to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, where I also do most of my grocery shopping in the Mexican markets. The Tzintzuntzán gift shop at the museum never disappoints me and this time was no exception. I’ll be sharing more photos in a few days from the museum, which also has a Día de los Muertos exhibit running through December 16, but here’s a photo of the little Catrinas that I bought to place on my altar.

They’re modeled after Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada’s la calavera de la Catrina and stand about three inches tall, not including the little feather plume that sticks out of the hat.

Que lindas las Catrinas, no?

  • Do you have any unique decorations for Día de los Muertos? Tell me about them in the comments and where they came from.

Wordless Wednesday: Building my altar for Día de Los Muertos

Día de los Muertos is next week and we’ve begun setting up our altar at home. On Sunday, we started gathering our ofrendas and hung papel picado. It’s nowhere near finished yet, but here’s a sneak peek from a few days ago.

I’ll share more details about the items on the altar as well as who it honors next week.

Wordless Wednesday: Las Piñatas de Target

One of the great things about living in a city with a large Mexican population is that you can often find Mexican things in places you might not normally expect. This past weekend while running errands at Target, I turned a corner down an aisle I don’t usually shop in to cut through to another section and I saw these colorful piñatas.

I love piñatas because they make me think of Christmastime, spending La Navidad and las posadas with our family in Mexico.

  • Do you have any fond memories of growing up or spending time with family that involves a piñata? Leave a comment below to tell me!
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