We’ve been chosen as an Ambassador to Mexico Today!

I’m incredibly excited to announce that my passion and desire to share Mexican cooking and culture with the rest of the world have led me to a new partnership that I’m very proud to be a part of. The Other Side of The Tortilla has been chosen as one of 24 ambassadors by the Mexico Tourism Board for the Mexico Today program to promote the country as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination!

This blog has always focused on the positive aspects of Mexico as a destination that offers world class cuisine, abundant natural beauty and a melding of ancient and modern cultures. It feels only natural, then, to become a part of Mexico Today because we know and frequently share here that Mexico is more than what you may see on TV news or in newspapers in the U.S. and in other countries. This partnership will give us access to exclusive interviews and other resources to share more of Mexico with you and we’re thrilled to be involved. In addition, some of our closest blogging amigas are also involved, including Ana from Spanglish Baby and Silvia from Mamá Latina Tips. I can’t think of two better friends to embark on this journey together with.

I invite you to LIKE Mexico Today on Facebook, follow @MexicoToday and all 24 Mexico Today ambassadors on Twitter, and visit the website at MexicoToday.org to check out the program.

Read on to find out where it all started and how I keep Mexico close to my heart even when I’m thousands of miles away…. 

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Travel Tuesday: A trip down the canals of Xochimilco

las trajineras

When we were visiting Mexico back in December, it turned out that my dear friend Ana and her family were also visiting at the same time. We were determined to see each other, and after some previously derailed plans thanks to illnesses we finally settled on a date and an activity. We’d check out the Museo Dolores Olmedo (which I’ll write about another day), the floating gardens of Xochimilco and then have lunch together on the day after Christmas.

I was so excited when Ana and her family picked me up – first because I’d be exploring some places I’d never visited before, but also because I was so happy to be able to share in these experiences with someone who I knew cherished them as much as I did. Thank you, Ana, Alan, Camila and Patricia for sharing this special day with me.

(Be sure to check out the video after the jump.)… 

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Wordless Wednesday: Dulces

José returned this past Sunday from his trip to Mexico City for Semana Santa. Among the presents he brought home for me… ¡Dulces! In pretty much any taquería in Mexico, you’ll get some kind of candies delivered with your check. Some of my favorites include the dulces de tamarindo (tamarind and chile-flavored candy) and the paletas picosas (spicy and sweet lollipops) pictured above from El Charco de Las Ranas, El Califa and El Fogoncito.

  • What’s your favorite candy when you visit a taquería?

Wordless Wednesday: Capirotada

Who doesn’t love capirotada? This traditional treat, a bread pudding-like dish often served during Lent, is typically made with toasted bolillo rolls (French bread is an acceptable substitute if you can’t get bolillos), a syrupy piloncillo sauce, raisins and cheese. Everybody has their own version and there’s no one way to make it. This version from El Bajío in Mexico City includes peanuts and queso fresco sprinkled on top, and was enjoyed on our last visit to Mexico City during the winter. I’ll be sharing a recipe here for capirotada just in time for Semana Santa and Easter.

  • How do you like to make your capirotada? What kind of cheese do you use and what kind of garnishes do you like?

¡Feliz cumpleaños, Benito Juárez!

Feliz cumpleaños to one of Mexico’s most famous presidents, Benito Juárez, who was born on this day in 1806. This monument pictured above, gifted to the city of Chicago in 1977 by Mexican president José López Portillo, stands along Michigan Avenue in the Plaza of the Americas next door to the Wrigley Building and across the street from the Chicago Tribune.

Often regarded as Mexico’s greatest and most-loved leader, Juárez died of a heart attack in 1872. If you need to brush up on your Mexican history, read about Benito Juárez and what he did for the Mexican people both before and during his presidency. You might also be surprised to know that he spent a short time living in New Orleans from 1853-1854. Juárez came from a Zapotec family in Oaxaca and served in a variety of political positions during his career. Today, there are numerous monuments and locations dedicated or named in his honor. In Mexico City, the international airport is just one of many, many locations named after Juárez.

Check out some additional photos and details about the Chicago monument on the Public Art in Chicago blog.

  • Do you know of a monument or location dedicated to Benito Juárez? Leave a comment with where it’s located!