Wordless Wednesday: Xochimilco

I love this photo that my dear friend, Ana Flores, took of me capturing memories of Xochimilco with my little point and shoot camera on my most recent trip to Mexico City in December 2010. I had so much fun spending the day with Ana and her family while we floated down the canals listening to live mariachi music, eating botanitas, drinking refrescos and enjoying the scenery.

I’m working on editing some video footage into a short film to share with you soon about what it’s like to visit these ancient waterways that were once very important to Mexico City’s agricultural transport system. I can’t wait to share it because it brings back such wonderful, warm memories of Mexico City for me. There’s nothing like sharing these cultural traditions with the people you love.

  • Have you been to Xochimilco or are you hoping to go someday? Tell us what you know about it, or what you’d like to know about it!

Wordless Wednesday: Garibaldi

I’ve mentioned before my love for a bakery called El Globo – but by far my most favorite thing they sell are these precious little pastries called Garibaldi.

These little pound cakes, about the size of a muffin but without the top, are typically bathed in an apricot or raspberry marmalade and then rolled in white nonpareils (known as grageas in Spanish) for decoration. My favorite are the apricot-flavored.

Every time we visit, my suegra will pick up fresh Garibaldi for the day we want to eat them. They’re great as a breakfast pastry or a dessert and they’re the perfect treat because they aren’t gooey or sticky, the cake is perfectly moist and they’re not overly sweet.

I’m on a quest to learn how to make these at home this year because only being able to have them a few times a year is torture! I’ve dreamed about these little cakes and hopefully soon I’ll have a recipe to share here, or at least a comic tale of marmalade-coating-gone-wrong.

  • What’s your favorite Mexican pastry?

Best of The Tortilla from 2010

Today we’re headed back to Chicago and la vida diaria, but so we don’t skip a beat while traveling, we’ve prepared a few lists, based on you, the readers, and what you loved most on The Other Side of The Tortilla in 2010. Click on the photos below to visit each recipe or story.

And don’t forget, for more homemade Tortilla goodness, a glimpse at what’s cooking in the Tortilla Test Kitchen and exclusive giveaways for fans, LIKE us on Facebook!

TOP 3 BEVERAGES/BEBIDAS

TOP 3 RECIPES/RECETAS

TOP 3 TRAVEL STORIES/CUENTOS DE VIAJE

TOP 3 VIDEOS

  • We hope you’ll find something new that you may have missed or that you rediscover a recipe or story you may have already read. If your favorite post isn’t listed here, let us know in the comments what you liked best. Also, please feel free to leave a comment with what you’d like to see in 2011!

GUAYABAS EN SANCOCHO

guayabas en sancocho

I love the smell of ripe guayabas Mexicanas. Their creamy white flesh and tropical fragrance are simply intoxicating. They remind me of this one particular little stall that sells fruits at the Mercado Coyoacán (consequently, also the same place that made me appreciate higos–or figs; a topic for another post). Whenever I visit Mexico City, I’m always eager to tag along with my suegra when she needs to grab something from the mercado because I love walking among the vendor stalls discovering new things.

José also likes the smell of guayabas–but for a different reason. You see, as a big brother, José has always dabbled in a serious form of sibling rivalry.

My cuñada, on the other hand, can’t stand the smell or taste of guayabas. The smell actually makes her wretch. A few years ago when we were visiting around Christmastime, we bought a big bag of guayabas for making ponche Navideño. I’m sure you can guess what happened next…. 

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SOPA DE FIDEO

Sopa de fideo recipe from theothersideofthetortilla.com

I’m sharing my sopa de fideo recipe today because this tomato-broth and noodle soup is a comfort food for me–full of one specific fond memory.

Let me explain. Last summer, after more than a decade of dreaming about visiting Teotihuacan, I finally made the 40-kilometer trip northeast of Mexico City with my suegro and my cuñada. I had yearned to visit this archaeological site since I first learned about it in history books as a kid. The Aztec pyramids fascinated me and I never dreamed I’d be able to travel there, let alone make it all the way to the top of the famed Pirámide del Sol.

After what seemed like a long car ride on the highway from Mexico City (in reality, it was only about 25 miles), we finally arrived at Teotihuacan. I had worn loose clothes to be comfortable while climbing, and as it was cloudy, I decided against wearing a hat. I had also decided that I couldn’t climb to the top of the Pirámide del Sol without toting two cameras so I could have the advantage of shooting photos with two different lenses without risking getting dirt in my camera’s sensor. Sort of crazy on all accounts, right?… 

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December in Mexico City

If you hadn’t already heard, The Tortilla is turning into a traveling food blog for the month of December (and part of January)! I arrived here in Mexico City late Tuesday night, narrowly escaping blizzard-like conditions that hit Chicago shortly after my plane took off in the early afternoon. As I claimed my luggage, I began to feel a little trickle of sweat down the back of my neck. It’s been warm here, with highs in the upper 70s during the day (or around 25 degrees C if you use the metric system) and about 50 degrees F at night (10 degrees C). I’m not used to such warm temperatures in Mexico City in December because I usually don’t get here until Christmas Eve when it’s already chilly. Last year on Christmas Eve I remember wearing a winter coat.

Obviously, the first stop after leaving the airport was at a taquería for tacos al pastor. Knowing I had 10 more days ahead of me, most of which would end up taco-filled, I held back a bit and didn’t overindulge like I normally would. Last time I failed to pace myself with the tacos, I ended up with a case of killer indigestion that only a box of Onotón and some Melox could subdue.

Wednesday was my birthday, and if you’ve been a reader long enough you’ve probably already guessed I went to one of my favorite places for sopa de tortilla, La Guadiana in San Ángel. I also was treated to some delicious taquitos de chicharrón prensado and Sábana Azteca, a very thin piece of steak over a bean sauce, covered with cheese and topped with rajas con crema. I was in heaven.

While here, I’ve been dreaming up what recipes to share with you in the coming months. I’m working on learning a few holiday recipes from my suegra–including one of my favorites, ponche Navideño. It’s a Christmas fruit punch, served warm. The recipe comes from José’s abuelita.

For lunch yesterday, we made empanadas with a picadillo de carne molida (ground beef) that had jitomate (red tomato), cebolla (onion) and chile. Thought we cheated and used pre-made dough, they tasted just like they were made from scratch. I’m in the process of obtaining and translating the recipe, which I hope to share here very soon. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of what they look like:

empanadas

I’ll be posting more soon from Mexico once I’ve got more photos and stories to share. ¡Hasta luego!

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