El Norte is sometimes referred to as “unknown Mexico” or “lost Mexico” because it is ignored by the vast majority of tourists. It’s a place of vaqueros, horses and small towns, mountains and sweeping deserts. But at the same time with some of the more modern cities in the country. Truly this is a very rich and virgin region. Visit Chihuahua or Coahuila and you will be far off the well worn gringo path. In many ways traveling to the north is like traveling through an old Western movie. Northern Mexico is one of the country’s most wealthy and modern regions.
Things you didn’t know about Mexico:
- The colonization of the New World by the Spaniards introduced a lot of products to the rest of the world. Among those incredible contributions to global gastronomy are tomatoes, peanuts, avocados, corn, vanilla and hot peppers. Imagine many of our favorite dishes without these ingredients!
- A Mexican inventor created the world’s first birth control. That’s right. Luis Ernesto Miramontes Cardenas, a 25 year old Mexican chemist came up with the chemical compound – that would become the first birth control pills – in 1951.
- Mexican Spanish has more Arabic words than Spain’s Spanish. After the colonialization of Mexico by the Spaniards, Spanish in the Old Country underwent an evolution that involved ridding the language of Arabic influence, which the Spanish looked down upon at the time. But the Spanish spoken in Mexico retained this influence and can be seen today in their distinct use of worlds like alberca (pool), almohada (pillow) and Ojalá (which translates roughly to “I hope so” or “if god wills it”).
A bit of breakfast dish right in time for Easterbrunch! This is Machaca a tortilla with scrambled eggs and dried shredded beef! I love it! So damn good and easy to make
- 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of white onion finely chopped
- 1 cup of dry beef meat finely shredded (could be substituted with shredded cooked beef)
- 1 cup tomato finely chopped
- 2 Serrano peppers chopped
- 6 eggs lightly beaten
- Salt to taste
- Chipotle sauce to taste
- Creme fraice
- Flour tortillas to serve
- Heat the oil in a medium heat skillet, add the onion and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the dry meat. It will absorb the oil in the skillet. Let it brown a little at medium heat stirring frequently. About 5 minutes for this step.
- Add more oil if need. Place the chopped tomatoes and Serrano pepper into the skillet. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Lower the heat.
- Now the tomatoes have released their juice.
- Pour the eggs into the skillet and stir until they are done and to your liking. Taste to see if they need salt. Do not let them dry.
- Well, some people like to eat this dish very saucy.
- Serve with with jalapenos, creme fraiche, flour tortillas and cilantro. Mix the mayo with the chipotle sauce.
It has been a while I know, but I have been crazy crazy busy with work, and love and friends. But now I am stuck at home for a while there were no more excuses ofcourse and i have all the time in world.
I will split up Mexico in 4 parts, because it is simply impossible to simply choose 1 dish, and Mexican food is one of my favorites.
Soooo First up is the peninsula of Yucatan. The states of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo are all found in the peninsula. Northern sections of neighbouring Belize and Guatemala (haven’t been to Mexico but I have been to Guatemala and Belize, best trip I ever made!) also form part of its expanse. Yucatan is a little different from other parts of Mexico, traditionally it’s a Mayan region, and the signs of that are still very visible, for example Chichén Itzá an incredibly well-preserved Mayan center that was once a major spiritual and economic hub, which is listed as one of the seven wonders of the world. Strangely the entire peninsula has no rivers that run above the ground, but there is a complex network of underground rivers which have formed beautiful caves and underwater sinkholes called cenotes. They are a popular place to swim, snorkle and dive.
Things you didn’t now about Yucatan:
- The word “Yucatán” may be the result of a misunderstanding. The origins of the word Yucatán are the subject of debate. According to Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, the name arose from a confusion. Cortés wrote that a Spanish explorer had asked a native what the area was called. Apparently he responded “Uma’anaatik ka t’ann,” which in Mayan means “I do not understand you.” Misunderstanding his response, the Spanish named it Yucatán.
- The Yucatán is famed for its troubadour music, or trova, which has roots in Cuban and Colombian rhythms. “La Peregrina” (The Pilgrim) is one of the most popular trovassongs. Written by Ricardo Palmerín in 1923, the haunting song was commissioned by the Governor of Yucatán, Felipe Carrillo, for his fiancée, the American journalist Alma Reed. Tragically, the romance was ill-fated. Carrillo was shot dead by a rebel army while Reed was in San Francisco preparing for their wedding.
- The Yucatán Peninsula is the site of the Chicxulub crater, which was created by an asteroid about 6 to 9 miles (10 to 15 kilometers) in diameter. The impact, which struck around 65 million years ago, caused worldwide climate problems and may have triggered the extinction of the dinosaurs.
- Yucatan is the worlds top producer of the super spicy habanero pepper
The food of the Yucatán peninsula is distinct from the rest of the country and is based on Mayan food with influences from Cuba and other Caribbean islands, Europe, Asia and Middle Eastern cultures. In this recipe you can most certainly taste the Mediterranean influences.Read the rest of this entry »
Guam and Northern Marianas a few tiny dots in the middle of the ocean. Famous for being close to the Mariana Trench which is the deepest part of ocean anywhere in the world! Scientists say there are so many fish and other sea creatures that are undiscovered. Guam’s economy survives on Japanese tourists who come to visit these exquisite dreamy tropical islands!
As Micronesia’s most populous island, Guam is about as ‘cosmopolitan’ as it gets in the middle of the ocean.
Some people are against it since the shopping malls are everywhere and the traditional Chamorro language is barely spoken on the islands. But then again if you think about it it’s kind of amazing, shopping malls in the middle of the ocean!
Things you didn’t know about Guam:
- Guam has the tallest mountain in the world 11 277,6 meters! Mount Lamlam is 1,332 feet above sea level. But thanks to the Marianas Trench (the deepest part of all the world’s ocean), it’s underground base becomes the greatest change of elevation on Earth compared to the height of Mt. Everest.
- Brown Tree Snakes are pests to Guam. They are not indigenous to Guam. It has been theorized that they stowed away on ships from Australia and Indonesia and sneaked their way onto the shores of Guam. Since they are not naturally from Guam, they do not have any predators. Therefore killing Brown Tree Snakes is socially accepted, so if you see someone smashing a snake it is considered normal.
- Guam is part of the USA!!! I never knew this. It’s closer to the Philippines then to US but still it’s part of the USA.
Oh mighty Canada! How much I love Canada! During my gapyear after high school I lived in Vancouver for 3 months. I can honestly say Canada has some of the most friendly and coolest people in the world! So Canada… There is so much to say that I don’t know where to start. To me Canada represents freedom because it has everything: nice beaches, vibrant cities, majestic mountains, cold winters with epic ice hockey games (GO CANUCKS!!!) and nice summers to chill by the lakes.
- Canada is the second largest nation in the world and has no less then 6 timezones!!!!
- Half of the country is covered with forests, which should come as no surprise considering one-tenth of the world’s forests can be found in Canada.
- Despite being a huge country, Canada has the fourth lowest population density in the world, with only three people living per square kilometer! Almost half of the population in Canada were born in other countries. (WHY??? Canada is one of the best places ever! Come on people!)
- About 90% of Canada’s population is concentrated within 160 kilometers (100 miles) of the Canada/US border.
Well the food I made this week was really a no brainer, come on poutine is one of the best things ever! Yes I know it ain’t exactly healthy or nice looking, but oh god it’s tastes like heaven! Before I lived in Vancouver I had never heard about poutine let alone tried it. I remember the day I tried poutine like it was yesterday: I was kind of drunk after clubbing and I was looking for something to eat with some friends. We found this tiny little place where they sold poutine.
Ingredients: 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, ¼ cup flour, 1 shallot (minced), 1 garlic clove (minced), 4 cups beef stock, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, salt and ground black pepper (to taste), Canola oil (for frying), 2 cups white cheddar cheese curds
Cut the potatoes into lengths of about ¼” x ¼” x 4”. Place the cut up potatoes into a large bowl. Fill the bowl with enough cold water to cover the potatoes and refrigerate for 2 hours. Heat the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted whisk in the flour and cook while whisking until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add the minced shallot and garlic and cook until soft (about 2 more minutes). Add the beef broth a little at a time while whisking. Whisk in ketchup, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil while whisking. Cook while whisking until the mixture has thickened (about 6 minutes). Keep the gravy warm. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 325 degrees F. Drain the water from the potatoes and dry them with paper towels. Fry the potatoes in small batches tossing occasionally until tender and slightly crisp (about 4 minutes). Drain the potatoes on paper towels and allow them to cool for 20 minutes. Increase the temperature of the deep-fryer to 190 C. Deep-fry the potatoes once again in small batches, tossing occasionally, until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Divide the potatoes into serving dishes. Pour gravy over the fries in the serving dishes and top with cheese curds. Serve immediately.
Well this song, again no brainer! Off course I could have gone for the obvious with Céline Dion or Michael Buble, but I just love this song! Not that I don’t love Michael Buble! I adore Michael Buble and listen to his music at least once a day on my iPod. But this song just describes Canada so well!