Author Archive

I am pained when I walk by a bakery in Mexico and can’t go inside. It’s like going to a shoe store for me — I want to look at every single piece and wonder if maybe it’s my type. I usually stick to conchas because I’m obsessed, but there are plenty others I like too: the campechanas topped with burnt sugar that remind me of the best, crispiest pie crust; the puerquitos that taste like piloncillo and molasses; the cocoles, lightly sweet and sprinkled with anise seeds, which taste just about perfect with a cup of coffee. Mexico’s history […]

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Lately, whenever people ask me, “How’s New York?” I answer, “Fine.” Then I realize that might sound negative, so I add, “Good! Fine. You know. Good.” What I really want to say is: I’m not sure if I like this place. Yesterday the temperature hit 51 degrees, it hit me that maybe it was just winter that I didn’t like. In the sunshine, with the slush finally melted and people milling about running errands, untethered by scarves and jackets, my neighborhood seemed like a real neighborhood again. People walked a little slower on the sidewalks. The open doorway at the […]

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One of the things I’m most proud of is starting Eat Mexico, my tourism company that gives walking tours of Mexico City’s street stands, markets and taquerías. Our five local guides — three in Mexico City and two in Puebla — conduct the tours, and my fantastic manager Rebekah carries the day-to-day. I’m in the background, helping develop routes and managing the books, and occasionally answering questions from clients. We recently had a photographer, Teddy Wolff, visit one of our Street Food tours, and his photos made me ache for the city and the food that I love so much. […]

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These migas caught my eye on the Homesick Texan blog a few days ago. Her recipe called for black-eyed peas, and it was already New Year’s Eve and I didn’t have any. (Does that make me a bad honorary Tejana?) I did have black beans, though. And a good friend from Austin who’d be joining me for breakfast on New Year’s Day, which meant we must have migas come hell or high water. I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t made a big pan of migas from scratch before. With my friend Shaw’s guidance and the Homesick Texan recipe, it wasn’t […]

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I started this year a little heartbroken. Crayton and I had plunged ourselves into a new city. (An expensive one.) We made our home in a pre-war building in Queens, which had roaches in the kitchen and sputtering radiators that woke us up in the middle of the night. We learned to ignore our neighbors. We fell back in love with the American drugstore. We watched snow flutter on the lone pine tree across the street, and in the summer we stood on the stifling subway platforms and sweated through our shirts. We saw a free concert in Central Park, […]

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Truthfully, when I posted my new “Ask Carlos” series a few months ago, I thought I’d be the only one asking the questions. But I underestimated you guys. Turns out there are quite a few people interested in Mexican cheese — and I am really, really proud to be able to answer your questions. Here’s the first installment of Ask Carlos, in which Mexican Cheese expert Carlos Yescas answers two readers’ questions. Look for the next installment later this month. Dear Carlos: What Mexican cheese can I use to substitute Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese in lasagna? – Jorge P. Tocayo: […]

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One of the things I’ve quietly been toiling away on over the past few years is a cookbook proposal. Late last year I found an agent. And just recently, I signed a contract. Kyle Books, a small publisher based in London, will publish my book — tentatively titled Eat Mexico — in the Spring of 2015. It’ll be a mix of recipes and stories about Mexico City’s street food, markets and fondas, told from my perspective as a third-generation Mexican-American woman. There will also be gorgeous photographs of the city and its food, and the people who fuel the informal […]

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I just spent a week in the South visiting friends and Crayton’s family. We had fun, but the trip made me realize that despite being a Southerner by marriage for eight years, I still don’t know how to conduct a proper conversation. Strangers — the waitress at Waffle House, the lady at the gas station on the way to Charleston, a woman planting flowers in front of her home — would ask me, “Hi, how are you?” I’d answer “fine” and then think… wait. Did they really want to know how I am? Did I answer correctly? Does not coming […]

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Due to a quirk in my travel schedule, I was able to spend this year’s Day of the Dead in Mexico. My friend Rebecca organized an excursion to Huaquechula and Atlixco, two towns not too far from Puebla city. Rebecca had gone to Huaquechula a few years earlier, and she’d had the kind of experience that you’d hope to have on an intimate holiday like Day of the Dead. Locals had invited her into their homes to view their altars, and to eat and drink a little something. Festival organizers had created a map of the neighborhood, so visitors could […]

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Now that I’m back in the States, I’ve found myself occasionally wondering where to find the best varieties of Mexican cheese, or which American cheeses might have Mexican properties. Just a few weeks ago I emailed Carlos Yescas to answer my questions — he’s a Mexican cheese expert whom I interviewed on this blog last year, and we’ve become friends. He’s also written a new book in Spanish called Quesos Mexicanos. Carlos wrote me back a pretty great response and I had a lightbulb moment. What if others out there had Mexican cheese questions, too? Surely I can’t be the […]

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