9th stop: Mexico

1461401_10152034025221397_631226825_nIt’s the kind of food that makes me want to PARTYYYYYY! The colourful presentation of Tostadas, the fresh aromatic ingredients of Quesadillas, and the flavourful kick of Tacos are all exciting and they work very well with a bottle of Corona, loud music and fireworks. One more time: PARTYYYYYY!

White corn, beans, tomatoes, guacamole, and chillies are the foundation of Mexican cooking. The Mexican Indians relied on the combination of corn and beans for their protein and invented tortillas made of corn until the arrival of Spaniards to Mexico; they brought additional enticing elements of grains, olives, different range of meat and spices. These ingredients were incorporated into traditional dishes, which we now consider typical Mexican cuisine. Gracias España!

6060856895_8fa305ff35_bMexican cuisine is recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of mankind as it often represents a festival. Unlike other countries, eating on the street seems to be calmer than eating at home!  Because food preparation at home tends to be very loud with mothers, step mothers, aunties and daughters cooking together and talking on top of each other around an orchestra of hungry kids entrusted to Our Lady of Guadalupe to protect them from the hot stove where meats and vegetables are resting in peace in a large pot; with broth and plenty of spices; simmering all day for dinner.
Cooking is a main talent for housewives, which is why the techniques are inherited from mother  to daughter as a social custom to bind families and help maintain social relationships. Once mastered; the daughter is considered ready to marry and have her own kitchen, and then her own kids.

6061409670_c8b0bda31d_bIn Latin America, Mexico has one of the most widespread street food cultures; the best known of Mexico’s street foods is the Taco: a combination of colourful fillings folded in a tortilla used as utensils. Founded in Mexico’s rural areas, a good wife like Maria Josefina would bring lunch to her faithful husband Juan Carlos to the fields wrapped in tortillas. Until the 20th century, Tacos became popular when many rural people migrated to the city and established stands to sell their traditional food. Main fillings can be pork, beef, or chicken, while seafood is mainly popular on the coasts. Garnishes vary but usually include chopped onion, cilantro, various salsas, grilled green onions, and finally my two best friends that trigger the party feeling: lime and chilli. Experimenting this variety of Mexican flavours brings you closer to the history of this fascinating cuisine and allows you to enjoy all the qualities of this great culture.

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Mexican cuisine has always been a sensational and flavourful adventure for people all around the world, and Sydney is no exception. Mexican food is cheap, and costs as low as $5.00 per taco. Some Mexican cantinas tend to make attractive bundles. To get the most of the experience, I suggest “El Loco” in Foveaux St Surry Hills, the food is cheap, taste great, and the atmosphere is superb! I was just there having my Jalapeno shot last week until I couldn’t feel my lips! I’m not sure if that’s a good thing but who cares? I’m so loving it!

Flying Fajita Sistas on Glebe Point Road is another joyful crib, less groovy than “El Loco” but the taste is definitely genuine. If you are on the go and want something ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! “Guzman Y Gomez” is spread all over Sydney and is quick to cater you with awesome food, but not the party, boohoooo!

It’s fantas-tacos time!IMG_1382

Use either Taco shells or flour tortillas to wrap the fillings together. Taco packages are available at any supermarket in different quantities and varieties.

Chicken: 200gr can fill 4 to 5 tacos. Grill chicken breast with a sprinkle of olive oil, a pinch of salt, then shred the meat with your hands once barbequed.

Beef: You can choose either minced beef, or a piece of steak. Cook with a sprinkle of olive oil, a pinch of salt until browned. With your hands, tear the steak into smaller pieces.

Vegetarian: Cook a can of mixed beans with a sprinkle of olive oil, 1 crushed garlic, 1 small shredded onion, add 2 diced tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and bring to boil. Use a fork to mash few beans and tomatoes to create a little paste.

1456062_10152041100911397_2143594835_nFor Taco Shells: Preheat oven to 180°C. Place tacos slightly apart on a baking tray and Heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until hot.

Place the main filling in taco shells. Top with shredded lettuce or iceberg, sliced tomato, shredded cheddar cheese, corn, sour cream and guacamole sauce. If you insist, add fresh chilli if you want a spicy kick or Jalapeno if you like taking risks. Sprinkle with coriander.

Upgrade to Tequila for maximum fun and maybe troubles and handcuffs. Whatever the outcome, the best part is that you won’t remember anything the next day 😉 Enjoy!

 

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