Friday, 25 February 2011

ART · Alexander Henry Fabrics Folklorico Collection Inspired in Mexican Motifs

Alexander Henry, a design studio located in Burbank, California created an amazing collection of fabrics with very Mexican motifs, from Frida all the way to Día de Muertos and Virgen de Guadalupe. Check them out!
"Welcome to the land of perfect sunsets. Colors are brighter here, and so are you. You’re tan and your new huaraches feel like old friends. Que mas quieres?"
Las Señoritas

Frida's Garden
Virgin of Guadalupe

RECIPE · Molletes. Think about them as your run of the mill cheese on toast with a Mexican twist!

Pronounced moe·ye·tay

Molletes are a yummy breakfast or brunch option in México: they are cheap and cheerful, easy to make and you can get all the ingredients in your local supermarket. Molletes are traditionally made with a type of bread called bolillo (very similar to a crusty roll) sliced lengthwise and spread with refried beans and melted Chihuahua cheese. They're usually eaten with salsa pico de gallo which is very mild and refreshing although you can always dip them in salsa verde, chipotle or even habanero salsa as well (these are super hot). 


What you need:
  • Preheated oven (180 C)
  • 2 White Continental Rolls (sold in Sainsbury's, very similar to bolillos)
  • Old El Paso Refried Beans
  • Sainsbury's Basics Grated Mozzarella
  • Butter or spread
  • Homemade pico de gallo salsa (recipe here)
Makes 4 molletes, enough for two people.

Cut the rolls lengthwise and spread with butter.
Spread the refried beans on top of this.
Add the grated cheese on top of the beans.
Stick them in the preheated oven until the cheese begins to melt and bubble (about 7 minutes, but don't trust the timer, keep an eye on them!)
Put some freshly made pico de gallo on top and eat immediately.  

Thursday, 24 February 2011

CULTURE · Today in México Día de la Bandera (Flag Day) is Celebrated

Flag Day · Día de la Bandera

Flag Day, or Dia de la Bandera, in Mexico symbolizes the pride that Mexicans have in their flag. Although they were colonized by Spain in the 1500s, the deep running pride for their country remains the same. The origin of the flag comes from the Aztecs, who believed that when they found the eagle perched on a nopal (prickly pear cactus) with a serpent in his talons that is where they were supposed to settle. That’s exactly what they did! The flags colors are green, white, and red. The green stands for hope and victory, and white stands for purity, and the red band represents the blood that was shed by their ancestors. The eagle on the cactus with the snake sits in the middle of the white band. Flag day is a day that Mexicans take to remember their country and how it came into being. In the schools, they teach the children about the origins of the flag and the nation anthem, and they often focus on the subject via TV shows and special programs. . Flag Day in Mexico is a special day that families can get together and celebrate their pride in their country. There are often parades and contests for people to enter with the most creative Mexico Flag idea for the day. 

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

NEWS · Banksy Transforms Migrant Road Sign into DREAM Crossing

British street artist Banksy is back. And so are repurposed versions of the iconic yellow traffic signs with a silhouetted family that line roads near the U.S.-Mexico border in California.
The first signs popped up near Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA, the site of dozens of accidents where immigrants attempting to enter the country by crossing an interstate highway were struck by motorists.
The signs show three silhouettes sprinting across the frame — a father figure leading the way for his wife and daughter. They look like they’re running so fast that they’re leaning forward as if they were mid flight and about to take off in to the air.
Now Banksy has given the road signs new meaning by adding a kite to the design.

ART · Lotería Cards Made into Pretty Pendants

A really cute find in Folksy. Haninia makes silver plated pendants featuring lotería card illustrations.

La Sirena

La Rosa

La Sandía

El Nopal

All images via Haninia's shop in Folksy.

Monday, 21 February 2011

RECIPE · Classic Mexican Pico de Gallo Salsa (Ripe Tomato, Onions and Green Chilli)

Pronounced pee·ko day ga·yo

This refreshing salsa is so typically Mexican that it even bears the colours of the flag. What's really wonderful about it is that you don't need to hunt for exotic ingredients. Serrano chillies are originally used but can be easily substituted by plain green chillies.

One thing to bear in mind about pico de gallo is that it must have a chunky consistency. It mustn't be pureed or look like curry sauce. You should be able to see bits of red, green and white clearly.

Salsa Pico De Gallo

Here's how to make it.


  • 1/2 a small (50g)  white onion  (we used Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Sweet Onions)
  • 4 vine ripened tomatoes
  • 10 sprigs of coriander
  • 1 medium green chilli
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt,
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4  teaspoon salt

Makes 1 cup.

You can core the tomatoes or if you don't want the seeds. Then, either dice all ingredients finely (onions and tomatoes should be made into small cubes 5 mm thick) or simply toss them into a food processor and chop until you get this chunky consistency (Remember, do not puree!)

Can be enjoyed as a dip with tortilla or as a topping for cheese quesadillas.

CULTURE · Fashion Inspired by Papel Picado (Traditional Mexican Paper Cuts)

Found via  The Crafty Chica 

Ronaldo Fraga SS2010 2
Ronaldo Fraga ·

Paper-Cut Dress by Robert Ryan
Robert Ryan ·

Laser cut dress by Alexander McQueen FW08
Laser Cut Dress by Alexander McQueen FW08

Laser cut dress Emilio Pucci 2
Laser Cut Dress by Emilio Pucci

All images from Outsapop 

Saturday, 19 February 2011

COMMENT · A deliciously tongue in cheek article about how Mexican food is ruining Gringos' lives

This is more like the sort of educated humour we were expecting from Top Gear's trio grande. Oh well nevermind.
Stop Making Delicious Food I Can't Stop Eating And Go Back To Mexico 
By James Whittington AUGUST 24, 2010This isn't the country I grew up in anymore. It used to be a place where hardworking Americans could make an honest living, support their families, and feel safe walking the streets. It used to be a place that rewarded decency and fairness. But now, thanks to the millions of illegal immigrants crossing our borders every year, all that's changed—and I for one have had enough. So listen up, Mexicans: Stop cooking all that mouthwatering food that I cannot stop consuming and go home!I am dead serious. We didn't invite you here, and it's high time you quit making all those rich, complex mole sauces that seem to fire every taste bud on my tongue and return to your native land. There's no room for you here.Yes, your sauces satisfy the body as well as the soul. But does that excuse the throngs of day laborers waiting on the corner every morning for jobs that rightfully belong to someone born in the USA? Even if that heavenly sauce is drizzled over seared duck breast and is studded with ripe avocados?No, sir. Not in my book...
Full article from The Onion here

RECIPE · The Magic of the Plain Quesadilla

With Mexican food, sometimes less is more.

People outside México are often led to believe that food is always overelaborate, showy and real gooey. That's not always the case and quesadillas are an example of that. A true quesadilla is nothing but a corn tortilla folded in half, filled with oaxacan cheese and warmed up on a hot pan until the cheese melts. Quick, cheap and really easy to make.

Plain Cheese Quesadilla and Jalapeños

You might need some extra oomph though, so you can add a lick of refried beans, dip it in guacamole, salsa verde or salsa pico de gallo, or even just have some jalapeño chilies on the side to nibble on between bites (that's SUCH a Mexican thing to do).

So in order to prepare a plain quesadilla making do with stuff available in most supermarkets in the UK you need:

We've found that this cheese is the most similar to Oaxacan cheese (cheddar tends to be a bit too strong even in its mildest variety). Also, pictured are some Mexican Discovery Green Jalapeños.

Then all you need to do is to heat up a pan (no need to add oil), warm up the tortilla and add the grated cheese. Fold it in half and keep cooking until the cheese has melted. Eat immediately!

Again, this isn't proper Mexican as such. Ideally the tortillas would be 100% corn (Old El Paso Corn Tortillas are only 27% corn flour and the rest is wheat flour).

OK, so where on Earth to get proper tortillas and salsas you ask?

That proves a bit more difficult than simply popping down to your local Sainsbury's but it's not impossible. Cool Chile sells packs of a dozen corn tortillas here, and we just found out about Rico Mexican Kitchen who have an impressive array of salsas right here. If you live in London, go to Wholefoods Market and ask for Sabores Aztecas Green Salsa for the most amazing tomatillo salsa imported directly from México.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

CULTURE · El Santo, the Silver Masked Man (September 1917 - February 1984)

Santo, el enmascarado de plata, originally uploaded by Stregoika.
On February the 5th ( so sorry Santo, better late than never!) Rodolfo Guzmán Huerta, el Enmascarado de Plata died 27 years ago.

But what is so special about a guy who wears turtlenecks, fights against sorry looking monsters and stars in downright silly and tatty low budget movies?

Well, he is the epitome of the populace's dreams and hopes. He always saved the day and rescued the damsels in distress using cutting edge James Bond-esque technology, and never failed to kick the baddie's arse. He was a flesh and bone super hero that, unlike Batman or Superman, you could actually go see fighting live at the Arena Mexico's ring.

It is fair to say that his silver mask became a fetish to all his followers. For them, it symbolizes occult qualities, mysterious agencies but most importantly it is a token of justice for the common man.

Long live the legend of El Santo.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

FOOD & DRINK REVIEW · "Café Pacífico" in Covent Garden, London

Café Pacífico is a Mexican cantina in Covent Garden that opened in 1982. Its decor is breathtaking, it definitely doesn't get any more Mexican than that.  The walls are covered in vintage posters and painted in a lovely turquoise colour so reminiscent of traditional markets. After a few Coronas you could easily forget the fact that you're in middle of London!

We were a bit bummed to realize that, foodwise, there's a bit of a TexMex vibe going on in the menu. We ordered the Enchiladas and the Chicken Tacos, to try and step away from other less Mexican options such as Burrito Especial and Chile con Carne... 

Anyway, the presentation was perfectly genuine. The accompaniments of arroz rojo and frijoles refritos  on the side are typically Mexican. On the other hand, we found the tortillas to be fairly soggy. They tasted of maiz dough alright, but they weren't crispy or crunchy at all. Chicken tacos or tacos dorados are supposed to be thin enough to fit in your mouth and crispy enough so you can hold in your hand without the filling coming out. In this case though, we had to use knife and fork as they were so thick and pulpy. 

The enchiladas were red (red tomato based salsa rather than green tomatillo, a very elusive ingredient in the UK it seems) and  tasted suspiciously peppery and very similar to wannabe Discovery Roasted Pepper Salsa (Pro-tip: real Mexican salsas, whether red or green do not contain roasted peppers. Peppers are sooo Tex Mex, don't be fooled!)

Last but not least, the drinks. We ordered Micheladas and boy were they good. The mix of chilli, lime and spices was just right. You might as well be in a proper cantina in Monterrey with this baby:

All in all, a fabulous place with a truly Mexican atmosphere. Food is, again a bit too on the TexMex (and pricey!) side although not nearly as much as other restaurants out there such as Chiquito

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

VIDEO · Frida Kahlo Museum "Casa Azul" in México City


There's a deep connection between Frida's creative universe and her home, her "blue house". Today, Casa Azul is one of the most visited museums in Mexico City.

Beautifully filmed clip about Kahlo's home. In Spanish.

Monday, 7 February 2011

PHOTO · Early Mexican Civilisation in the British Museum

Zapotec Funerary Urns, originally uploaded by The Daily Mexican.
Early Mexican civilization is explored in Room 27 of the British Museum in London, along with the Classic Veracruz and Huaxtec cultures and the Maya city states of the first millennium AD.

The display includes stunning objects, including highly-prized turquoise mosaic, dating from the Mixtec-Aztec culture of AD 1400–1521, and stone sculptures of Huaxtec female deities from AD 900-1450.

VIDEO · A masterclass on how to deal with phone extortionists

A popular way of extortion in México is threatening phone calls. These call centers of crime are usually inside prisons. Criminals will call random numbers and deceive whoever answers the phone into thinking a member of his or her family has been kidnapped, and then of course ask for money in order to release the victim.

There are loads of audio files online documenting real extortion calls, but this one stands out for being utterly hilarious. There's not much info about it, we only know a girl called Marcela completely fucks with so called Commander Miguel Angel Treviño Morales' head.

Audio in Spanish subtitled in English by The Daily Mexican. 

NEWS · The Daily Star apologises to the Mexican Embassy for Top Geargate

Reporter Ricardo Peppernap from The Daily Star, apologises for Top Gear incident by taking some Chilango burritos to the Mexican Embassy. Wearing a sarape, sombrero and a big fat moustache ¬_¬

Embassy guy Ariel Morales doesn't look impresed.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

PHOTO · Mineral de Pozos, Guanajuato, México

A set of pictures taken in Mineral de Pozos in Guanajuato, central México. It was considered a mining district in its heyday during the XIX century, with hundreds of operating mines and about 70,000 residents.

It's now known as a ghost town. These are some of its last vestiges.

Click on the image to browse the entire set on The Daily Mexican's Flickr Photostream.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

COMMENT · Come on Topgear, you can do better than that

Or maybe not.

Eduardo Medina Mora has written to the BBC about "insults" made by Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May.
Discussing a Mexican sports car, Hammond said vehicles reflected national characteristics so "Mexican cars are just going to be lazy".
The BBC did not comment but said it would respond directly to Mr Mora.
Reviewing the Mastretta on Sunday's show, Hammond said: "Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat."

Yes the new Mexican sports car is probably crap, so why not leave it at that and move on? There are so many ways in which you can be funny without resorting to slaggin off an entire culture. How about suggesting that the honk only plays La Cucaracha or that the car runs on mezcal instead of petrol? No? Not prejudiced and offensive enough?

This went way beyond a stereotype you can laugh off. Hammond wouldn't get away with saying "Imagine waking up everyday and remembering you're  ____________"  Insert: lesbian, black, homosexual, HIV positive, mentally ill, Pakistani, etcetera on the line. So why using the Mexicans as an easy target?