Polvorones de Pechita y Nuez – Mesquite and Pecan Shortbread

I was fortunate enough to be invited to present at this year’s Tucson Meet Yourself a Folk Life festival, the 46th annual festival representing many of the diverse cultures residing in this Sonoran desert city. This was both hugely flattering and terrifying. This is an event attended by thousands, and though my own audience would…

Only From Sonora: Coyotas

If I am to speak in the quaint superlatives Mexico and Mexican cuisine are often described in, I would say a walk through an old Mexican neighborhood is an endless tease of heavenly fragrances promising steaming bowls of caldos, fresh tortillas, silken frijoles refritos etc etc. If the particular neighborhood in this cliche is the…

Mezcal: Past and Future

Nothing has been more tied to Mexican identity than tequila. While this one Mexican spirit was celebrated, many others were pushed into obscurity. I was invited to write about the past and present of tequila, and mezcal in general, for the Best of Phoenix 2016 issue of the Phoenix New Times: If the agave is…

Tortillas de Manteca

There was a time in Mexico’s northern states when the use of rendered lamb and beef fat to make flour tortillas was as common as the use of pork lard. The fat of one animal is just as good as another, even if the taste may be slightly different. Tortillas made with tallow, manteca de…

How To: Pinole from Scratch

Ready made pinole isn’t difficult to find, but making it from scratch is a rather enjoyable experience. Though blue corn is most popular for pinole, any dried corn suitable for popping can be used, no matter what the color. The steps for pinole are simple: toast and pop the corn, and grind to a fine powder. Sweeten…

Coricos Sonorenses – Sonoran Corn Cookies

Mexican pastry recipes are typically written in comically large quantities. A kilo of flour for everything. Half a kilo of lard. 100 empanadas or 500 cookies later, you’re done. The size of these recipes speak volumes of the Mexican love for baked goods. Thankfully, through the magic of the metric system, these recipes are easy…

Bacanora Meets Hibiscus – Bacanora con Jamaica

If you’re not familiar with bacanora – who am I kidding, you probably aren’t – I’ll give the short description. Bacanora is mezcal’s obscure northern cousin, or one of the many little known liquors of Mexico, one only now receiving attention as tequila has ceded some room in the spotlight. Hailing from the state of Sonora, and the…

Mexican Grilled Corn, Hold the Mayo

Mexican food is undeniably popular in the United States, yet this popularity irks me on occasion, brings a twitch to my eye and makes me wish it was perhaps just a little less popular. Why? Because unfortunately it is often the simplest of foods which are the most popular. Street tacos no bigger than two…

Anatomy of a Sonoran Dog: Hermosillo

I begrudgingly gave up on referring to these loaded hot dogs as ‘Hermosillo Dogs,’ as their legitimate name should be, hailing from the same hot desert city I come from, Hermosillo, capital of the northern Mexican state of Sonora, although my stubbornness was this time for good reason. There’s approximately five city based styles of hot dogs…