Exploring Mexico’s Delicious Gastronomic Heritage and Traditions
By Rocio Carvajal, food researcher, cook, and author.
I believe there’s no better way to explore a culture than through its gastronomic history, the stories behind traditional food are the stories of the people who created and transmitted them.
Food brings people together because historically it represents the care we provide for each other, teamwork, creativity, and love, throughout our life we experience food as providers, cooks or consumers.
When we eat not only we satisfy a vital requirement it also provides us a multitude of sensory pleasures, but more importantly, food nourishes our cultural identity, which is the reason why I believe that to understand a culture we must experience and learn from their culinary traditions.
Through my work, I want to change the way the world thinks about Mexican food, its culinary traditions, cooking, and eating.” Rocio Carvajal
After taking part in several projects as a researcher, author, speaker, and guest traditional cook in England and Mexico I decided to create and run my own venture under the name Pass the Chipotle, a digital platform that hosts SABOR! This is Mexican Food a quarterly digital magazine which celebrates Mexico’s amazing culinary heritage, exploring the historical events that shaped the edible treasures of a world-acclaimed cuisine. SABOR! also has a companion podcast.
Each issue of the magazine offers easy to follow recipes that are delicious and unique, accompanied with great photography and in-depth articles about Mexico’s culinary identity and traditions.
The creative compass of my work is guided by two passions: learning and sharing, and I certainly find that Mexico’s national cuisine is an infinite source of inspiration, knowledge, and pleasure!
Indeed, my own passion for its gastronomic history – my own heritage – extends well beyond the archives, where its historical and cultural origins are recorded, and into my kitchen, where I love to recreate (and taste) those traditional dishes that I document and share with you all, my other global community.
The way people outside Mexico perceive Mexican food has been highly mediated by the interpretations of a number of dishes adapted from Tex-Mex food, – a tasty – but already hybrid cuisine, added to this the branding of “Mexican food” as understood by international food chains such as Taco Bell, Chilis, Chilango or Chipotle has resulted in a culinary reinterpretation that could not be more very distant from traditional Mexican food to the point of being unrecognizable.
The reason why back in 2010 Mexican food was listed by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage of humanity, goes way beyond the mere recipes, but because, traditional Mexican cuisine is a comprehensive cultural model comprising farming, ritual practices, age-old skills, culinary techniques, and ancestral community customs and manners. It is made possible by collective participation in the entire traditional food chain: from planting and harvesting to cooking and eating, the gastronomic heritage of Mexico is not valued because it is unique, but rather because it is relevant for the community who practices owns it.
Traditional Mexican food creates bonds, a sense of pride and belonging and solidarity, and these are the values that are transmitted from one generation to the next.
Here’s a preview of the latest issue:
Table of Contents
The Alpha & Omega of Mexican food
THE MEXICAN COOKBOOK
A national passion
HOW TO MAKE TORTILLAS
The taste of history
A millenary harvest
A self-inflicted pleasure
The chef redefining Mexico’s traditional food
A Special Offer
Here is an exclusive promocode with -15% to the readers of the Mexican Food Journal in the purchase of SABOR! This is Mexican Food.
Join me on a delicious journey exploring Mexico’s the fascinating gastronomy, its origins, recipes, and traditions.
I want to thank Douglas’ for his generosity for inviting me to write this piece for Mexican Food Journal, a beautiful project that inspires expats, travelers and food lovers to discover and fall in love – just like he did- with the culturally rich and voluptuously delicious Mexican food.
Rocio has a degree in Communication, an MA in International Aid for Development and studies in cultural management and medieval history. She’s passionate about food studies and the gastronomic heritage and traditions of Mexico which she explores through her many projects whether they are editorial, academic, cultural or food-related.