Culture

Here’s What These Top Mexican Chefs Have To Say About The Future Of Mexican Food In The US

Mexican food is one of most popular cuisines in the United States and for good reason. In 2017, CHD Expert estimated that there are more than 59,800 Mexican restaurants in the U.S. Mexican Menu foods are also more common in the U.S. than hamburgers or pizza. That’s why it’s no surprise that Mexican chefs are constantly re-inventing the iconic food and finding new ways to prepare timeless dishes.

Some of the top Mexican and Mexican-American chefs gathered for a panel about the future of Mexican cuisine in the U.S.

CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

Cacique, a leading brand of Mexican-style cheeses, curated a panel discussion with some of the world’s top Mexican and Mexican-American chefs to share their takes on what will impact the culinary world.

The panel was hosted by award-winning chef Aarón Sánchez and consisted of Chef Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza in Los Angeles, Chef Richard Ampudia of La Esquina in New York City, Chef Santiago Gomez of Cantina La Veinte and Tacology in Miami and Chef Wes Avila of Guerrilla Tacos in Los Angeles. These are some of dishes and food trends they think you should look out for in the coming year.

Among the many food trends you should expect to see in 2019 are the return to local origin ingredients and handmade tortillas.

CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

In the world of food there are countless trends that come and go but when it comes to Mexican food what was once old is now new. When asked what we should look out for in Mexican food in 2019, Lopez said she sees the return to basics in terms of where chefs find their ingredients. She says there will be a localized understanding and appreciation of the ingredients that comes from Mexican cuisine.

“I think there will be a growing respect and appreciation for these types of ingredients that don’t necessarily come from the U.S. like chiles and pozole,” Lopez said. “Places like Oaxaca have some of the best ingredients and you can tell the difference just be a single ingredient.”

Avila uses handmade tortillas for all his food at his taco restaurant in LA. According to Avila, we should expect to see a growing appreciation for the ingredients and process used to make them.

“I think if you ask anyone that’s had a handmade tortilla they can taste the flour and the corn and there is a certain appreciation for the entire process,” Avila said. “It might take more time to make but that’s where the consumer needs to appreciate there is a lot of heart going into their dish.”

Open fire cooking will return as the top preparation style at restaurants.

CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

According to Avila and Lopez, open fire grilling isn’t only what’s next in Mexican cuisine it’s going to be part of a revolution in how many restaurants prepare their food. Open fire grilling is popular because of the slow cook burning taste that meats like barbacoa get when prepared over wood.

“It’s a unique taste when you bite into some barbacoa and can see the smokey flavors that went into preparing it,” Avila said.

Lopez says when she traveled to Oaxaca she saw many homes with no refrigerators or stoves just open fire cooking.

Vegan makeovers to Keto Diet-friendly versions of your favorite Mexican classics will be on menus.

CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

As more people switch to healthier and more plant based diets, Mexican dishes have adjusted as well. Ampudia says you may start to see full Mexican food menus catered to vegan and keto diets.

“Dishes like eggplant and squash will take the base of the meal instead of your traditional meats,” Ampudia says. “We are moving towards a new movement in Mexican food that is being influenced by mainstream dieting food trends.”

A fusion of Asian and Mexican techniques will be used when preparing and presenting dishes.

CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

Ampudia says that when traveling to Mexico City he has seen a growing population of Japanese chefs in the area that are creating Mexican-Asian fused dishes. He says the growing population of chefs are already influencing young Mexican chefs in the area who in return are traveling to the U.S and Europe with these new fresh ideas.

“Asian-Mexican fusion is here to stay and the dishes compliment each other so well with their flavors,” Ampudia says. “Umami and these different types of spices can be found in Mexico and in Asia which makes it easy to create these dishes.”

Los Angeles and Chicago will continue to grow as hotspots for Mexican food in the United States.

CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

Both LA and Chicago are home to some of the largest populations of Latinos in the country. Avila says LA is the mecca of Mexican food in the U.S. and says that that’s where the Mexican food future is. He says that because of California’s resources when it comes to ingredients which makes it easier to experiment and try out new dishes year round.

“All eyes are going to be on LA when it comes to the forefront of what’s next in Mexican food,” Avila said.

Gomez has also seen Miami grow not only as a Mexican community but a hot spot of new dishes because ingredients are becoming more available than ever before.

“Everyone down there is into the corn, frijoles and quesos which is paving the way for more dishes. It’s a difficult place because it has a lot of Latin influences but not Mexican,” Gomez says. “Were trying to show that Mexican food not only is making its mark in Miami but it has a home.”

As for things that need to change is the misconception that Mexican food is cheap street food.

CREDIT: Javier Rojas/ mitú

One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to Mexican food is that it’s cheap and you shouldn’t pay as much for it compared to other dishes. All of the chefs agree that this stigma needs to change and it starts with Mexicans themselves who need to start appreciating their own food. That also applies to using the correct names when listing food items on menus instead of trying to create trendy new titles.

“I always hear people say ‘OMG I love Mexican food but when it’s too expensive I won’t pay for it’ and that needs to stop and start with us,” Lopez says. “The idea that it’s okay to pay $20 for a bowl of pasta but trip when they have to pay for a $20 bowl of mole is insane. As Mexicans and Mexican-American chefs we should be the first to give our food the respect it deserves.”


READ: These Restaurants Are Serving Up Some Of The Best Mexican Food From The West Coast To The East Coast

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Neiman Marcus Is Charging White People Prices For “Traditional, Handmade” Tamales And The Internet Has Had Enough

Culture

Neiman Marcus Is Charging White People Prices For “Traditional, Handmade” Tamales And The Internet Has Had Enough

America’s fancification and appropriation of simple, traditional foods – especially “ethnic foods” – reached another milestone with the news that Dallas-based retailer Neiman Marcus is now selling gourmet tamales on its website at a pretty astounding price — six dozen for $92, plus $18 for shipping. That’s $110 for 72 tamales.

How have we made it this far without Neiman Marcus tamales? For years, we’ve been relying on handmade tamales from our tías and primas like peasants, unaware that luxury tamales were just a click and a payday away.

The luxury tamales made headlines in outlets ranging from the Dallas Morning News to GQMy San Antonio called it “an outright food foul,” taking this “usually affordable, traditional dish” and tacking on “an outrageous price tag.”

But is it really at all surprising that a luxury retailer is trying to make a buck off our people’s food and culture?

Neiman Marcus is the type of place where you can expect to see a Mexican-inspired jacket, such as this one, retailing for more than $300.

Given the propensity for corporations from around the world to try and capitalize off other people’s cultures, it really isn’t too surprising that Neiman Marcus would launch a line of luxury tamales.

Now the Dallas-based luxury retailer is once again offering up ‘luxury yet tradition’ with their ‘handmade’ tamales.

Although news of the tamales has once again shocked many of us, it isn’t exactly new. It was in 2016 when Neiman Marcus first started offering these highbrow tamales and even then it made headlines. And it’s easy to see why.

An order of six dozen Neiman Marcus tamales will set you back $92, plus shipping. Neiman Marcus tamales might look like regular tamales, but they’re actually very expensive and fancy. They are “handmade from a traditional recipe of fresh stone-ground corn, top-quality meats, lard, spices, and natural flavorings.” Can the food truck by your office honestly claim that its meats are top-quality? Or is your mama using luxury masa?! 

At six dozen (72 total if you’re too lazy to do the math), the $92 price tag isn’t totally off the mark, especially if they’re truly handmade. Anyone who has helped make tamales during the holidays knows that it’s not only time-consuming, it also takes a bit of practice. (And if you screw up too often, you’ll be roasted for it by your mom and tías).

They’re only available in beef, chicken and pork. Sorry, folks, no rajas. Unfortunately for Neiman Marcus customers, they’ll never experience what it’s like to unwrap a tamal, bite into it and realize it’s a random tamal de dulce that got mixed in with a different batch. 

But wait, there’s more! You can also order an “Enchilada Dinner” for $72.

Neiman Marcus didn’t stop with the tamales. Shoppers can also order flautas and enchiladas. In fact, for $72, plus $18 shipping, you get 12 enchiladas: six with beef and six with chicken.

Yup, Neiman Marcus is asking people to pay $90 for 12 enchiladas.

Just curious as to how many people are actually paying these white people prices to get their hands on traditional Mexican foods?

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This Mexican lady Has Gone Viral On TikTok For Her Recipe Videos Showing You How Easy It Is To Be A Cook

Culture

This Mexican lady Has Gone Viral On TikTok For Her Recipe Videos Showing You How Easy It Is To Be A Cook

Look, it’s no secret that cooking isn’t for everyone. It can be tiring, time-consuming, and sometimes downright difficult. Even if we’re learning from our abuelos or tíos, who are passing down a generation’s worth of recipes, the idea of cooking can be intimidating.

But one woman has taken to TikTok to demystify Mexican cooking and she’s making it look super easy in the process. And as someone who’s actually tried out several of her quick TikTok recipe videos, I can tell you, it is as easy as it looks.

Jenny Martinez has quickly become TikTok’s favorite Latina mom.

In her videos on TikTok, Jenny Martinez shares her traditional Mexican recipient with more than 1.5 million followers – and everything from her dad’s famous shrimp cocktail to her easy churros is on the menu.

Martinez got the idea to create recipe videos for TikTok from her daughter, who herself is an avid TikTok user. The duo shot a few short videos and from their things quickly escalated.

“The following morning my phone was blowing up and we couldn’t believe it that one of my videos had gone viral,” Martinez told In The Know.

Although creating video content, especially cooking content, is a lot of work, Martinez sees it as a chance to do what she already loves – to cook. For her, it’s not just about making mouthwatering meals, like conchas con nieve or chuletas abobadasit’s about preserving Mexican culture.

She learned traditional cooking from her mother growing up.

Like so many of us, Martinez grew up learning how to cook with her mother.

“For me, it’s not — it’s not that I’m giving away my secrets,” Martinez told In The Know. “To me, it’s just sharing my knowledge to the younger community so we can continue our culture, the authentic Mexican recipes that our grandmas, our mothers passed down to us.”

Food is one of the greatest bonds between a community. It helps shape traditions, events, ceremonies, and entire cultures. Martinez knows this and believes that food can unite the people within a culture while educating those outside of it. Some of her followers haven’t heard of the ingredients she uses but her explainers in English make such barriers fade away.

“The whole Mexican cooking, it’s just something that connects us together as a community and as Mexicans,” Martinez told In The Know. “Now that I see that in social media that everybody wants to learn and everybody wants to keep on the traditions, that’s what I like. That’s what I want to see.”

The mom’s recipes are great for budding chefs at all levels.

Martinez tells her followers not to get so hung up on trying something new and just attempt to do what you want with the recipe.

“You don’t have to be an expert in cooking. Just open the fridge and start following my recipes. I try to make them as easy as possible,” she said.

But at the heart of it all, Martinez is really passionate about her craft.

“I honestly see the beauty in food and in the cooking,” Martinez told In The Know. “I mean, it’s kind of like an art at the end of the day. When you’re plating it and when you see everything just combining. When you see all of those ingredients, that aroma coming out, to me it’s just beautiful.”

Sure, summer may be over but it’s still forever sandia season in my mind. Especially the version Martinez does on her TikTok. Lathered in chamo y and tajin, you’ll never look at sandia paletas the same.

And you’re not the only one – this video has been viewed more than 1.2 million times!

This is the one that I tried to make and it turned out soooo good.

Carne asada nachos are the ultimate cure for la cruda and every time I was out at bar hoping (pre-Covid obviously), I’d almost always end up at a truck by my house for these guys. But doing them at home is just as easy and mil veces mas delicious!

Martinez teaches you how to make these bomb nachos in less than 30 seconds so it’s worth your investment. The result is everything!

Which recipes are you most excited to try out? Or h

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