Culture

Guelaguetza, One Of LA’s Most Iconic Mexican Restaurants, Is Sharing Some Of Their Recipes On Instagram

So many companies are sharing their longheld secret recipes. Disney wants you to make their churros from home while Waffle House is showing us how to make their waffles. In Los Angeles, the iconic and important Guelaguetza is giving people a chance to recreate some Oaxacan classics in their own kitchens.

Guelaguetza has been serving Oaxacan food to Los Angeles since the 1990s.

Guelaguetza was one of the restaurants that famed LA food critic Jonathan Gold reviewed and put on the LA food map. Bricia Lopez, one of the children of the original restaurant owners, has kept the business running with her siblings. Now, they aren’t just running the restaurant. The family has diversified the company to bring the best tastes of Oaxaca right to your kitchen.

Recently, Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral released “Oaxaca,” a cookbook celebrating the regionally specific dishes.

The cookbook was released in 2019 and gives homecooks a chance to create everything from Oaxacan Adobo to Frijol Blanco con Bacalao Capeado to Chiles Rellenos de Picadillo. Lopez’s family moved to Los Angeles from Oaxaca and her father was the one who decided to open a restaurant that offered Oaxacan food, not general Mexican food. Decades later, the restaurant is a James Beard-award winning institution of Los Angeles.

With so many people at home because of COVID-19, Lopez is sharing recipes from Guelaguetza and the cookbook.

Food is one of the most important things when it comes to cultural representation and identity. There is something transcendent about digging into your favorite dish that you abuela made you all the time growing up. Some foods do far more than nourish your body. They feed the soul and highlight your cultural awareness and pride.

You can learn how to make some Rojo Chicken Nachos.

View this post on Instagram

@bricialopez uploaded this video on her feed a couple of weeks ago and it has become our most replicated mole recipe yet! ⠀ ⠀ If you haven’t ordered your Mole yet, remember we ship ALL OVER THE COUNTRY! 📦 Simple visit : STORE.ILOVEMOLE.COM. ⠀ ⠀ We offer free shipping in orders over $50 ✈️ ⠀ ⠀ FULL RECIPE 👇🏽 :⠀ ⠀ INGREDIENTS:⁣⠀ 1 tsp vegetable oil ⁣⠀ ¼ cup diced onion⁣⠀ 1 tsp cumin⁣⠀ One 14 1/2-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained ⁣⠀ 2 tablespoons mole paste⁣⠀ ¼ cup chicken broth⁣⠀ ½ teaspoon garlic flakes⁣⠀ Pinch salt⁣⠀ 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded⁣⠀ 1 large bag salted tortilla chips, about 14 oz⁣⠀ 24 ounces shredded cheese ⁣⠀ ¾ cup pico de gallo (homemade or store bought)⁣⠀ 1/4 cup Mexican crema⁣⠀ 1 or 2 ripe avocados, cubed⁣ ⠀ ⁣⠀ INSTRUCTIONS:⁣⠀ 1️⃣Preheat oven to 325° F.⁣⠀ Heat a pan over medium heat and heat oil. Saute onions and cumin for 5 minutes until fragrant and translucent. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ 2️⃣Add beans. Stir for 5 more minutes and add vegetable broth, garlic flakes and mole paste. Stir mole paste until it’s fully dissolved. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ 3️⃣Add shredded chicken and stir to combine. Remove from flames. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ 4️⃣On a medium baking pan with a high lip (or another oven-proof casserole dish), spread out a serious layer of tortilla chips. Next, evenly spread half of the chicken and beans mixture over the chips, and then half of the cheese. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ 5️⃣Repeat with another layer of chips, the rest of the chicken and beans, and then the remaining cheese.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ 6️⃣Bake nachos in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until both layers of cheese are melted.⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ 7️⃣Remove nachos from oven and sprinkle with pico de gallo and cubed avocado.⁣⠀ You can also serve it with a side of guacamole.⁣⠀

A post shared by Guelaguetza (@laguelaguetza) on

The recipe uses some of Guelaguetza’s mole, which you can purchase online from the restaurant’s store. This is also a nice chance for people to really give their kitchen some love and attention. Who hasn’t wanted to find a new recipe to learn during this time? Nachos are always a crowd-pleaser and surely these will be a hit with you and anyone you are currently isolating with.

Lopez also shows us how to make some delicious Mole Enchiladas.

There is so much you can do with mole and Lopez wants to show everyone what a little mole can do. Everyone is trying to find ways to save their money and make their food last. One tip Lopez offered in a recipe is that you can save the leftovers of any mole meat you make to create chilaquiles the next morning for breakfast.

Guelaguetza has done more than offer recipes. They have stood with their employees.

The family has made sure that the people who make Guelaguetza the food destination that is are being taken care of at this time. This means that La Guelguetza’s family has delivered grocery kits and has stayed open for curbside pick up fo family meals to give their employees a source of income while mortgages and rents are still due.

If you live in the LA area and want to order some food from Guelaguetza, they are offering curbside family meal pick up Thursday to Sunday.

Supporting your local businesses is one way you can help to keep your local economy going during this unprecedented shutdown. We are all in this together and we will make it through this time.

READ: This Is How This Mexican Mom From Oaxaca Is Running Successful Mole And Michelada Businesses

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Mexico Wants American Tourists Despite Ongoing Covid Pandemic

Culture

Mexico Wants American Tourists Despite Ongoing Covid Pandemic

VV Nincic / Flickr

Covid-19 has ended a lot of stuff for a lot of people. The most obvious change has been to international travel, especially for Americans. As the virus has spread widely across the U.S. countries have put a halt to allowing American tourist within their border, but not Mexico.

Covid-19 has severly depreciated the American passport.

Once capable of unlocking so many countries, the U.S. passport is no longer helping Americans travel abroad. Instead, the American passport has now become a hindrance for global travelers. Most countries have placed restrictions on American tourists making the U.S. passport one of the weakest.

The countries banning the U.S. are doing so because of the state of the virus in the country.

There have been more than 7 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 200,000 deaths from the virus. The U.S. remains the worst hit country and the global epicenter of the deadly virus. Many blame the lack of a national strategy to properly close down, test citizens, and contact trace those who have been exposed as the reason the virus has been so devastating in the U.S.

The various travel bans have kept families apart.

Other nations went into mush stricter lockdowns that the U.S. and got a handle of the virus. European countries have gotten the virus under control after months and the U.S. continues to see a large number of new cases daily.

One of the countries allowing Americans to visit is Mexico.

Mexico is heavily reliant on the money made from the tourism industry. According to official statistics, the tourism industry is the third-largest contributor to the country’s GDP. Major tourist destinations like Cabo and Cancún saw dramatic dips in tourism leading to national and local figures to sound the alarm. According to The Washington Post, the questions was posed about when to allow the tourists from the U.S. back, not should they.

Los Cabos is one of the hardest-hit tourist destinations.

The tourist destination saw a severe decline in tourists during one of the busiest times of the year. According to The Washington Post, the resort city has lost 80 percent of its revenue because of Covid-19. The virus has brought financial devastation to people across the world and the cities they live in aren’t immune to failing themselves.

“It’s life or death for us,” Rodrigo Esponda, the head of the Los Cabos tourism board, told The Washington Post. “There’s nothing else here. No industrial production. No farming or commercial fishing. It’s tourism or nothing.”

Yet, Los Cabos should be a warning sign to the rest of Mexico.

Cases in Baja California, the state where Los Cabos is located, saw new Covid case numbers triple from 50 a day to 150. The increase in infections is to be expected as the state rolled out the welcome mat for Americans coming to visit the resort town.

“There are some residents who say, ‘Why put my family’s life in danger by inviting more visitors, restarting more flights?’” Luis Humberto Araiza López, tourism minister of Baja California Sur, told The Washington Post. “It’s a delicate line between trying to support public health and economic growth.”

Despite this, there are some countries that Americans can travel to.

The countries Americans can travel to without Covid restrictions are Albania, Belarus, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Zambia. As the world continues to open up, Americans who travel abroad are waiting for the U.S. government to get the virus under control. Until then, the U.S. passport is not the same it used to be.

READ: The U.S. Passport Was Once The World’s Strongest, It’s Fallen To 25th Place Thanks To Failed Leadership Amid Coronavirus

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You Can Order A ‘Taco Vacuna’ And ‘La Cura’ At This Covid 19-Themed Taqueria

Culture

You Can Order A ‘Taco Vacuna’ And ‘La Cura’ At This Covid 19-Themed Taqueria

Tacovid: SaborViral / Facebook

Pandemia. Brote. Vacuna. La Peste. Although you may find these terms in a glossary about the Covid-19 outbreak, that’s not what these words actually refer to. Instead, they’re options on the menu at a Mexican taqueria called “Tacovid: Sabor Viral”, a perhaps surprisingly very successful Coronavirus-themed restaurant.

Although to many having a Covid-themed taqueria may seem morbid or disrespectful or perhaps gross – I mean who wants to order a plague taco? – the taqueria is making light of a very serious situation with humor. Something that several other businesses have done since the pandemic began.

”Tacovid: Sabor Viral” is the Mexican taqueria going viral – pun intended – for its Covid-themed menu.

Ok…virus-themed tacos don’t exactly sound appetizing. Especially, as we’re still in the midst of a very real pandemic. But one 23-year-old man in the Mexican city of León, who was forced to close down his dance studio because of Coronavirus, is counting on a Covid-themed restaurant – and so far he’s been surprised by its success.

Brandon Velázquez converted his dance academy into a taquería at the end of July, and given that Mexico and the rest of the world was – and is – in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic decided to call it Tacovid Sabor Viral.

“I had to close my dance academy during the pandemic [but] then an opportunity arose to return to the same place, however, people still did not go out for fear of getting infected.” he told the newspaper El Universal.

“I had always wanted to open a taqueria and, at the end of July, the opportunity to do so occurred. It was how I took advantage of the moment to create this business with a coronavirus theme,” he added.

Items on the menu are named after – you guessed it – the Coronavirus and don’t sound like anything you’d willfully choose to order.

The young entrepreneur detailed the name of each dish, taking full advantage of the Coronavirus theme.

“We have around 12 different dishes, among them are the ‘Tacovid’; we have ‘Forty’, ‘Quesanitizing’, ‘Pandemic’, ‘Outbreak’, and many others. The price varies depending on the dish you order,” he told El Universal.

In addition to themed dishes, the servers also fit the Coronavirus-theme.

When the pandemic hit Mexico, the government urged Mexicans to observe “su sana distancia” and the now common mascot – Susana Distancia – was born.

“In the restaurant, a waitress dressed as a nurse with the name of ‘Susana’ takes orders and works the tables, referring to the healthy distance campaign that was implemented as a precautionary measure,” he says.

To his surprise – and honestly mine as well – the taqueria has been very successful.

Brandon told El Universal that he’s been pleasantly surprised by the support he has received from customers. “I’m surprised because we have had really good sales, despite the circumstances, we have had a lot of support by the community and we’ve already expanded to have two locations.”

“Customers are funny about the theme we are using in the business, and they are delighted with the dishes we are offering. They enjoy it and have a good time,” added Brandon.

Things are looking so good for Brandon and his Covid-themed taqueria, that he’s looking to expand the food business and add new dishes to the menu. “There is always the idea of new names for other dishes that we want to include in the menu.”

Brandon also said that he’s looking to build out a business model so the restaurant could expand to other parts of the country as a franchise.

Apparently, people are really into Covid-themed foods, as this isn’t the first place that a shop as cashed in on the pandemic. Back in April, a panadería was selling out of Covid-themed baked goods so quickly, they couldn’t keep the shelves stocked.

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