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Miles Into Mexico

Our journey begins in a country that is the southern portion of North America.

Mexico, having only 32 federal entities, holds some of the worlds most original cooking. Using ingredients that dates back to its domestication beginning around 5000 B.C.

Ingredients such as Corn, Tomatoes, and Beans.


Mexico has about seven culinary regions:

The North

The Gulf Shore

Baja California

The North Pacific

The South

Central

Bajio


Each region prides itself on using special techniques and ingredients only to be found in those areas.

Pride is an understatement when talking about Mexican Cuisine! I can't even think of the word that describes the amount of fulfillment when it comes to Mexico's love of speaking about and or representing their country. Pride is something I, too, carry myself now more than ever when it comes to Mexican Cuisine.

Why now more than ever?

Well I grew up with not a whole lot of Mexican influence in my life. I went to a private school for 14 years of my childhood, located in the north side of Chicago and naturally there wasn't many people who looked like me. I had opportunities to dig deeper into my culture and learn Spanish. However, I always chose not to because of the fear of embarrassment. I never experienced direct racism. But, since I wasn't really like everyone else that I grew up with, I felt like that side of me was wrong. It sadly developed a lot of internalized racism which made me feel self-conscious of being my authentic self. To add to my self-consciousness, it was especially difficult when being placed into a majority Mexican environment. I never felt “Mexican” enough. Relatives, loved ones and Hispanic co-workers would always comment on how too "White-washed" I was. Or the fact that I couldn't speak spanish. I felt like I could never be good enough while in these environments. I look back today, and I am beginning to be proud of the Bella that I am now! All of me!

After moving to LA, I vowed to myself that I would learn to embrace my Mexican heritage and learn more about the culture. I am learning to love where my family came from and I even started to learn Spanish!

Which is crazy to me because I remember a time where I purposely tried to not get good grades in Spanish Class...

I still struggle to unpack the internalized racism that I held throughout some of my major growing years. However, with the help of many of my friends with similar backgrounds (and therapist), I am loving everything about this journey of self acceptance and becoming my authentic self. So much, that there is going to be a point in my life that I will be getting my citizenship and be living in Mexico (hopefully to open some restaurants!) I don't know when this will happen but I am sure that it will and I am too excited to even express it in writing.

Now this year, I had planned one big trip to mexico. I was supposed to stop in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Guadalajara, Guanajato (where my family is from), and some cities by the gulf. Unfortunetly, Covid screwed it up for all of us. Now, I have to figure out when this trip will actually happen! I recently made friends with a very talented baker, Eliceo Lara, who resides in Mexico City. He mentioned that the city is opening up (with precautions) and seems to be accepting US travelers. I will be doing my research just to be safe, but there is no doubt that I will be visiting very soon! When it does, I can’t wait for the travel section of Kitchen Expedition to be filled with stories for you to all read about.

To assist me with this journey through Mexico, I am going to be using some of my favorite cook books, and I recommend if you have not bought them add them to your cart NOW! They are filled with so many amazing recipes, stories, and history. Just reading them will make you fall in LOVE!


Our little helpers will be:



Now, I won't necessarily be using these cookbooks and publishing their recipes as my own. I am going to use them as a guide and simply add my own touches and flavors, while keeping them authentic as possible. That’s what every cook does, right? We find the recipe and what makes them unique is how we apply different things to them, what kind of ingredients WE decide to use with it, how WE chose to make it our own. I encourage everyone to do this. In my opinion, this is how you naturally teach yourself how to cook.


If I haven't gotten you excited for WEEKS worth of Mexican recipes, then just wait until you actually see what we are going to make! Next week, we will start at the very top of Mexico and explore the food of the Baja California Peninsula! This region is part of the north-west side of Mexico. Here, the cuisine is highly influenced by the extensive coastline and is known for its great seafood dishes.


Fun factoid: This is were the Caesar salad was invented! (Has nothing to do with seafood, but its cool to know!)


I'll meet you all in Baja!

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