Balché: Sacred drink of the Maya

Balché: Sacred drink of the Maya

Apr 21, 2018

The balché is a Maya ceremonial drink that is prepared with the bark of the balché tree and a touch of melipona honey. It was used among the Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula and the Selva Lacandona. The tree has several known names depending on the region, for example in Chiapas they know it as xbal-ché, in Campeche as palo gusano, in Yucatán as saayab and in other regions as sakiab or palo de patlaches. It is prepared using a container (originally, jícaras were used) where virgin cenote water is poured; the bark of balché is macerated, then the crust is sumerged in the water using a stone so it rests at the bottom. Some melipona honey is added and it is left to ferment during three days. The balché was mainly used in ceremonies such as the Nik Ché (or flowering), which was a way to make communion with the elements and spirits of nature, as well as the lords of the heavens. The deity related to this liquor is “Acan” which is the god of the wine. In some literary texts the balché is considered to have entheogenic properties, that is, it is a vegetable drink with properties that provoke a state of modification of consciousness, used in spiritual, religious, ritualistic and shamanic contexts. The infusion of its leaves has also been used in traditional medicine, using it to treat coughs and to clean infected wounds....

Nopal beer conquers Europe and now comes to Mexico

Nopal beer conquers Europe and now comes to Mexico

Apr 12, 2018

Nopalea C, is the first beer created with prickly pear cactus (nopal), which has a high fiber content and is a good product for people living with diabetes to consume. Although this beer is produced in the Czech Republic, 100 percent of the prickly pear used for its production, is harvested in Mexican fields,and now the company in charge of its creation plans to expand its production to Nuevo León, Mexico. This beer was born in 2012, when the Mexican company Nopalea and the University of Prague, together with the Health system and the Czech cooperative Ardanas decided to create a project together. Original imagen, source: Nopalea C‘s official Facebook page.   Nopalea is a company that has been dedicated to the marketing of dried prickly pear since 2009, and has exported large quantities to Europe, mainly to the Czech Republic. Original imagen, source:Nopalea C‘s official Facebook page. According to Miguel Angel Davila, director of Nopalea, a company originally from Nuevo León, the Czech cooperative Ardanas originally used their product to make gourmet bread, and later showed interest in creating other products. When they first came up with the idea, they began working on the formula to include prickly pear flour in the beer production process, and after a year and a half of work they succeeded, and thus they created the first beer with nopal, which was first presented in Prague and later in Mexico. Nopal has many medicinal properties, and consequently this beer also possesses them, among them is that it helps to stabilize glucose levels, to prevent the excess sugar in the blood to turn into fat and also has natural antibiotics, among many other attributes. Original imagen, source: Nopalea C‘s official Facebook page. Nopalea C has a 4.8 percentage of alcohol and for the moment it can only be obtained in Mexico City, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Guerrero, Baja California and Nuevo Leon, but it is expected that it will soon be available in more states of Mexico. In the future, the company hopes to position the beer nationally, and then start a project with which they plan to enter the Latin market in the United States. Also from the Czech Republic, they...

National Burrito Day … Only in LA!

National Burrito Day … Only in LA!

Apr 6, 2018

Introduced in the United States in the 1930s at the El Cholo Spanish Café in Los Angeles, the burrito is celebrated on the first Thursday of April, at restaurants throughout LA. The Taco Stand will offer eight burritos off its menu, including the classic California burrito, filled with flame-grilled Angus steak, cheese, fries, guacamole, tomato, salsa and sour cream and the al pastor burrito, made with rotisserie marinated pork, cilantro, onions, cilantro sauce and pineapple. Four locations: downtown, North Park, La Jolla and Encinitas. letstaco.com Breakfast Republic’s California Breakfast Burrito is a hearty mix of skirt steak, eggs, pico de gallo-infused guacamole, potatoes, bacon, cheddar cheese and sour cream, served with black beans, Mexican rice and salsa. Breakfast Republic has seven locations: North Park, Liberty Station, Encinitas, East Village, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach and The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch in Carmel Valley. breakfastrepublic.com Source:...

La Guerrerense, mind-blowingly good tostadas with fresh local fish in Ensenada BC

La Guerrerense, mind-blowingly good tostadas with fresh local fish in Ensenada BC

Apr 3, 2018

There’s a lot of great food in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Multiple restaurants in town, of course, and then there’s the nearby wine valley. Artisan foodstuffs paired with some solid vino. But what would get me back to Ensenada, and did, is La Guerrerense. A simple food stand on the corner of a not-so-busy street. Know the saying “do one thing, and do it well”? Well that’s La Guerrerense. Mind-blowingly good tostadas with fresh local fish, made by hand on the spot to order. Simple ingredients blended to create explosions of flavors. La Guerrerense was started in 1960, but it was Sabina Bandera, the daughter-in-law of the founder, that really put the restaurant on the map. Creating salsas and combining ingredients, she’s now quite literally world famous. She still works at the cart, along with her husband and sons. They also now own a nearby restaurant, thanks to the success of the humble food cart. But let’s talk about the food. Oh, the delicious food. I can’t give you a taste of it, but … Click here to read full article by Geoffrey Morrison on Forbes.com Source:...

Holy Guacamole! Guacamania is Coming to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!

Holy Guacamole! Guacamania is Coming to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!

Mar 18, 2018

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico – Forget WrestleMania, it’s time for Guacamania! With special avocado-focused menus, avocado-themed spa treatments, dedicated guacamologist and more, guests visiting Casa Velas, an adults-only boutique in Puerto Vallarta, in March will get to experience a tribute to the green fruit. At Emiliano, the resort’s gourmet Mexican restaurant, a special menu highlighting avocados will be available. Highlights include avocado burritos, chocolate mousse made with avocado, waffles with avocado and walnut jam, avocado ceviche with mushrooms and jicama, avocado tiramisu, and more. Additionally, a guacamologist will prepare fresh guacamole for guests at the pool area and private ocean club. Guests can also participate in a cooking class to learn how to prepare different types of guacamole. To keep guests cool in Puerto Vallarta’s temperate 85°F weather, avocado shaved ice will be offered in the pool area. At the spa, different treatments will be offered using avocado as the main ingredient, such as an exfoliation with avocado skin, avocado body wrap with natural yogurt and an avocado moisturizing hair treatment. To cap off the experience, the bar will have a menu of avocado drinks, such as cold avocado cream and an avocado and piña colada martini. The resort will also be offering the Guacamania experience in September in honor of Mexico’s Independence Day. Casa Velas is a luxury all-inclusive boutique hotel and ocean club for adults only, reminiscent of a Spanish hacienda. The hotel features a private ocean club and is just minutes from the beach. Located just five minutes from Puerto Vallarta Airport and only 15 from the popular downtown area....

Baja California wine country is a world-class tourism destination

Baja California wine country is a world-class tourism destination

Mar 5, 2018

ENSENADA, Mexico – Wine lovers, listen up: There’s a little-known gem just south of the border called Valle de Guadalupe. It’s a bit dustier and rougher around the edges than California’s prized Napa Valley, but Baja’s wine country offers a relaxed, unpretentious, budget-friendly experience clustered along a main highway in this region of Mexico known as the Ruta del Vino. The fast-growing wine mecca just two hours south of San Diego is home to hip boutique hotels, an impressive culinary scene and more than 100 wineries to satisfy the most discerning of aficionados. The greenest and busiest time to visit is May through September, but other months welcome serious connoisseurs looking for a quieter trip with more personal attention – often from the winemakers themselves. Add in a few crisp evenings spent sipping your favorite chardonnay by a fire pit and you’ve got yourself a memorable wine getaway with a fraction of the fuss. Sip tips Vinas de Garza: This romantic hilltop tasting room has some of the best views in the valley. Tastings range from $10 to $16. Don’t leave without trying the Blanco del Rancho Mogorcito, a delightful sauvignon blanc-chardonnay blend that delivers bright, fruity, unoaked flavors ($17.10 per bottle). Hacienda la Lomita: Family-run Lomita, and its biodynamic sister location, Finca La Carrodilla, are committed to organic farming. Lomita’s tiny but trendy tasting room is known for its artsy ambiance and ruby red rose, a marshmallow and caramel flavored dream ($11.82 per bottle). Tastings range from $12 to $21. Villa Montefiori: Set back off the main road, Montefiori’s tasting room is a large viewing deck perched above its sprawling vineyard. They boast “Mexican wines with an Italian heart,” with vines imported from owner Paolo Paoloni’s home country, Italy. Try a glass for $4, tastings range from $6 to $24 and bottles run $16 to $64. Monte Xanic: This lakeside oasis is owned by a collective of Mexican families. It’s one of the largest, oldest and most well-manicured properties in the area. The winery’s dry and fruity malbec ($37 per bottle) was a standout. Tastings are $10 to $17 and bottles range from $12 to $53. Food finds Come for the wine, but...