Amaranta Restaurant, a family dream

By Elsie Mendez @sabormexico

3 years ago, through social networks I had heard about a young chef named Pablo Salas. I found him very interesting, especially the great labor he does in rescuing many of the traditional recipes from Estado de México. A place that those of us who live in México City feel so close to, that we see it as “ours”; but it is in fact another stateIMG_5820

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La Puertecita, México’s first boutique hotel

by Elsie Méndez

When we refer to La Puertecita as México’s first boutique hotel, it has nothing to do with a list or ranking, but to the fact that this was the first boutique hotel in the country; it was the turning point in what it means today to be a hotel of that category at an international level.SMA Famtrip 11 -31

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Tequilería El Agave (no traumas here)

My first experience with tequila was a long time ago (in the late eighties) when I was in Tijuana with some American friends. What I remember most vividly was the terror I felt when a bunch of waiters came to our table, one madly blowing a whistle as if he were directing traffic, another was carrying a bottle of tequila, a third comes from behind, opens my friend’s mouth, pours the liquid down her throat, closes her mouth, they raise the chair up in the air, and shake it like a martini while the whistle wails creepily the entire time.Tequilería El Agave Continue reading

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Fish, hibiscus and karaoke

I am astounded by the variety of Mexican beverages, their connections with certain holidays and the type of people who drink them. The beverages I associate with my childhood in Panamá are chicheme (a corn drink), saril (similar to a spicy hibiscus water) and the ubiquitous Christmas ron ponche (its key ingredient is rum: the only way to get through holidays with family.) Oh, and let’s not forget the always popular but less elegant Tang, culei (Kool-Aid) and chicha de tutti frutti (yes, with the canned fruit) –guests at all birthdays, even fancy ones.

Agua de limón verde, México City

Agua de limón verde, México City

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Love and coffee in 7-11

I love breakfast, or rather: the idea of it. Breakfast is the ideal meal where my happy childhood memories reside (along with my father’s spaghetti al ragù, which is what I wanted for my sixteenth birthday along with the Go-go’s Vacation album.) The perfume of coffee is a much better way to wake up instead of the cruel shrill cry of the alarm clock. And even though I love its scent, I have never been able to deal with it; I suppose that my experience with coffee is what   happens on a bad drug trip: paranoia, the shakes, cold sweats, and headaches that last for days. Just say “no thanks” to the dreaded coffee hangover kids.

Huevos rancheros, México City

Huevos rancheros, México City

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Tripping on tripe soup

I’ve spent the past two weeks defending myself against a flu that has sucked the life out of me, and has left me with no desire to deal with indolent students who now care about their grades and homework. We have one week left of class, I have already given them the best fourteen weeks of my autumn, and if they haven’t learned it by now, it’s too late.pepino Continue reading

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Turkey Day

In Latin America many of our towns and cities are named after saints, we have fiestas patronales, and we celebrate our saint’s day. When I came to live in the United States I was surprised that Americans were getting ready to celebrate a saint: we were going to have time off from school, there was going to be a big parade, and all the stores had sales. I found the explanation to this holiday interesting, but I didn’t see any connection with a saint, or had ever heard of him.

San Pascual, patron saint of cooks

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How a brat fell in love with México

When I was six years old I was surprised when my mother announced that we were moving back home to Panamá -it never occurred to me that I wasn’t Puerto Rican. Puerto Rico was the only place I thought of as home. Moving back home required many adjustments, especially linguistic ones: mantecados were helados, limbers were duros, chinas were naranjas and piraguas were raspados. I adjusted and learned how to be more Panamanian with the help of my new friends who helped me learn the proper names of things. This was a significant event because it combined two things that have shaped my life: the love of food and the love of language.

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Find Out if Carbs Make Us Fat

Low carb eating is big news today. Everywhere we turn, we see low carb food advertised. But is it really the carbs that we need to watch out for? Naturally occurring carb foods such as rice, wheat, oats, fruit and vegetables are low in calories, fat and sodium. These ingredients helped form the basis of the diet for many of our past relatives, yet they rarely suffered from obesity to the extent our nation does today.

Our ancestors ate plenty of high carb foods because these were more abundant, cheaper to buy and easily stored. But they didn’t suffer from obesity. So what made the difference? In this article you’ll find information if the carbs are making us fat or if it’s simply a far to much calorie intake.

Food manufacturers today have created a wide choice of convenient foods from the natural carb sources. Because people’s lives are now so busy, with so many things to do each day, it means many of us rely on quick, convenient foods. We just don’t take the time to prepare meals from natural ingredients. The result is these high carb products often form the basis of the average American’s diet. The problem with this is the majority of these packaged and processed products contain added sugars and fats, which load the products with excess energy, i.e. calories.

Many convenience foods are also loaded with salt to add taste and help preserve the food. Salt is partly made up of sodium, which causes the body to retain excess water. It has been estimated that the average person may be retaining up to five pounds of extra weight due to excess sodium intake.

As food technology drives forward, supermarkets offer an increasing array of tasty looking processed foods from which to choose. Research has shown having more food choices often leads to increased consumption. With so many people consuming more calories from processed carb foods it is inevitable that calorie consumption will increase. Unfortunately, many make the mistake of believing it is the carbs that cause them to be overweight, while it is actually the excess calories.

The effects of insulin

It is widely recognized that carbs produce the release of insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels after a meal. It is believed by some that the effects of this hormone is what actually causes us to gain weight because insulin helps shunt fat into fat cells. To a certain degree this is a good point, insulin is an anabolic hormone that aids in the storage of fat. Because many processed carb foods are loaded with added sugars (carbs) these could be absorbed quickly forcing the body to release greater amounts of insulin necessary to regulate blood sugar levels.

Although we could argue that for this point to be valid it does require that all carb foods are eaten alone at each meal. How does it explain when other foods are consumed at the same meal. Most people select a meal composed of a variety of different food items and products, when foods are mixed it slows the rate of sugar absorption and effects the amount of insulin released. Maybe the real reason we gain weight is due to the ever increasing number of processed carb products that are loaded with extra sugar and fats, the regular consumption of these foods could easily drive calorie consumption to more than the body requires.

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The 45 Places to Go in 2012

The 45 Places to Go in 2012
London, Havana, Lhasa and, yes, even the final frontier. A year’s worth of reasons to pack your bags and take off.

Puebla, Mexico is in this important list!

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