the fifth of may

5/05/2012

Perhaps you know that the fifth of May or Cinco de Mayo, is a sort-of Mexican Holiday. It signifies many things in the culture, some of which is slightly convoluted in the States. Truthfully, Mexicans will find almost any reason to throw a party and make the cherished food, including my sister and I. The food we eat varies, and usually differs greatly from what others think Mexican food is.

mexican corn

This is an elote (Mexican corn) and one of my favorite street foods as a kid. It is usually served in carts, mounted on a stick and sold for one dollar. How I made it: I boiled corn for 3 minutes and grilled it for 7. Then I spread vegenaise (any mayonnaise will do) around the sides and sprinkled cheese on top. We traditionally use Cotija cheese but Parmesan cheese could work too. It tastes delicious!

the enchilada

My parents came to the U.S. when they were both teenagers, from different parts of Southern Mexico. They combined their regional foods together when cooking for us, which we ate almost every day. There was no labeling it "Mexican food" as it was just our regular food. Although I was born and raised in America, I always joke that I never knew traditional American foods until I met Donald's family.

ingredients

Enchilada ingredients - no mozzarella cheese in sight!

cooking
red sauce

This is how we make home-style enchiladas: Heat canola oil in pot and then have a second pan ready with chile sauce. Place a corn tortilla in the oil first (to make it crispy and soft) then drop it in the chile sauce and set aside for eating. Our ingredients are usually waiting on the table and are shredded cabbage and cotija cheese. It gets messy and you eat with your hands. So good!

ingredients
donalds plate

The enchiladas that most people know of are the "fast-food version" which is why they are lathered with mozzarella cheese and baked. I've never met a Mexican that baked their enchiladas, but I suppose it's possible. The red flag would probably be the Mozzarella cheese, which is never used in traditional cooking because we have our own cheeses.

vanessa making
horchata

You might have noticed a milky drink on our table which is called horchata. It's traditionally from Spain but almost every Latin American country has their own version. You can buy the rice-cinnamon powder in most supermarkets, and just add water or milk. No meal is complete without horchata or another agua fresca to offset the spicyness of the food.

erlend

Erlend was listening to Mariachi music while we ate. My father used to play Mariachi music loudly while we cleaned on weekends. I remember being so embarrassed as a child but I've grown to love it's classical quality. I suppose there are so many myths about Mexican food, mainly perpetuated by American tastes. I'll finish by saying that no taco is ever meant to be in a hard shell! x

You Might Also Like

20 comments

  1. This post is making me drool >_< I love love love mexican food! (real mexican food not the crap that's churned out by shops/restuarants) we had a Mexican lodger stay with us for a spell and he was a fantastic cook. He introduced me to so many new flavours and tastes :D

    I think it's so terrific that you stay so close to your roots and culture <3 <3 xxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that sounds fantastic. Sometimes I wish I had a lodger from every country stay with me and teach me the "real food"! I'd say on a daily basis my usual way of eating is very mixed and definitely not Mexican. I'm a mostly vegetarian/vegan so I don't indulge in cheese, meet or anything that Mexicans love haha! I think it's lovely to incorporate your roots at some point though and it's nice to share our odd traditions at times hehe x

      Delete
  2. Aww, this post was really nice. Now everyone knows there's Mexican blood in us! Eek :P It's funny how we never ate salmon or asparagus or artichokes, and other foods growing up. Things so common to everyone else. I didn't realize how out of the loop we were with our American counterparts, until after I was 18! I still get surprised. Haha. Being raised by Mexican parents, is like living in a world within a world. I identify with being American, but equally with being Mexican. I always make sure to point out when I am in other lands that I am Mexican too. They usually hear my accent and say, "ohhh, American". Yes, but not quite ;)

    I love Tilly's comment. Haha. I know what you mean! I see cheese slathered on everything when I eat at restaurants. My grandma would scream if she saw that. Haha. We add fat sometimes, but its more discrete! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah we're definitely American at this point, but "not quite" as I still don't understand some of the things Americans enjoy haha. And of course I agree with the whole living in a world within a world - when all you watch on TV is in Spanish then you know you're not quite like your friends. I still remember when I first ate salmon, asparagus and even raspberries! It was like my mind was blown :)

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful post - I absolutely love reading what you had to say and looking at these incredible pictures! That corn looks DIVINE, and your kitty makes my heart melt!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww my kitty says hello. Thanks Kailey x

      Delete
  4. I love horchata! And elotes- do you know esquites? It's pretty much an Elote, just "kerneled" out onto a cup. I sometimes put mayo, but mainly put a lot of lime and chilli powder. It's my favourite "snack". :)
    Mexican food in the states is normally Tex-Mex and very rarely real Mexican food. Note saying it's not yummy, but it's not as traditional as people think.
    Your cat is adorable :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, it's mostly tex-mex but it can still taste quite good. I'm certainly a fan of avocado and endless toppings to a "burrito" but it's not usually customary for most Mexicans to eat hehe. I've only had esquites when I was a kid visiting my family in Mexico. Instead of the elotes on a stick they sold esquites in a plastic cup and it tasted so delicious! Of course there is never enough limon! x

      Delete
  5. You have the most ineteresting holidays/traditions? over there. We are culturaly bereft in that way. :( Food looks AMAZING!

    Pats to your cat.

    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe my cat will enjoy that! This holiday is definitely more U.S. based but it's still pretty fun to indulge. The food is so basic but it blows everyone away when they first try it :)

      Delete
  6. Gee! The food looks delicious.

    And when are you in Bergen, by the way? It was sometime in June, but I can't remember you mentioned a date? Maybe we should meet up? xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes we should! I'll be there on June 22nd and was planning on eating somewhere in the afternoon (Pingvinen or some place you suggest?) and perhaps visiting the museum. Send me an email at hallovalerie@gmail.com to exchange the details :)
      x

      Delete
  7. I didn't know about this holiday. The food looks so yummy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's generally celebrated in the United States interestingly enough, but it's a major celebration by everyone. At the supermarket yesterday I saw everyone buying margarita mix haha! x

      Delete
  8. wow! looks so good, especially the corn. can't wait to bbq corn in the park this summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds so delicious! I can't wait either and thank you for the beautiful feature today Mariell x

      Delete
  9. This is such an interesting post! I absolutely love horchata. And elote sounds delicious! I often think the term 'Mexican food' gets unrightfully applied to Tex-Mex and Taco Bell. My boyfriend is half Mexican and always goes on about mispronunciations and fake Mexican food! I'll have to show him this post.. he'll be glad to know someone out there knows how to make proper Mexican food! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha you made me laugh at the "taco bell" part and it's so true! I'm glad your boyfriend has introduced you to horchata, it's so delicious! He sounds really interesting- I've never met a half-Mexican but I suppose my kids will be in that category one day :)

      Delete
  10. Haha this is awesome! It must be really irritating for you seeing all these fake versions of mexican food around XD I just want to eat it all now! And Erlend looks so cute listening to mariachi music aww XD I love reading these kinds of posts when people talk about their cultures and traditions, it's always so awesome :)) thanks Valerie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so used to it, but I think it's still nice that people are interested in eating our style of food - even if it's not exactly authentic. I understand not everyone can be raised in that culture so it gets changed around according to tastes. I do the same thing with French food, Italian, etc. I only get annoyed when people tell me what Mexican food is when it's not even close but they are usually gringos haha :)

      Delete

Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear from you x

@hallovalerie on Instagram

instgram

sharing is caring

All images are under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs copyright through Flickr.com. If you'd like to use an image, please provide a visible link to the source. Merci!