the fifth of may5/05/2012
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 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