Mexico City

Mexico City

By
Daniella Germain
Contains
12 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742706788

At the age of twenty-five Abuelo was well on his way to becoming a doctor after being accepted into the medical program at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He returned to Alvarado regularly to help my great grandfather and, on one of those visits, he approached my Abuela‘s parents to ask for permission to date their daughter.

According to my mum, even though Abuelo had fallen head over heels in love with Abuela years prior, it was not until he returned to Alvarado as a young medical student that he felt he could offer her a future. They were married in the same year of his graduation.

I have many fond memories of staying with Abuelo and Abuela in their beautiful home in Mexico City. We would take many trips to the hipódromo (race course) to watch Abuelo‘s horses run. Many days were also spent wandering the amazing arts and crafts markets in the city.

Abuelo would often take us to a very famous restaurant in Mexico City called Arroyo. I have vivid memories of the wonderful food we had there. The following recipes are a collection reminiscent of the typical feast we enjoyed at Arroyo. Of course, we kids would not partake in the tequila!

Know your tequilas

Tequila is a spirit made from the distilled sap of the blue agave plant, grown almost exclusively in the highlands of Jalisco state in central Mexico. Tequila, as we know it today, was first made using distilling techniques brought to Mexico by the Spanish conquistadors shortly after their arrival in the early 1500s.

To be classified as tequila, it must be made from at least 51 per cent Weber Blue agave. High-quality tequilas are 100 per cent blue agave. If it‘s not 100 per cent agave, then it is called a mixto. Contrary to popular belief, bottles of tequila never contain a worm. The ‘worm‘ (larvae of the agave snout weevil) is only ever found in bottles of mezcal, another spirit made from agave, produced using a different method from that used for tequila, with a more smoky taste.

Blanco tequila

Blanco tequila is the original and most common form of tequila. It is ‘un-aged‘ (under 60 days old) and it is considered to be tastier than other highly refined varieties. It is clear in colour, hence its name, which translates to ‘white‘ tequila.

The taste varies depending on where the agaves are grown. Highland styles are known for their brighter, acidic and peppery tones. Lowland styles are fruitier and spicier.

Reposado tequila

Reposado tequila is aged from 2 months up to a year, often in large oak casks or smaller barrels. Its taste is more complex and rich than blanco tequila, and its colour is golden, darkening with time. The wood of the barrel affects the flavour.

Gran reposado is the unofficial name for reposados that are aged even longer than usual.

Añejo tequila

Añejo tequila is aged for at least 1 year, and has a lovely amber colour. Many añejos become quite dark and the influence of the wood is greater than in reposado.

Extra añejo tequila

Extra añejo tequila is aged for more than 3 years, and therefore has a much darker, mahogany colour. It is the most complex and smooth form of tequila. Tequila is considered to be at its best at 4 or 5 years, but may be aged for up to 10 years.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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