You know, I feel that I know less about Mexican food than some people who are actually not originally from Mexico. I think this has been a confusing, but also, and eye opening experience at the same time.
I feel as if by being Mexican one somehow thinks you really know (and own) everything "Mexican". But lately, being able to experience the modern romance that the world has with Mexico, I find myself being preached about all things Mexican, and how they came to be, by people not born in this Mesoamerican nation.
And I feel that I have to admit to myself that maybe just being Mexican by birthright doesn’t necessarily mean you know your stuff. After all, what does it really mean to be Mexican anyway?
Sure, the easy answer is the geo-political one, followed by the cultural one I guess (that transcends geo-political boundaries). But, What does it mean to be Mexican in a Universal way? I think this is where it starts to get really fascinating.
You see I was born in a border city that has more contact with the US than the so-called "centralist" capital of Mexico. And also, kind of not so much in contact with the really ancestral traditions in the center of the country (like DIA DE LOS MUERTOS). But yet, still a Mexican person.
So, in a way I find that living outside of Mexico has actually, and somehow, turn into a "So you Want to really be Mexican?" School. And I start noticing that there are people from other nations actually doing some really deep homework in our homeland and leaving "PRESENTS" as gratitude for the hospitality and inspiration.
And by being opened to a "Cuisine Vivant" or "living Cuisine", a food culture that is alive and evolving. A cuisine that is opened to outside influence, but at the same time is influential to other cuisines of the world. I find that I am starting to create (with the support from others) my own version of what the universal Mexican cuisine is.
The first Ingredient that comes to this new school is Maizo*. This ingredient has some controversy to it, as it is unknown by anyone outside food industry at this time (specially in Mexico), I think. And is the brainchild of a Danish Chef that used traditional Japanese techniques applied to Mexican produce.
Maizo may not be from Aztec or Mayan heritage (to our perception) but It's here and it’s delicious. And can easily be the best substitute for "Knorr magic" or any other industrialized food flavor enhancers, which are widely and heavily used in eateries throughout Mexico.
Maizo, I think is a good place to start. As it's now a new Mexican product that was created from the direct influence form the open interaction with the world, and with the power to enhance a cultural heritage of the world called “Mexican Cuisine” to new and healthier standards.
Thank you for reading.
*MAIZO: a fermented seasoning paste of masa with rice or barley added, used to add flavor.
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