Dense clouds of incense-spiked smoke. Waves of purple-robed bodies. Pine and corozo and flowers stretched out like carpets leading to distant volcanoes. Floats the size of barges hand-carried through cobblestone streets.La cuaresma(Lent) kicks off March 5 with Ash Wednesday, and in La Antigua, Guatemala, it marks the unofficial start of the region’s busiest tourist season.
It’s a gorgeous day in Los Angeles. The sun is shining (of course) and you’ve been doing some shopping at a market downtown. You stop in El Paseo Inn for a bite and find a seat on the patio overlooking the marketplace. Santiago, your waiter, mixes up fresh guacamole tableside as you sip Negro Modelo with lime and sort through your purchases. Peruvian earrings. A hand-woven basket from Mexico. Candles to ward off evil spirits. A Lucha Libre mask. This is Olvera Street.
Hot dogs: those great American co-stars that make an appearance at all barbecues from Florida to Washington, all summer long. It’s hard to imagine walking into a backyard for a Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Labor Day cookout and not finding dogs and buns.
It’s a warm summer day in New York and I’m scarfing down shrimp tacos with serrano crema and masa fries at Otto’s Tacos. Owner Otto Cedeno walks me through a masa fry. House-made masa (ground corn dough) is rolled out onto slabs, cut into strips about the size of a pinkie finger, and then deep-fried. The result is like a robust In-N-Out fry, “but better,” adds Cedeno, especially once dipped in chipotle mayo, Chef Joe LoNigro’s bread and butter.
been hit really hard by the lime shortage. Our Latin menu centers on citrus
flavors, and we are paying through the nose for limes.” That’s Jill Cook,
marketing director for Matador Cantina, one of several restaurants in Orange
County, California, that are owned by Mario Marovic. Cook, as well as her
boss and many other restaurants owners, supermarkets, airlines and taco carts across
the country, is worried about the scarcity of the lime crop coming out of
Here’s a question: What is the reason we in the United States
celebrate Cinco de Mayo? If your answer
is to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, you’d be wrong. Mexican Independence Day is actually
September 16th and Cinco de Mayo
is the holiday that commemorates the Battle of Puebla, which took place in 1862
in the Mexican state for which it’s named. On the 5th of May,
Mexican forces defeated French forces in an unlikely victory.
So, we ask again, why do we
celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States?
While most of America has been whipping itself into a fit
over the NCAA’s March Madness tournament, which comes to a close tonight with a
final match between the U. Kentucky Wildcats and the Connecticut Huskies, Los
Angelenos chose a decidedly more delicious diversion for the month of March: Taco Madness 2014.
Ten years ago, the international food scene in La Antigua, Guatemala was quite narrow. Caesar salads were made with iceberg lettuce because romaine was impossible to find. Italian restaurants relied on spicier local basil rather than the classic Genovese variety associated with pesto and Caprese salads for the same reason.
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