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Celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day with Ancient Mexican Food

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On September 15th 2013, we will be celebrating 203 years of Mexico’s Independence from Spain.  This is one of Mexico’s most important holidays, and often, the entire month is celebrated as “el mes de la patria” (the month of the homeland).

Last year on our blog we wrote about the history of Mexico’s Independence: “On the evening of September 15th, 1810, the bells at Dolores Hidalgo rang loudly while a group of Mexican idealists summoned their fellow Mexicans to rise against the Spaniards.  This event, known as the Grito de Independencia, lead to a series of events that lasted 11 years, but at the end showed the way to Mexican Independence from Spain.” You can read the entire story here.

This year, we would like to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day through ancient Mexican foods:


Pomegranate is a delicious and colorful fruit which allows preparation of very original dishes.  Worldwide mostly known in juices, in Mexico we have a traditional dish, which we eat during the month of September: Chiles en Nogada.  Pomegranate is an indispensable part of chiles en nogada. Why we love pomegranate: it is well known for it’s antioxidant powers, and it is full of potassium, iron and phosphorus. Besides having antiseptic and anti-inflammatory benefits, it is also rich in fibers.

Nopal is one of the national symbols of Mexico, and it even appears on our flag.  Mexicans eat it daily, we love it in the salads with tomato and onion, or grilled with beans or in quesadillas. We also like it cured with sea salt. Nopal is low in calories, and it has been used by Aztecs because of its medical powers. Nopal is a plant that doesn’t require much water, and it has a very important ecological role – it helps detain soil degradation.

Green tomato
Tomatillo, known also as green tomato or miltomate in Mexico, originates from Mesoamerica. It’s name in ancient Nahuatl language is “tomatl”, which means fat water. In Mexico we eat husk tomatoes raw or roasted, in salads or as a base for many salsas.  It is indispensable in enchiladas and chilaquiles, often mixed with onion and coriander.

The list of ancient Mexican foods is very, very long.  Which is your favorite ancient mexican food?


Photo source: mariachi / pomegranate / nopal / green tomato

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