April 7th, 2014
07:00 AM ET
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(Travel + Leisure) Robert Flicker recently experienced a conversion—of the tortilla-wrapped variety. “I’d been a believer that a truly great taco must be served in a dive and consist of chicken, beef, or pork,” says the Nevada communications executive.

But the taco appetizer at Mandalay Bay’s Fleur—with tuna tartare, ponzu, serrano peppers, and an avocado cream—changed his mind. “It elevated the taco,” he praises, “into the realm of fine-dining legitimacy.”

For comfort-foodies who embrace the nuances of grass-fed burgers and artisan donuts, the taco is finding a new picante status. Even high-end gourmands are on board: chef René Redzepi of Copenhagen’s award-laden Noma recently tweeted his enthusiasm for the distinctly non-high-end, Queens-based Tacos Morelos.

When we looked around the nation for the best tacos, we focused primarily on taquerias where the hand-held delicacy gets top billing—and we still found more style and variety than could fit in any one Tuesday.
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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Mexican • Restaurants • T1 • Tacos • Travel


January 31st, 2014
08:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: Cindy Y. Rodriguez is CNN's editor for Latino audiences. February 24 is National Tortilla Chip Day.

As a non-sports aficionado, my attraction to game day festivities has been solely food focused. So naturally, I noticed how potato chips have taken less and less space on the snack table to make room for tortilla chips and guacamole.

Although potato chips continue to be the top-selling salted snack in terms of pounds sold, tortilla chips have been increasing in sales at a faster pace than potato chips, especially during this time of year, according to Tom Dempsey, CEO of the Snack Food Association.

And, it's not just tortilla chips selling at such high rates either.

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Filed under: History • Junk • Mexican • Mexico • Super Bowl • Tailgating


Mexico's insects may hold the key to battling hunger
May 30th, 2013
11:00 AM ET
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Editor’s note: Read this article in Spanish at CNNMéxico.com

Long before Timon and Pumbaa from the Lion King popularized the phrase “Slimy, yet satisfying,” a whole gastronomic culture around insects already existed in Mexico.

About 1 million of the 1.4 million named animal species on Earth are insects, and they have the potential to fight malnutrition around the world, said the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“Wild animals and insects are often the main protein source for people in forest areas,” FAO’s Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said at the International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition in Rome, where the organization recently presented their latest report, "Edible insects; Future prospects for food and feed security."

According to the release, “negative perceptions” and “consumer acceptance” are the biggest obstacles to the adoption of insects as viable sources of protein in many Western countries. The organization says that “insect gathering and rearing as minilivestock at the household level or industrial scale can offer important livelihood opportunities for people in both developing and developed countries.”

“The profile of the Mexican insects is very favorable because they have a large amount of protein, there is a major quantity of essential amino acids that we cannot produce in our metabolism, but we need to consume in our meals,” said Julieta Ramos-Elourdy, biologist and researcher at the Institute of Biology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
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Filed under: Ingredients • Insects • Mexican • Mexico


Where to get your tequila fix this Cinco de Mayo
May 3rd, 2013
01:00 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

For those with a big commitment to Cinco de Mayo, the question is this: Do you wait for Sunday, the actual holiday, to start the celebration, or should you begin Saturday, the cuatro de Mayo?

Tough question that you’ll have to answer yourself. What I’ve got are seven places around the country where you can find a phenomenal margarita and plenty of tequila to toast the holiday, whenever you start the party.
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Filed under: Cinco de Mayo • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holidays • Mexican • Sip • Spirits


Chefs with Issues: The Mexico I know
May 4th, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Patricia Jinich is chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute. She also hosts "Pati’s Mexican Table" on National Public Television and blogs at Pati's Mexican Table. This story originally ran in May 2012, but we're sharing it again in celebration of Mexico's Independence Day.

I was born and raised in Mexico City, in a family where every taco happens to be, as my dad boasts, “the best taco you’ve ever had in your entire life." That is, until you eat the next one.

Living in the US, I am often dismayed at how my home country is portrayed in the media. For some, it’s easy to just write off the entire country as dangerous and riddled with cartel violence. As a former political analyst, I am not in denial about the hurdles my country faces, but the Mexico illustrated in some news reports is certainly not the Mexico I know and love - nor is it the Mexico experienced by the 22.67 million international tourists that visited last year.

Cooking, eating and sharing Mexican food has helped me and my Mexican-American boys connect with our heritage. Plus, I truly believe that its warm, generous, colorful cuisine has the power to make Americans fall in love with Mexico - one bite at a time.
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Filed under: Chefs with Issues • Cinco de Mayo • Cuisines • Mexican • Mexico • Think • Travel


All the fixings for a festive fiesta
May 1st, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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The fifth of May is once again upon us; crunch time is on the horizon.

Contrary to what some people think, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day. It, instead, celebrates when a much smaller Mexican army defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Since then, Americans have loosely translated said victory into a celebration of Mexican culture - and an excuse to stuff themselves like a piñata with molcajetes of guacamole and pitcher after pitcher of ice-cold margaritas.

We're not going to argue with that translation - and are here to help.

Shake up your fiesta with a little help from our experts:
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Filed under: Bite • Cinco de Mayo • Cuisines • Holidays • Mexican


October 13th, 2011
04:00 PM ET
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You didn't think we'd leave those piping hot homemade tortilla chips out in the cold with nowhere to go, did you?

Marcela Valladolid, Food Network host and author of "Mexican Made Easy," is back to take 'em for a refreshing dip.
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October 13th, 2011
09:05 AM ET
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Football season has officially kicked off, and no game-day menu would be complete without making a touchdown spike into the dip bowl.

Instead of perusing the estimated 100 brands of processed tortilla chips in the local grocery store, beef up your snack tray roster with a chip off the ol' homemade block.
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A long-simmering rivalry in Los Angeles
October 8th, 2011
09:30 AM ET
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Sauce: Just the word whets the appetite.

And few are the places where the sauce is as rich, wonderfully complex and painstakingly prepared as the mole of Mexico.

Simply put, it’s a chocolate sauce. But it’s more than that - so exquisitely prepared with different chili peppers, cloves, anise, tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, clove, dried fruit, nuts and a varying number of other ingredients.
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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Events • Los Angeles • Mexican • News


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