mexico

#Mexplaining by Morenita 05

WELCOME TO #MEXPLAINING, A SPACE WHERE MEXICANS EXPLAIN MÉXICO 

We’ll be dropping a new #Mexplanation every month via our newsletter. 

/ GARNACHAS /

“Be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it…” said God to delicious little corn-based Mexican snacks.

When it comes to street food, Mexico City is an incredible pan-regional smorgasburg. Yes, yes we know you’ve had tacos, flautas, tortas and pozole, but have you ever heard of tlacoyos, pambazos, esquites & guisados? Yup… exactly. Welcome. Take a seat, can I get you some water? Let me help you with your coat.

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For a snack to be considered a garnacha, it must have corn/ wheat dough base, must be oily AF, cooked in a comal (a griddle-like flat surface), must be filled with some sort of stew or casserole, consumed in a street stall and cannot be pricey. You should be able to eat a garnacha and pay with a couple of $10 peso coins (about $1 USD for these small heaven-sent fatty delicious appetizers)

Garnacha is in its essence soul food eaten on the street. However, not any street food can be considered garnacha. See what we did there? Step into the Morenita Glossary, right this way:

Gordita
A thin, fried dough patty with a “pocked” sliced into it where all the fillings go. Think of a kangaroo pouch-like concoction, filled with any meat under the sun and lettuce, onion, cilantro, queso fresco, salsa and sour cream.

Huarache
Imagine a long but elongated shape, emulating the shape of a sandal. This edible chancla is covered with beans and you can top it with anything: maybe start with carne asada, nopales (cactus salad), pumpkin flower or huitlacoche (corn smut)?

Tlacoyo
Looks like a diamond but elongated with the edges rounded out, always best to choose the ones made of blue corn. This flattened football-looking thing can be topped with beans, potatoes and cottage cheese along with your favorite animal protein, mushroom or legume.

Pambazo
A bun dipped in red chile sauce, cooked over a comal and filled with potatoes and chorizo. It is garnished with cream, cheese and lettuce. Like a wonderfully ghetto Mexican burger from the barrio.

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Mexplaining by Morenita 04

WELCOME TO #MEXPLAINING, A SPACE WHERE MEXICANS EXPLAIN MÉXICO 

We’ll be dropping a new #Mexplanation every month via our newsletter. 

Photo @CMLL

Photo @CMLL

/ LAS LUCHAS /

When the lights go out and the reflectors illuminate their bodies dressed in tight underpants, colorful masks and exotic capes, the audience goes insane; they are witnessing the real Mexican superheroes in flesh and blood. The Luchador’s pilgrimage to the ring unleashes whistles, applause, compliments, threats and, yes, a ton of groserías (swear words) that are as part of the ritual as anything else.

Couples, families, children, groups of friends, a few tourists, the popcorn and beer vendors: everyone is ready. The audience awaits the acclaimed announcement ... "They will fight two to three falls, sin límite de tiempo! (without a time limit)” The bell rings, and the show begins!

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

The fighters execute a duel of jumps, flights and spectacular llaves (choke holds) that sometimes expel them from the ring. This is what characterizes Mexican wrestling, a version of professional wrestling, but that includes rapid submissions and elevated acrobatics. Today, it is one of the most colorful cultural phenomena in our country, and one proudly originated in CDMX.

The first wrestling performances came in the mid-nineteenth century, at the time of the French intervention. At that time it was a foreign exhibition but, when a man named Enrique Ugartechea became known as the first fighter made in Mexico at the beginning of the 20th century, a new fury for discipline was born.

Photo @CMLL

Photo @CMLL

The characters hide their identity behind a mask, here arose the habit of betting: if a fighter loses, he has to take it off and he can never use it again. The fighters who don’t use a mask have to bet their hair.

Many have adopted names of cultural elements, such as El Santo , the most famous luchador of all, a character inspired by religious figures (“the saint”). Then there’s Alushe, a dwarf fighter who represents the Mayan elves who protect the cenotes, or underground rivers found throughout the Mayan Riviera.

El Santo Photo by La Silla Rota

El Santo Photo by La Silla Rota

The eternal battle between good and evil is divided into two historical camps: los rudos y los técnicos. The former represent the trap, the transgression of the rules, winning regardless of the means. The latter represent respect for the rules, fair play and honor.

The golden age of this sport was lived in the 1960s, when the fighters were true idols of the town. They appeared in spectacular ads, on television, were characterized as action figures and, of course, in dozens of movies. In the case of El Santo, his films won international awards and were recognized abroad for their kitsch element.

Photo Istock

Photo Istock

These days, the Mexican wrestling functions are still presented in its original setting, the Arena Mexico, located in Colonia Doctores, a downtown neighborhood. Despite the passage of time, this cultural phenomena has managed to find new niche in its audience with middle class young people or hipsters, who now think of it as an alternative for a night out on the town, sharing drinks and laughs with friends.

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#Mexplaining Taco Honor Code

Welcome to #Mexplaining, a space where Mexicans explain México

We’ll be dropping a new #Mexplanation every month via our newsletter.

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/THE TACO HONOR CODE/

We recently spoke to Norman Perez, Director of Sake and Wine at Le Tachinomi Desu, our favorite bar in CDMX. After we finished the ‘official interview’ we kept the tape rolling as we introduced #Mexplaining to Norman and got some great ideas. Norman opened up about what he thinks is so beautiful about Mexican taco culture.

Taco culture is a specific gastronomic jewel in México. There are literally thousands of puestos or stands, ran by taqueros throughout México. Meaning you can eat tacos, morning, noon, and late night. The menu is straight forward: meat, tortilla and toppings. A little bit of acid, heat, and fat.

When at a taco stand, you'll notice no one actually takes your order. It’s a casual system, you ask for a taco de asada, uno de lengua, y uno campechano and they are handed to you. Once you’ve finished eating 3, 4 or 5 tacos, no one hands you a bill. You ask “¿cúanto fue?” (how much was it?") and the taquero simply responds “¿cúantos fueron?” (how many did you have?') You will never ever find one single person who says 2 tacos when they ate 3. Every single customer answers honestly. This is the taco honor code.

Tacos are very economical, so there’s no reason to cheat the system, but more importantly there is a univeral respect for what the taqueros do: they are an institution, they bring people together and it does’t matter who you are, we all gotta stand in line, eat with our hands, and pay the same price.

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#Mexplaining Apapacho

Introducing #Mexplaining by Morenita

The Morenita Team is made up of multi-cultural, multi-lingual, fun-loving hustlers. When you belong to multiple worlds at the same time, you develop a keen eye and ear for pointing out all the little quirks that come up as you cross between cultures. We are in essence cultural attachés, pointing out entertaining cultural codes we want to share with Morenita insiders.

That’s why we’re introducing #Mexplaining by Morenita, a fun piece of content that breaks down the nuances of Mexican culture and slang. A space where Mexicans explain México. We’ll be dropping a new #Mexplanation every month via our newsletter.


Artwork by  Renata Martínez  illustrating the meaning of  apapacho  for  cafe El Apapacho .

Artwork by Renata Martínez illustrating the meaning of apapacho for cafe El Apapacho.

/a pa pa cho/

Imagine a person speaking in a baby voice, but, not annoying. When you pronounce a-pa-pa-cho that’s usually how people sound because of the feeling it invokes. A feeling of being loved, nurtured, caressed or spoiled by your mom, best friend, your grandmother or significant other. The feeling behind the people who unconditionally take care of you, who got your back, tend to you when you’re sick, and cherish you. At its heart, apapacho is a loving, extended hug, a soulful embrace. 

We also use it as an adjective or verb:

  1. Adj. Apapachosa — In the food scene there’s a timeless awareness fo how good it feels to be taken care of. There’s endless comida apapachosa, the kind that feeds the body and soul.

  2. V. Apapachamos —At Morenita, after double confirming any reservation, we always remind our friends, the chef & maitre’d, to take extra care of our clients, to which they respond “aquí te los apapachamos” meaning “here we will tend to them with love and care”.  Sounds better in spanish right!