Tag Archives: mezcal

Holy Molé!

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Breakfast at Chilhuacle Rojo in Oaxaca City

Weeks before we left for Oaxaca, I chose this blog-topic – Hole Molé – knowing that I would return from our visit excited to cook the 7 famous Oaxacan types of molé.  But it’s not to be.  After a week of food-filled Oaxacan days, I realized that Oaxacan food is just too complex for BigLittleMeals…and me.  If I don’t want to track down the hoja santo,  the chilhuacle rojo (which BTW is the name of one of our favorite cafes in Oaxaca),  the avocado leaves, or the 25+ other ingredients that go into some moles, I’m guessing you won’t want to either.

So I’ll focus on three simple Oaxacan specialties: cheese, chocolate, and mezcal.  Meanwhile, Andy – in Andy’s Corner – is busy trying to find out what gets lost in translation.

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Molletes using ciabatta bread and served with salsas and sour cream at Boulenc in Oaxaca City

If you want Oaxacan – yet simple – go for a mollete.  Toast bread (Mexican bolillos is traditional), add a thin layer of refried black beans and a little Oaxacan melting cheese, stick it under the broiler, and serve with a store-bought salsa and some sour cream or crema.  At a fabulous bakery in Oaxaca City, Boulenc,  molletes are made with ciabatta bread.  I highly recommend that.

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Chocolate ground for hot drinks  at the Mercado 20 de Noviembre in Oaxaca City

Every market we visited in Oaxaca had a stand selling Mayordomo Chocolate, which is made in Oaxaca.  And every market had bins of ground chocolate – to be used in drinks.  So we’re offering up a recipe for a simple “snacking cake” with Mexican chocolate.  It’s a cake which even I, as a certified non-chocolate-eater, could over-eat.  If you can’t find Mexican chocolate, other bar chocolate can be substituted.

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Taza Chocolate – Oaxacan-style chocolate made in Maine and available on Amazon

As for mezcal, I love this quote from the article “Mezcal Sunrise” in The New Yorker’s April 2016 issue:  The first sip is mouthwash—harsh, disinfecting, functional. The second reveals the flavors. By the third, people are saying the word “magic,” and it’s not that embarrassing.  How true – if you’re drinking mezcal straight (the purists’ preferred way).  The first sip about blows you away – but it’s all good from then on out!

We’re partial to mezcal cocktails such as this pineapple-y margarita or Joe’s Mezcal Margarita or the Mezcal Negroni, which we blogged about earlier.

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Oaxacan Gold Margarita

Click on “Continue Reading” to get the recipes.

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Who Would Want To Be Bugged on Valentine’s Day? Probably Lots of Folks

cochineal bug

Cochineal feasting on a cactus.

Early this morning the Daily Beast published an article that was too timely and relevant to pass by, and because of my Bouverie docent credentials Ann has given me permission to take the lead on this quickie lagniappe blog.  It turns out that one of our favorite (and most attractive) aperitifs, Campari, owes (or owed) much of its beauty to a lowly bug (to be entomologically correct, insect) mentioned in yesterday’s blog – the cochineal.  And although Campari no longer contains cochineal-based dye, it still makes some gorgeous cocktails.  Here are a couple of Valentine’s Day suggestions using Campari: the bourbon-based Boulevardier, which we blogged about earlier, or the Mezcal Negroni which we are presenting here. Continue reading


We’re over soup and cold weather and are off to Oaxaca, where it’s sunny with highs near 80.  And we’re looking forward to doing a Mezcal tasting at In Situ.  To get in some essential pre-trip conditioning, we decided to buy some Mezcal in Sonoma.  We know nothing about good mezcal but do know that the label of one of the bottles on the shelf was speaking to us.  It was imported by “Sazerac Company, Inc.” located in Metairie, LA, and was produced and bottled in Oaxaca!  Not only did we live in Louisiana for 27 years, we have blogged about Sazerac cocktails, and we’re heading for Oaxaca.  We had no choice but to buy it.Mezcal Bottle

We solicited a suggestion for a mezcal cocktail from our son-in-law and Tacolicious‘ El Jefe, Joe.  We tried it last night, and it was delicious.  So if you want a mezcal cocktail – without going to Oaxaca – this will do the trick. Continue reading

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