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Tres del Mes is a monthly roundup of three quick tips, suggestions, recipes, or other ideas related to Mexican food culture.

A Food Lover’s Guide to 3 Market Days in Oaxaca

This month, I am introducing the first in a series of guides to Mexico and will begin with three of my favorite market days in Oaxaca. Mercados, or open-air markets, offer insights into the region’s pre-hispanic history, culinary traditions, and the everyday life of its people through their vibrant colors, vivid sounds, and exotic aromas. I have always enjoyed visiting them, even as a child. On a recent trip to Mexico, I fell in love with the mercados of Oaxaca – each just a short trip from the city center and unique in its own regard. Below is a guide to three of my personal favorites.    Read More…

{Tres del Mes} 3 Unique Ice Cream Flavors to Taste at Tepoznieves in Tijuana

mexican ice cream flavors, tepoznieves, tijuana,

Nieve de chinelo (top left), higo con mezcal (top right), poblana (bottom
Photo Credit: Lola’s Cocina

As a little girl, one of the things that excited me most about our family road trips to Mexico was knowing that I would be able to taste some of my favorite ice cream flavors – grape, lime, and chocolate chip – at my tía Rebe’s ice cream shop in the small town of Acámbaro, Guanajuato. The three thousand mile journey in a van bursting at its seams with luggage and people (parents and five siblings!) didn’t seem all that bad because there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Read More…

Tres del Mes: 3 Ways to Prepare Chayotes

raw chayote fruit

Raw Chayote Fruit
Photo Credit: Lola’s Cocina

A chayote [chai – oh – te] reminds me of a delicious cross between a zucchini and a potato. Despite the similarities, chayotes are actually fruits. Health fanatics will be happy to hear that they contain no cholesterol or fat and are extremely low in calories. They are high in potassium and provide a healthy dose of other vitamins and nutrients. Regrettably, they are a rare find on menus here in the U.S., but are commonly served on plates in their native Mexico. Today, I’d like to share three fun and easy ways to prepare this understated fruit so that you can incorporate it into your home menu options!  Read More…

Tres del Mes: Jamaica, Piloncillo, Canela, OH MY!


Ponche, a hot aromatic fruit punch, is served throughout Mexico during the winter holiday season. Traditional ingredients include raw sugarcane, tejocotes, which look like tiny orange apples, and a medley of other fruits.

Below are three versatile ingredients that infuse rich color and flavor into Mexican hot fruit punch. Stay tuned for my sister’s delicious ponche recipe! Read More…

3 Foods Associated with Day of the Dead

NA Calavera w:Hat_SMALL

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is observed on November 1st and 2nd in Mexico and different parts of Latin America. It is a time of remembrance and allows people to honor those who have passed on, and also to symbolically await a visit from their souls.

Since moving to Old Town San Diego, I began the tradition of building an altar at home that honors my father who passed away in 2000. I now invite friends and family to share in the experience, which is quite therapeutic. The mood is festive as we celebrate the memory of loved ones through the sharing of food, drinks, and a story or two of days long past.  

Three foods traditionally associated with Day of the Dead include mole negro, hot chocolate, and pan de muerto (bread of the dead) and different variations are staples on altars throughout Mexico. Read below for more on these three dishes and their significance. 

Read More…