“I have learned to stop missing Mexican flavors so that my mind does not collapse”: Mexican in Finland
Mexicans in Finland, Turkey, Germany, Brazil… what is the home food you long to try again?
The gastronomy of Mexico is vast and shows an enormous cultural wealth, not for nothing was it declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2010 by UNESCO. Maintains the preparation of prehispanic dishes next to tasty preparations product of a mestizo cuisine.
Mexico has given the world food that other nations have added to their kitchens, the chile, he tomato (what would Italian food be without this fruit), the avocado, he corn, the Beans, he cacao, the vanilla, amaranth, among many more. But each country has the gastronomy that distinguishes it and where Mole, pozole, tamales, tacos, stuffed peppers and chilaquiles are not listed.
We talk with Mexicans who are in different parts of the world as Finland, Turkey, Germany, Brazil, Chile, United States and Canada and they talk to us what is the food they miss the most, what they have found as “Mexican food” and what ingredients do not find to prepare it at home.
What is the food that Mexicans miss the most abroad?
The food that Mexicans miss the most abroad are the tacos, mainly the tacos al pastor, followed by tamales, even in the United States, the neighboring country. For many it is difficult to buy them, find them to be like the real thing or at least recreate them at home.
Finland. “I’ve learned to stop missing Mexican flavors so my mind doesn’t collapse… Nor my economy ”, says Abner Alvarado, who has lived in Vaasa, Finland for 8 years. Finding certain products of the Mexican basic basket in the country is difficult, “the corn tortilla doesn’t exist here”.
Ab points out that in Finland there is Mexican food thanks to Mexicans who open restaurants, “but as much as they try to do it well, the taste is not the same because the ingredients do not even taste the same (a tomato here is tasteless) and are places expensive because production costs require it. A taco in one of those places it comes out at least in about 7 € (180 MXN/9 USD)”.
Germany. In Germany the tacos they sell are also expensive (between € 4 and € 5) and they do not look like the Mexican ones, “from the outset they use a tortilla that is as tough as toast but folded… Already inside they put cheese or meat, and red or green sauce, but not enchila, the sauce is sweeter, I don’t know why, ”says Diana López, who lives in Niedersachsen, Germany.
Turkey. “Tacos cost 5 times more than a taco in Mexico and the taste is nowhere near”Diana Moreno tells us from Istanbul, Turkey.
Brazil. Tacos in Brazil are prepared with flour tortillas, and there is not the variety of sauces as in Mexico. “There are some types of chili (they are called pimenta) the flavor is different, you can’t make the sauces, in the city where I lived, no green tomatoSo making salsa verde is impossible, says Beatriz Flores.
Chile. The tacos they sell in Chile, they look nothing like mexican tacos, “They have the concept of an American taco with more vegetables (lettuce) than meat, in addition the sauces are very slightly spicy,” says Roberto Hernández.
United States. “The tacos they never taste the same, especially those of pastor ”, tell Tere and Fernando. Although a version similar to the authentic Mexican tacos is offered, the type of taco that has made fast food restaurants popular throughout the country is far from being like those in Mexico, since they are made with the crunchy U-shaped tortilla. with ground beef and garnishes like sour cream and shredded cheddar or white cheese.
No corn tortillas, green tomato or variety of chili peppers
The difficulty in finding corn tortillas is not only in Finland, but also in Germany and Turkey, even in American countries.
“There is a countrywoman from Xalapa (Veracruz) who makes tortillas with nixtamalized corn twice a month. She lives on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey) And I in the European, once I place the order for tortillas, chips, sopes, I have to wait about two days for it to arrive by parcel and freeze it to remove them (the pieces) two by two as treasure”, Says Diana Moreno. He points out that a kilo of tortillas costs 12 dollars, more than 10 times what it costs in Mexico.
Several kilometers from Istanbul is Isparta, “our friend Muammer just in these months is raising the harvest of green tomato, jalapeño pepper and epazote, the purchase is also received by mail, because no one else in Turkey grows these vegetables ”, says Diana.
In Brazil no nixtamalized corn flour, so making tamales or tortillas is almost impossible. Betty points out that there is such a thing as tamales that it’s called Pamonhas but the taste is completely different.
Diana López is satisfied with prepare tortillas twice a year in Germany buying Maseca by Internet. Try as much as possible to recreate the flavors of Mexico to your young children. “A friend gave me a comal for my birthday, and since I don’t have a press, he crushed them with a glass until they were shaped and thick.”
The interviewees not only highlighted the lack of tortillas, the variety of chili peppers and the green tomato. Too they miss Mexican cheeses, like the cheese and the Oaxaca cheese, that although they are sold United States “its flavor is not the same”, Tere and Fernando count.
The “Mexican Food” fairs
Supermarkets in Germany launch almost every three months the week of some country. When the “Mexican Week” plays Diana suffers a great disappointment since she assures the stews are not actually mexican “Any stew with corn and / or beans … with that (they tell you) is Mexican … nothing to do with it.” Many of the inexpensive products they offer are canned, take the opportunity to stock up on jalapeno peppers and bags of chips.
Abner says that many times in Finland food is promoted as Mexican but in reality Tex-Mex food is sold, “that is, pure guácala.”
Mexicans abroad agree that the people of the country in which they live have as their main reference for Mexican food and drink the tacos and tequila, in the United States also to guacamole, while surprisingly in Finland and Canada is the Sol beer.
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