Editor’s note: The original CNN series “Eva Longoria: In Search of Mexico” travels through the country’s many vibrant regions to showcase its unique and colorful cuisines. The series airs on CNN on Sundays at 9:00 pm ET/PT.
You are sure to get hungry after watching Eva Longoria: In Search of Mexico.
Each episode is filled with mouth-watering regional delicacies prepared by chefs from across the country.
For those who want to follow in Eva Longoria’s footsteps, below is a guide to the restaurants and places she has visited.
Nestled within three vast mountain ranges, Oaxaca is a magnet for discerning foodies.
The highlight of any visit here is tasting the moles, as well as dishes such as tlayudas (thin Oaxaca “pizzas”), spiced hot chocolate and asado gin smoky market stalls. “This is a different gastronomic level, one of the best places in the world where I have been,” said Longoria.
• Mercado de Abastos a giant market on the outskirts of the city of Oaxaca. If you want to snack on chocolate, the mercado is still ahead. The region is known for its moles, complex sauces made up of many mixed ingredients.
• Casa Oaxaca makes the famous Negro mole from Oaxaca sprinkled over a turkey breast. Longoria called it an incredibly complex and sophisticated sauce.
• IN Las Quince Letras, Chef Celia Florian prepared Longoria quesillo – stretched Oaxacan cheese –– with crickets and edible flowers.
• In the Oaxaca region, located on Isthmus of Tehuantepec, several muxes who self-identify as third-gender and are the guardians of the Zapotecan cuisine, prepared stuffed pork with pineapple, which was served along with mashed potatoes. Longoria called it “the perfect match”.
• farm town Santa Ana Zegache is a modest epicenter of corn. Corn has been worshiped for over 6,000 years and is still the heart of Mexican cuisine today.
• IN San Balthazar ChichicapamLongoria visited palenque (agave farm) run by Doña Berta, one of the very few women mescaleras. The farm produces mezcal, the smoky liqueur for which the region is famous.
• La Cocina de Humo a trendy restaurant prepared with local produce. Chef Thalia Barrios Garcia known for her family tomato salad with beetroot puree and herbal dressing. Longoria said it was “the perfect dish”. Here is the prescription.
Eva Longoria called this vegan salad “the perfect dish.”
Maya DNA is passed through recipes in the Yucatan, home to the largest Mayan population in Mexico.
The state is located along the Gulf of Mexico and is surrounded by dense forests that isolate it from the rest of the country. The Maya flourished here for thousands of years before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s. The region’s geography and turbulent history have had a significant impact on cuisine.
• Ixiim blends modern and ancient techniques and fragrances. The restaurant has its own version of Yucatan’s most famous dish, cochinita pibil. Chef Luis Ronson slowly cooks pork underground after marinating it in sour orange and spices.
• Seasoning Enrique is a family business that sells recados (pastas with spices) at the Mercado de Santiago in Merida.
• IN Hunikwhich means “unique spirit” in the Mayan language, chef Roberto Solis prepares onion tempura with black recado. “I have never had anything like it. It’s gorgeous and amazing,” said Longoria.
• At his home in Josén, chef Alberto Cucu prepared one of the oldest Mayan dishes, tamale chicken, for Hanal Piksan, a Mayan festival that means “food for the soul.” According to him, food in honor of the dead “can easily be taken back to the underworld.”
• Chef Regina Escalantewho is running merci in Mérida showed Longoria how to grill sea bass with mango, avocado and flor de sal. “I would eat this as my last meal on Earth,” Longoria said. Here is the prescription.
• IN UxmalMayan archaeologist Don Pepe cooked smoked pork and bean stew. Prepared underground for 12 hours.
• Kinich in Izamal is famous for its queso relleno. The key ingredient, oddly enough, is Dutch cheese. See how it’s done:
Dutch cheese is the secret of a favorite Mexican dish
“It’s crazy, crowded, noisy – and I love it!” Longoria said as she strolled the streets of Mexico City, where she lives part-time with her family. The region was once the capital of the mighty Aztec empire known as Tenochtitlan, until the Spanish invaded about 500 years ago and changed the name to Mexico City.
Here are the places Eva Longoria visited in the episode:
• Thomas is a Mexican bakery known for its conchas, airy sweet bread with a crispy filling.
• El Huequito The Historic Center serves delicious al pastor tacos, which are a staple in Mexico City.
• Taco Los Alexis the taco world is very hot. Restaurant owner Alexis Ayala uses his five-star culinary background to transform traditional recipes from his childhood into exquisite tacos to die for.
• Contramar in Rome, the bohemian part of the city, is one of Longoria’s favorite restaurants. Owner and chef Gabriela Camara has prepared her signature dish: pescado a la talla.
• Maximo Bistro, a gourmet restaurant combining French and Mexican cuisine operated by WithEduardo “Lalo” Garcia. For Longoria, he prepared a salad of roasted beets with arugula and withered purslane. Best known as a weed purslane nevertheless edible and highly nutritious.
• Mercado de Jamaica is one of hundreds of markets in the city. At street food stalls, Longoria sampled green chorizo and tlacoyo tacos, thick oval tortillas usually stuffed with beans or cheese.
• Casa Tochan The refugee shelter is the first refuge for immigrants in Mexico City. Residents prepare dishes from their homeland to share with their housemates.
• El Moro this place is famous for its churros and chocolates.
• Hiyoko Restaurant in Little Tokyo cooks Mexican-Japanese fusion. Chef and restaurateur Edo Lopez prepared tapioca tostadas, chicken skewers with ants and duck donburi.
After each episode, we will update this story with the latest places to try the food from Looking for Mexico.
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