Bring travel home: Mexico

Introducing Bring travel home

One of the things that makes travel special is the chance to switch off and explore new cultures. And with more time on our hands than usual, we have the opportunity to do just that. So for this series, we’ll be curating things to watch, read, listen and eat to explore different cultures from the comfort of your own home.

🇲🇽 Mexico

"Mexico has a faint, physical smell of her own, as each human being has. And this is a curious, inexplicable scent, in which there are resin and perspiration, and urine, among other things." So penned D.H. Lawrence in Mornings in Mexico. And perhaps that's why we're drawn to her. She is, after all, human and full of life and colour as well as all the fatal flaws that we share. For this, we thought there was no better place to explore from the comfort of our own homes.

So sit back, grab a mezcal and prepare to explore the first in our series, Mexico.


Watch

Y Tu Mamá También (2001)

Our second Alfonso Cuarón recommendation, this super-sexy film sees two teenage boys ruled by raging hormones embark on a road trip towards adulthood.

Watch the trailer here and stream now on iTunes.

Frida (2002)

Salma Hayek plays the eponymous artist in this biopic exploring her tumultuous personal life, including her two high-profile marriages to fellow artist and communist Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina).

Watch the trailer here and stream now on Amazon, iTunes or YouTube.

Roma (2018)

The triple Oscar-winning film follows the life of a maid of a middle-class family in the 1970's. Director, Alfonso Cuarón, crafts this semi-autobiographical take on his own upbringing in the Colonia Roma neighbourhood of Mexico City.

Watch the trailer here and stream now on Netflix.

Enrique Olvera | Chef's Table | Season 2, Episode 4 (2016)

“Mexico is extremely rich in its poverty, and I see that in food. When you have nothing to eat, you have to eat anything and everything.” Olvera, of Pujol fame, on the diversity of Mexican cuisine. Mexico is its food, and there's no better way to get an understanding of its food than from one of its main proponents.

Stream now on Netflix.


Read

Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (1947)

The story revolves around a day in the life (or death) of Consul and is set in a small Mexican town nestled in the shadow of a volcano. Lowry, who was attracted to the fatalism of Mexico, is one of the few English writers of the 1920's and 30's who spent enough time in Mexico to be allowed to comment upon it.

Get the book or audiobook on Amazon.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (1989)

A story of forbidden love at first sight between a talented cook and her neighbour. Esquivel skillfully weaves magical realism within the story to reveal the emotional obstacles of the protagonist.

Get the book or audiobook on Amazon.

The Pearl by John Steinbeck (1947)

Steinbeck's parable about wealth and the evil it can bring was inspired by a Mexican folk tale from La Paz, Mexico. When Kino, a poor Mexican pearl-diver, finds a magnificent pearl - 'the Pearl of the World' - he believes that all his dreams can come true...

Get the book or audiobook on Amazon.


Listen

Music

Vicente Fernández

As popular as Presley and Sinatra have been since the 60's, Fernández is a Mexican cultural icon. The tenor regales songs of philandering Caballeros, corrupt politicians and the lives of everyday people.

Listen on Spotify.

Pedro Infante

The musician and actor released his first single in 1943 and quickly rose to fame. Known as the King of Mexican Bolero, a distinct genre of slow-tempo Latin music, he sadly died in 1957 in a plane crash.

Listen on Spotify.

Maldita Vecindad y Los Hijos del Quinto Patio

La Maldita Vecindad y Los Hijos del Quinto Patio is a band formed in Mexico City in 1985. They are pioneers of Spanish rock and one of the most influential rock bands in Mexico. We also like their name, which translates as "The Damned Neighborhood and the Sons of the Fifth Block".

Listen on Spotify.

Luis Miguel

An international star, beloved throughout Latin America, he was the first Latin artist to have two Spanish language albums go platinum.

Listen on Spotify.

Podcasts

The Mexican Revolution by Melvyn Bragg

Bragg and his guests discuss the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the popular uprising which lasted ten years and resulted in the overthrow of President Porfino Diaz.

Listen on the BBC.


Eat and drink

Recipes

Chicken tinga

"The first recipe any Mexican will cook as soon as they move out of their parents' home and live on their own is chicken tinga." Writes Enrique Olvera in his new cookbook Tu Casa Mi Casa. "It is easy, reminds everyone of home, and the ingredients are very accessible. Although it is better made with dried chipotle chillies, canned chipotles work if in a pinch. It can be a soupy stew served over white rice and with tortillas. If you cook it down to thicken a bit more, it is a great topping on a tostada with fresh shredded lettuce, some crema, cheese, and fresh salsa."

Check out the recipe on Foodism and order your supplies from Mex Grocer or Mestizo.

Fresh corn tortillas are a game-changer, make them yourself or get them from The Little Tortilleria or Farmdrop.

Delivery

If you don't fancy rustling up food yourself, why not order in? Here are some recommendations of some great restaurants from our home, London, that are still delivering:

West London

Taquería, Notting Hill
Taquería started life as a Cool Chile Co, a purveyor of authentic Mexican food, stall on Portobello Road, where they served tacos and aguas frescas to the Mexican-starved crowd of Notting Hill. The pedigree is there and so is the quality.

East London

Caldera, Hackney
A more modern and creative take on Mexican flavours with a Japanese influence as the menu includes dishes like mole-miso lamb cutlets and baja fish tacos with chipotle aioli and ao-nori seaweed.

Hacha, Dalston
London's only agaveria and champions of all that is tequila and mezcal are now doing home delivery. Be sure to try their award-winning Mezcal Mirror Margarita.


We hope you enjoyed being temporarily transported to Mexico. Next up, we’re taking you to Denmark. Got any good recommendations for the land of stegt flæsk med persillesovs og kartofler (or thick fried slices of pork served with boiled potatoes and parsley sauce)? Send Ben an email along with your suggestions and we’ll give you a £10 Amazon voucher if it makes the cut.

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Team Pluto

The awesome team at Pluto HQ