A Tasty Mexican Trio: Corn, Cacao and Agave with Raquel del Castillo - Context Travel

A Tasty Mexican Trio: Corn, Cacao and Agave with Raquel del Castillo


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Corn is for tortilla, cacao for chocolate, and agave for mezcal and Tequila. This conversation addresses the history, evolution, and application of these wonderful ingredients that conquered the world with their amazing tastes and textures.

Led by a food journalist and editor, Raquel del Castillo, this interactive seminar will guide us through gastronomical facts in order to better understand the cultural and culinary significance of corn, chocolate, and agave. Together, we will explore the several varieties of corn and the meaning of corn in the prehispanic religious view. We’ll also learn how to make masa dough with nixtamalization process (theory) and discuss how this mesoamerican cereal is not only present in soft drinks but also in spirits such as whisky and gin. We’ll learn that it’s pretty fascinating stuff as we dig a bit deeper behind the surface level of corn.

For cacao, we are going to travel in time and see how the cacao bean converted from a coin to plenty of beverages and finally, to a candy bar. We will learn about the different cacao varieties that Mexico has and the most important plantations as we take a virtual visit to some of them.

We’ll finish up by traveling to Oaxaca and Tequila to see the differences between mezcal and Tequila, two icons of mexican spirits that are trending in various locations around the world, particularly the USA and Asia. We’ll also take time to discuss pulque: we’ll learn how it is made and the prehispanic story about how it was created.

Raquel Del Castillo has been a food journalist since 2000, writing for publications such as Forbes online, Munchies (Vice Mexico), chilango.com, and the national newspaper Milenio. She studied culinary arts and Communication at university. Now she mixes this knowledge of cooking and writing in her everyday work. She loves teaching recipes and leading tours to the local markets of Mexico City. She thinks that the best way to know the flavors of Mexico is to walk through these public places and go to the restaurants to see how chefs prepare the ingredients for the numerous traditional Mexican recipes, some of them published in her three recipes books.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.