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Lifestyle : Taste of Mexico Special Report 2013
1HERSA1 0016 iG6046977AA-280513 For the authentic taste of Mexico, right here in Australia. Fireworksfoods has the largest range of Mexican Food products including from freshly baked tortillas, spices, Mexican essentials, beverages & extra hot salsas. Shop online at www.fireworksfoods.com.au (firstname.lastname@example.org) End-of-Year special. All orders made by 30th June 2013, will receive a 10% discount. (use coupon code smh1 when entering your order) Proudly OZ-MEX. Enquires Marycarmen 02 9630-4610.... ENJOY 410 CROWN ST | SURRY HILLS PH 9326 9072 www.agavesurryhills.com.au • $5 frozen margaritas - 15+ flavours... • $5 bottles of dos equis beer........ • $5 house tequila shots.... • $5 glass of sangria....... • $5 glass of house wine.......... every thursday night from 6pm - late THIRSTY THURSDAYS $5 G6016414AA-280513 Mexico City Food Products is one of Australia's fastest growing suppliers of authentic Mexican food products to the local restaurant and wholesale food industries. Blending traditional manufacturing processes' intrinsic to Mexican & Spanish Cuisine with Australia's best fresh produce to deliver superior tasting products. Every Mexico City Product is 100% Australian made and 100% preservative free. Try our famous Corn Chips, Tortillas and Taco Shells as well as imported condiments such as Chilies and Tomatillos today! Contact: 02 9570 3025 Email: email@example.com www.mexicocityfoodproducts.com.au iG6030966AA-280513 16 goodfood TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013 taste of mexico special report Top 10 ingredients to lift sombreros Secret ingredients: (From left) a tortilla press; powdered achiote seed; imported 30-30 Tequila; seriously hot sauces. Photos: James Brickwood As the popularity of Mexican cuisine rages, here's a list of essentials to turn up the heat, writes Carli Ratcliff. The day Mary Aguilera became a mother, she also became a business owner. ''The first container of ingredients arrived from Mexico the day I gave birth to my first son eight years ago,'' she says. With Aguilera busy in the maternity ward, husband and business partner Raymond Said took delivery of the cargo. The couple were inspired to start their import and wholesale business, Fireworks Foods, when Aguilera arrived in Australia from Mexico City 13 years ago. ''I couldn't find the ingredients I needed to cook with, back then there was only very generic supermarket-brand Mexican ingredients available,'' she says. The couple formerly worked in IT and telecommunications, until Aguilera was offered a redundancy that gave her the impetus to begin importing. Said continued to work as a consultant as they built the business, but now, eight years on, and with an explosion of interest in Mexican food, the two are occupied full time. Mary Aguilera's 10 essentials for a Mexican pantry 1 TORTILLAS Aguilera and Said supply tortillas to many restaurants. They produce three varieties -- white made from wheat flour, yellow from corn flour and blue from blue corn flour. ''We make them every day,'' Said says. ''Tortillas are cut into triangles and fried to become corn chips, deep fried to make hard taco shells and used fresh for quesadillas.'' Aguilera predicts huarache will be the next Mexican dish to take off. ''They are hugely popular in southern California right now,'' Said says. ''A huarache is a big tortilla shaped like the sole of a shoe,'' Aguilera says. ''We use a long, rather than round, tortilla press to make them, then fill it with meat and serve with salad and salsas on the side.'' 2 TORTILLA PRESS AND FLOURS In addition to making and selling tortillas, the pair also sells tortilla and huarache presses and flours for making them, including yellow and blue corn. The type of tortilla used for a particular dish depends on the region in which it was created. ''Mexican food is very regional,'' Said says. ''You cross from one region to another and you may as well be in a different country. Tortillas can change from corn to wheat and spicing from very hot to mild.'' 3 BEANS Beans are also regional. Pinto are the favoured bean in Mexico City, Aguilera's home town. Red kidney are more popular in central America and black beans in the countryside. The couple sells all three varieties in dried and canned forms. ''I always soak my beans overnight,'' Aguilera says. ''I cook a kilo at a time, covered by just two fingers of water, with onion and garlic. ''They are ready when you press them between your fingers and the belly is soft, that is when you add salt, not before.'' 4 CHILLIES Guajillo, morita, pasilla, ancho, de arbol, Jamaican, cascabel, chipotle (dried jalapeno), habanero and piquin are the essential chillies of Mexican cuisine and the couple sell them dried. ''Chillies are always hotter at the neck, and less hot at the tip,'' Said says. There are also tins of jalapeno and Peruvian panca and rocoto on the shelves. ''Each region has their favourite,'' Aguilera says. ''And each dish calls for a different chilli depending on where it originated.'' 5 ANNATTO POWDER Seeds of the achiote tree are crushed to make a powder that is mixed with orange juice and vinegar and used to marinate chicken to make pollo pibil, Yucatan-style chicken cooked on the grill. ''This is great for barbecues,'' Aguilera says.
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