My Mexican Pop-Up at No 28 Belper
I'm back at No 28 Belper with my Mexican Pop-Up Restaurant on 22 March. Click on Read More for details!Read More
Delicious Tasting, ethically sourced and authentic Mexican products, recipes and ingredients
Mexican-born Marcela Flores has a passion to bring the vibrant, authentic flavours of real Mexican food she grew up with to her adopted home in the UK. Explore her award-winning range of authentic Mexican food products made with ethically-sourced ingredients...Enter Site
I'm back at No 28 Belper with my Mexican Pop-Up Restaurant on 22 March. Click on Read More for details!Read More
Marcela moved to the UK from Mexico 17 years ago and although she looked and looked, she just couldn’t find the flavours she missed from home, especially the tastes of her mum’s authentic salsas.
Cooking had been her all-time favourite activity since very young, so she got busy in the kitchen, which is by far the favourite place in the house, and voila! she created range “worthy of an award” of authentic Mexican food made with ethically-sourced ingredients. Marcela gets the best ingredients from Mexican and UK specialist growers.
The current range includes 3 types of salsas, perfect for dipping or on anything, from your favourite Mexican or Tex-Mex dish to breakfast eggs or steak, and 3 types of marvelous tortilla chips. And the range is growing…
Marcela realised that no one else would be able to make her salsas in quite such an authentic, lovingly careful way so she decided to make them herself. To make the salsas, fire-roasted tomatoes, different types of chillies and Marcela’s authentic, traditional recipes from Mexico are used to achieve an delicious-tasting salsa.
The tortilla chips are made with the ancient Mexican way to process maize, called Nixtamalization. Marcela also mixes wholesome beans and chickpeas, and aromatic spices, into the mix to make the chips unique, tasty and wholesome.
If you are wondering what Nixtamalisation is, well, it’s a fascinating process that has been in existence for 4,000 years in Mesoamerica! This involves steeping maize kernels into a solution of water and lime (a naturally-occurring chemical, not the fruit) or ash, and this gives the corn a unique, rustic aroma and flavour as well as enhancing its nutritional properties. The most important effect of Nixtamalization is that it makes the niacin present in corn digestible for the human body. Nixtamalisation also increases the calcium and amino acids (tryptophan, methionine, cystine) content and availability for the body to absorb. However, maize is low in other essential amino acids, such as lycine. So when nixtamalised corn is combined with beans and chickpeas, these grains and pulses complement each other to offer the body all essential amino acids.
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New Life Mexico Foundation
New Life Mexico is a charity in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico that helps vulnerable children and young people through social, health and education programmes. We at Marcela Flores support their work, and you can too- follow this link to learn more about their organisation and how your donation can help: http://www.newlifemexico.com/
Our products are created with love, and we use responsibly-sourced hero ingredients.
Try the salsas, made with fire-roasted tomatoes, different types of chillies and Marcela’s authentic, traditional recipes from home to achieve a real, authentic-tasting salsa.
Our tortilla chip flavours are new, spicy and exciting. They are made with the ancient Mexican process called Nixtamalization which is healthier for you, and mixed in with wholesome chickpeas and beans, and aromatic spices.
During February and March, Whole Foods Market has been busy raising funds for its Prosperity Campaign, a microloan scheme which spans 57 countries, supporting female food producers to grow their businesses, run by The Whole Planet Foundation.
Last Thursday, Marcela had the pleasure of attending the Whole Planet Foundation Fair held at Whole Foods Market Kensington. She was there along with several other brands, sampling her delicious salsas and tortilla chips with children and adults, all in support of the Prosperity Campaign.
We’ve been talking about this campaign through our social media because we feel it’s a unique opportunity for everyone, brands and consumers, to get involved. Whole Planet Foundation’s aim is to alleviate poverty around the world and so far they’ve helped over 300,000 female entrepreneurs with microloans. Find out more on their website www.wholeplanetfoundation.org .
This year the goal is to raise $7M through its Prosperity Campaign of which $2.5M has been raised so far. Marcela Flores helps contribute to the goal by donating 10p for every bag of Marcela Flores Tortilla Chips and Salsas sold during the month of March. Whole Foods Markets matched this with an extra 5%!
We’d like to thank our friends at Whole Foods Market for inviting us to attend to be a part of the fun, and for making us a partner in this cause.
So, if you’d like to be part of this, do some good and have some awesome salsas and chips, why not go to your Whole Foods Market branch and grab some delicious snacks? If you don’t have a Whole Foods branch near you, then you can still join by visting the Whole Planet Foundation website to find out how you can donate or create your own personalised fundraising page.
A bit over a week ago, I sighed in relief. “No baby for me,” I said to myself, clutching my chest in what may have been a bit of a dramatic reaction. Twenty or so of my family members, gathered around me, paused momentarily.
“Okay,” my mother said. “Hand me the knife now.”
Let me backtrack. Lest I make myself vulnerable to that unpleasant stereotype that Mexicans and young motherhood go hand in hand, I have to explain that the baby in question is a white, plastic figurine, the length of which spans from my thumb’s knuckle to my thumbnail, provided weeks of exams haven’t left said thumbnail bitten down into a nub. While I remember these babies looking like cherubic little infants in the days of my youth, this year’s “baby” looked more like a six-year-old in prayer.
I would pray too if strangers were after me with a carving knife.
Okay, I’ll slow down with the sensationalism. This is what was happening last week, what happens every year at this time, explained in the least dramatic manner I can offer you (which, admittedly, is still quite dramatic. I can’t help it; I was born to hyperbolize when it comes to matters of the heart, i.e. food).
First, the rosca. Every year on January 6th, the day Mexican culture deems the day of the biblical Magi or Wise Men, los reyes magos, my entire family gathers around this large, ring-like pastry picked up in a Mexican bakery. The pastry is colorful and an intriguing mix of sweet and savory, a meeting of dessert textures that, in my opinion, pleases you for roughly six seconds and then mostly just perplexes you. How, you wonder, how do they put jellied candy on bread and sprinkle powdered sugar on it and call it a day? Was this made from scraps of everything leftover from New Year’s? Essentially, it’s the Mexican equivalent to that oft-scorned holiday present in American culture: the fruitcake.
The outside may be busy, but with a rosca, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Nestled in the bread, waiting to be discovered, are the aforementioned plastic figurines, the “babies.” These babies are meant to represent the baby Jesus that the magi came to celebrate. The rosca is divided evenly among the guests, and if you are one of the lucky/unlucky guests who find a baby figurine in their allotted slice of rosca, you enjoy/bemoan the privilege/burden of hosting a post-holiday dinner on February 2nd, one filled with tamales and atole and joyful conviviality. This is largely to reinforce the notion that if you were actually to wield your knife in the face of an infant, it would not be without consequence—or at least, that’s the reasoning I’m sticking to.
The rosca tradition might also be a metaphor for surprises becoming blessings, and for the way your blessings should lead to celebration with your loved ones, but that doesn’t seem as crucial of a reminder as “Knives and babies don’t mix.”
The tradition of the rosca is not exclusive to Mexican culture. There are Argentinian and Spanish rosca celebrations as well; during the latter, participants who find a baby figurine in their hunk of rosca are named the King or Queen of the night. Now, I like being referred to as a queen. Perhaps if that had been the tradition in my family last week, I would have not spent the remainder of the night yelling, “THAT AIN’T MY BABY! THAT AIN’T MY BABY!” in the manner of the triumphant young men cleared of paternity accusations on daytime talk shows.
Not everyone left the cutting of the rosca unscathed. My roommate Katie, visiting from New York, was introduced to this particular Mexican tradition the hard way. As she dug through her portion of rosca, I held my breath; as the baby figurine emerged among crumbs, I squealed in sadistic delight.
But hosting a post-holiday party really isn’t the huge burden I make it out to be. For one thing, I will be back at school in New York on February 2nd, so none of the responsibility would actually fall on me, even if I had found a baby in my rosca. Also, the typical Mexican family is always looking for excuses to get together and eat, so any complaints about having to plan and host a dinner are completely moot.
On January 6th, everyone is still a bit slowed down from the gastronomical debauchery that has taken place in the preceding weeks, with caroling, Christmas, and New Year’s leftovers still shrink-wrapped and tucked in refrigerators. But we can’t go cold turkey on holiday feasting, and the actual cold turkey in the refrigerator isn’t going to cut it. We need one final hurrah to wean us off the Tudor levels of gluttony and onto only slightly excessive everyday consumption, and that’s what February 2nd is to us.
So two things to take away from the dia de los reyes magos about Mexican celebration, for Katie or anyone else: 1) January 6th is reserved for pastry-cutting and baby landmines, and 2) we will find any reason to host a holiday party, to enjoy each other’s company and feast on homemade Mexican fare, whether or not there is snow on the ground (and since I’m from California, there is never snow on the ground).
There is also a dia de los reyes magos tradition that dictates that shoes be left out in the hall the night before January 6th so that the Wise Men can come and leave gifts in them. But seeing as how this year I have left many shoes out for a solid week, and have yet to find money in any of them, we’ll just have to shelve that tradition until next year.
A Brief Introduction – Rubi Mora
My name is Rubi Mora. I am 21 years old, the first eighteen of which I spent in Santa Ana, California; summers, almost always, were spent vacationing in my parents’ hometown, Yahualica, in Jalisco, Mexico. I’ve since moved to Manhattan to attend New York University, and from there ventured to study in the UK at NYU’s London campus and had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe.
I am sharing this information not so that you’ll think of me as some glamorous international jetsetter who wears Grace Kelly scarves and sunglasses everywhere—although please, feel free to form your own assumptions—but because I want you to know the places I hold near and dear to my heart.
And by heart, I mean stomach.
I like food more than most people. I don’t mean that I like food more than most people like food; I mean that I like food more than I like most people. If I could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, I would never get around to picking the people. I’d be too busy deciding on the menu. That’s how much I like food.
The fact of the matter is, I don’t always have access to my favorite foods. When I’m in New York, I cry for the salty, perfectly seasoned first bite of an In-N-Out burger, based in California. In Santa Ana, I crave London’s hot fish and chips and cold flavored ciders. But even more so, at any point in time, I am ten seconds away from crying about how much I miss real Mexican food.
I’m excited to blog for this website because Marcela Flores’s mission, to bring the spicy, vivacious flavors of Mexican cooking to the UK, speaks to me. I can tell you from experience: once you eat real Mexican food, you won’t be able to forget it, no matter where you go or what you do. And trust me—that is a good thing.
Turn an ordinary night
into a delicious
Mexican-born Marcela Flores has a passion to bring the vibrant, authentic flavours of real Mexican food she grew up with to her adopted home in the UK. Explore her award-winning range of authentic Mexican food products made with ethically-sourced ingredients...Learn More About Marcela