The Central Region is a high plateau averaging 6,600 ft elevation. It is arid/semi-arid with lots of cactus and other prickly things, used for both for eating and drinking—think Mezcal, the intoxicating beverage distilled from agaves!
This area is comprised of the metropolis of Mexico City, D.F. (population of 25 to 30 million), plus the states of México and Morelos. It is where the Aztecs had their Empire, is surrounded by active volcanoes, and full of life!
In the nearby state of Morelos, one of the major cities is Cuernavaca. This is a photo of bouganvilla by the main Cathedral in the city.
We have a write-up on Cuernavaca in Spanish at: http://www.soleducational.com/estudiantes/modulos/modulo_1/m1_cuernavaca.html.
Toluca is another major city, this one in the state of México.
THE MENU FROM THE CENTRAL REGION
In our class we had two appetizers, or ‘antojitos’, from the Central Region of Mexico. The first was ‘Chalupitas de pollo poblanos con dos salsas’ (Recipe and process).
The second was ‘Chiles capones’, served on a creamy tomato salsa and drizzled with cream. I have never had anything quite like them before, and they were my favourite dish of this third Mexican cooking class featuring the cuisine from this region. (Recipe and process)
The heart of meal, appropriately from the heart of Mexico, was ‘Steak with Nopales, Chorizo and Black Beans’, otherwise known as ‘Bistec con nopales, chorizo y frijoles‘. (Recipe and process)
We began our class by preparing the dessert first, ‘tamales de dulce‘ (sweet tamales), as these treats had the longest prep time. Although I was familiar with savory tamales, the sweet versions were a delightful surprise. A gooey mixture of masa (corn dough), butter, sugar, pink food colouring known as ‘rosa mexicana‘, cinnamon-infused water, baking powder and raisins were steamed inside corn husks, resulted in a delicately sweet dessert. (Recipe and process)
My friend, señor Bowen, has kindly written a guest blog of his memories of the food of Mexico City, featuring his food finds around the D.F.