Table of Contents
Viva México! Sit back again to savor touring with award-winning actor, director, producer Eva Longoria, who heads south to scoop up delectable travel-and-food favorites in Hunting for Mexico, a new six-episode CNN Initial Collection, premiering March 26. Born and reared in Texas with Mexican heritage, Longoria showcases this near-to-her-heart region that she deems her next dwelling, wherever she also achieved her partner, José “Pepe” Bastón. A popular tourism destination for Individuals, Mexico is embraced by Longoria, who spotlights its sightseeing jewels, picturesque landscapes, cultural amazements, visionary personalities and powering-the-scenes stories, while devouring diverse dishes in Mexico City, Yucatan, Oaxaca, Nuevo Leon, Jalisco and Veracruz. “All I know is that each time I try to eat Mexican foods, I am delighted,” she exclaims. Co-executive created by Longoria and Stanley Tucci — whose possess CNN present Browsing for Italy won Emmys for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Collection in 2021 and 2022 — Exploring for Mexico could have you cheering: Olé! Below, its trailer and some episode snapshots to whet your appetite.
Episode 1: Mexico Town
Longoria starts Seeking for Mexico’s journey in this biggest of North American metropolitan areas. There are many means to be wooed by its rousing audio, murals and morsels. She joins foods author Gabriela Rentería on a fun taco-athon, as they sprint to dine on generously crammed tortillas. If you consider that you know tacos dependent on what is normally served in the U.S.A., surprises await. Mexico City has lengthy captivated persons from all more than the earth, who have brought their origin country’s culinary influences. Thus, Mexican foodstuff is an amalgam of global exchange. Taco fusions are vibrantly assorted, such as tacos al pastor (with spit-grilled slices of pork), a strategy launched by Lebanese immigrants who imported shawarma (spit-grilled lamb served on pita bread). Even in Mexico City’s latest district of Very little Tokyo, Japanese-Mexican substances are blended. For sweets, she endorses concha (spherical sweet bread that resembles a seashell) at her choicest neighborhood bakery. Longoria also treats Santi, her four-calendar year-outdated son, to sizzling chocolate and churros (fried choux pastry dough).
Mexico City’s historic center impresses. Constitution Plaza, also named El Zócalo, is minutes absent from Countrywide Palace (the formal residence of Mexico’s president) with lauded paintings by Diego Rivera baroque Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico Metropolis (building started in 1573 and ongoing for 250 a long time) and 13th-century Aztec Temple — the Good Pyramid of Tenochtitlan. With Eduardo “Lalo” Garcia, 1 of Mexico’s esteemed chefs, Longoria boats by a network of historical Aztec-built canals and compact islands to look at the floating gardens of Xochimilco. It airs: March 26.
Episode 2: Yucatan
On the east coastline of Mexico, together Gulf waters and in jungles of Yucatan, Longoria delves into important contributions of historical Maya — an accomplished civilization for millennia right up until 16th-century Spanish conquistadors arrived. The Maya’s astounding pyramids, these types of as individuals at Chichén Itzá, Uxmal and Tulum, are planet renowned. She explores how the Mayan essence is held alive today as a result of their cherished recipes. Chef Roberto Solis, mastermind of New Yucatan Cuisine, dazzles with imaginative pushing-the-envelope fare. In the city of Merida, his new cafe Hunik, indicating “unique spirit” in Mayan, pays tribute to intricate spice combos, such as negro recado — a charred, smoky, aromatic chili sauce. Lots of of the most effective Yucatan dishes demand a devoted, lengthy planning procedure. For instance, conchinita pibil is pork slow-roasted in a rock-lined underground pit for 8 several hours. It airs: April 2.
Episode 3: Oaxaca
“Do you consider in magic?” asks Longoria. “I did not right until Oaxaca cast its spell on me.” She travels to southern Mexico’s Oaxaca, tucked among mountains and the Pacific Ocean to the south. “A bewitching put, in which culinary wonders are conjured,” she carries on. Oaxaca is each a point out and a city. Considering the fact that pre-Hispanic times, trade routes from South The united states funneled a multitude of elements north, criss-crossing via Oaxaca, endowing it with significantly-flung culinary presents. “Oaxaca is a mecca for food stuff lovers in the know,” Longoria adds.
The pioneering chef who has put Oaxacan delicacies on the contemporary worldwide-gourmand map is Alejandro Ruiz, whose Casa Oaxaca cafe salutes the region’s develop. His bespoke, cacao-centric mole negro sauce — complex, silky, sleek, innovative — has 28 components. Longoria and Ruiz make mole collectively in his kitchen area later on, it is served with turkey, as is traditional in Oaxaca, on Ruiz’s rooftop terrace. Named the “food of the gods,” chocolate is a cornerstone of Oaxacan gastronomy. Upcoming, foodstuff writer and passionate cheese fan Omar Alonzo navigates Longoria to the town of Reyes Etla, where whole-body fat quesillo cheese, Oaxaca’s beloved export, is developed. At cafe Las Quince Letras, impressive Chef Celia Florian makes an in-need finger food items, in which a hand-size Hoja Santa leaf — which has natural flavors of anise, eucalyptus, mint — is topped with torn quesillo and crunchy roasted (protein-wealthy) grasshoppers, then folded, heated, slice and rolled into chunk-sizing portions edible bouquets and drizzles of pesto sauce gown the pretty plate. Longoria at to start with would seem careful about feeding on the grasshoppers, then concurs that the dish’s textures and flavors enhance each other nicely.
Historical Zapotecs thrived in the Oaxaca location identified as Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the narrowest stretch of land involving Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Currently, guardians of Zapotec cuisine are identified as Muxes, who are recognized as a 3rd gender. “We are people of two spirits,” states Felina Santiago (previously mentioned). “We are the duality, neither man or girl, neither a lot less or far more.” Their lifestyle has presented them a perception of freedom. “It has been a privilege for me to spend time with the Muxes, who’ve solid their have route in Oaxaca,” claims Longoria. They dress in traditional costume, elaborately embroidered with bouquets. Stuffed pork is a favored dish, served with casserole-like mashed potatoes loaded with sufficient amounts of garlic, spring onions, carrots, eggs, butter and heavy cream. As Longoria will help the Muxes manually combine the substances with their fingers, she remarks, “This is a exercise session!” Distinctive celebration foods can consist of armadillo, iguana and mountain pigeon.
Tomatoes, way too, originate from South America. They were being traded by Mexico, then Spaniards took them to Europe. In Mexico, the birthplace of maize, far more than 60 diverse species prosper. Corn is central to Mexican cooking and id. An hour push from Oaxaca Metropolis, the farming community of Santa Ana Zegáche is corn’s epicenter. It has been cultivated there for far more than 6,000 years. Longoria visits a household farm, pointing to its cobs of burgundy, darkish yellow and white kernels. An additional primary Oaxacan export is mezcal liquor, created from the agave plant. Longoria eagerly pitches in at a San Baltazar Chichicapam agave farm — run by a girl, a rarity. Just after agave vegetation are harvested and machete-slice, they are cooked in a included firey pit, which can get up to five days, then mashed and milled to attain an agave juice, fermented, distilled two times, casked (dependent on intent of ageing) and finally bottled. It airs: April 9.
Episode 4: Nuevo Leon
Mexico’s northeastern point out of Nuevo Leon borders Texas, southwest of Corpus Christi. Considerably of its rugged, dry mountainous terrain is inhospitable to fruit and vegetable farming. As an alternative, meat is on most menus beef and cabrito (baby goat) are greatly out there. Open up-flame cooking and barbecues are commemorated. Ranch-model beans and breakfast tacos are staples. Longoria attends a festive carne asada event to relish community aguja steak. She preferences tender goat with flour tortillas that may well derive from a Sephardic Jewish custom — and she assists assemble venison tamales for her movie crew.
A lot of Nuevo Leon cooks astonish with their out-of-the-box creativeness. For example, at Koli Cocina de Origen in the metropolis of Monterrey, Longoria scientific studies the reducing-edge, excelling menus of 3 gifted brothers: Chef Rodrigo Rivera Rio, Pastry Chef Daniel Rivera Rio and Maître d’/Sommelier Patricio Rivera Rio. Intent on their cafe possessing an uplifting household grace, they selected the title Koli, which means “grandfather” in Náhuatl, the language of Aztecs who ruled Mexico among the 14th and 16th centuries. Not properly identified as a language exterior of Mexico, Náhuatl is even now fluently spoken these days by about 1.5-million Mexicans — and, in reality, some Náhuatl phrases, these types of as avocado, chipotle, chocolate, coyote, guacamole, mezcal and tomato have been incorporated into the English language. It airs: April 16.
Episode 5: Jalisco
On Mexico’s west coastline, bordered by 6 states — Aguascalientes, Colima, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Michoacán and Zacatecas — Jalisco is typically considered the most quintessentially Mexican. Traditions this sort of as mariachi bands, ranchera tunes, charro cowboys and tequila originated there. Its Pacific beaches are beauties, engaging travelers to swanky resorts, notably in Puerto Vallarta. Energetic Guadalajara is the money its plazas, neoclassical Teatro Degollado (theater) and golden-spired cathedral charm. Longoria tastes outstanding dishes, such as birria, a gradual-heated goat stew, and torta ahogada, a sourdough sandwich crammed with pork, a legacy from French invasions. Pop-up eateries and polished dining establishments proliferate these days, led by energetic cooks. At outstanding Café Pa’l Genuine, Chef Fabian Delgado has brainstormed a novel mole, making use of Mexican and European elements. Longoria then steers towards Jalisco’s area of Tequila to toast the nationwide drink. She also talks with the fiercely proud indigenous Coca individuals. It airs: April 23.
Episode 6: Veracruz
Along the warm Gulf Coast, the eastern state of Veracruz — just 60 miles extensive, stretching 400 miles extended — is recognised as the cradle of the contemporary-day nation of Mexico. Spanish conquistadors very first landed on its shores. Shortly thereafter, Veracruz grew to become a very lively investing hub: Spaniards imported coffee, oranges, pork and spices Mexicans exported a prosperity of coveted foodstuff, which includes tomatoes, chocolate and vanilla. A treasure trove of substances coming and going remixed and ignited full new cuisines. Can you consider Italy with no the tomato? France with no chocolate and vanilla?
In a interesting Looking for Mexico trajectory, Longoria retraces the route of her ancestor, Lorenzo Longoria, who set foot in Veracruz 400 many years in the past.
Nowadays, Veracruzanos are famed for their feisty defiance and resilience. Women of all ages are strong, progressively striving for independence and leadership roles. Earning a favourable influence on Veracruz’s fishing business is Chef Erik Guerrero Arias, who has encouraged sustainability and expanded the variety of consumable fish species. With Longoria, he tends to make a chilly seafood ceviche that is “disrupted” with heat refried beans and drizzled avocado oil. Longoria then drives to espresso fields in verdant mountains, to study how shade, altitude and amazing temps strengthen superior crops. She visits a major vanilla farm, which has been owned by 1 relatives considering that 1873 and now, for the very first time, is headed by a female, Norma Gaya. The entrepreneur shows Longoria how to prepare dinner tasty hen with prized vanilla, braised onions, and nata — a thick butter-like product that types on the top of uncooked milk, which is then boiled. For dessert? Heated bananas are doused in artisanal vanilla liqueur and served with homemade vanilla bean ice product. Hungry still? It airs: April 23.