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Feliz mes de amor y amistad! In Mexico, and most Latin countries we don’t just celebrate el dia de San Valentine’s (St. Valentine’s Day), we celebrate the whole month of love & friendship. I’m a guilty diehard romantic, so this is my 2nd favorite holiday (love Thanksgiving!).
Though there aren’t specific rituals or traditions for this holiday in Mexico, you can still indulge in ‘la experiencia Mexicana” because our culture is filled with romance! Latinos have traditionally (and maybe stereotypically) become commonly recognized and referred to as a culture of passion, sexiness, romance, and love. Sexy icon entertainers like Luis Enrique, JLo, Shakira, Marc Anthony, and Prince Royce definitely fit the stereotype, but it’s not just because of their looks.
Many Latin songs are filled with romantic lyrics, especially in the Mexican genre of folklore like baladas, trios, and rancheras. In some of the music there are versions of “piropos de amor”, but many times they are just poems, or saying men might say as an attractive woman walking by him. Piropo is a poetic compliment or comment to a woman about her beauty or as a way to profess ones love. Here is a beautiful example of a “piropo” that I love:
“Desearia ser una lagrima tuya…
Para nacer en tus ojos,
vivir en tus mejillas,
y morir en tus labios”
Nothing is lost in this translation:
I wish to be one of your teardrops,
to be born in your eyes,
live on your cheeks,
and die at your lips.
(I want to share with you a personal romantic moment, 18years ago as I walked down the aisle to my husband at our wedding, he serenaded me, and he still sings to me. And so does my dad, y father has been singing to me since I was a child, I love love!)
Another way we share ‘La Experiencia Mexicana” is through our food! Many of our foods are infused with the love revving ingredients, aka aphrodisiacs. Here are a few of those ingredients and HOW they might add passion to your life! (And here are a few other fun aphrodisiac ingredients: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20395701,00.html
Chile peppers can really spice things up—and not just in your mouth—thanks to capsaicin, a chemical that’s been shown to increase the release of endorphins in the brain, which creates a feeling of euphoria. Capsaicin causes the ‘spice’ effect in hot peppers like jalapenos, though habaneros have the most, so the hotter the better! The potential payoff? Enhanced foreplay and hotter sex.
Extra guacamole please! I just learned this recently, and am so excited to share because I LOVE avocados! The vitamin E in this voluptuous green helps your body create hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, which circulate in your bloodstream and stimulates sexual responses… I eat a lot of avocado, I will begin to very purposefully allow myself to ‘feel the avocado’ work its magic! They’re also a top source of omega-3 fatty acids, and we know that this boosts your mood, making you more likely to feel ready for bedroom action. hmmm… wonder what else we can do with avocados & guacamole?
Many common Mexican and Latin foods (since ancient Aztec & Mayan civilizations) are tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, and one of my favorites is passion fruit ‘maracuya’. Emphasis on “Passion” fruit is more of a psycho physiological aphrodisiac rather than a physical aphrodisiac. The fruit is thought to represent fertility because of its many seeds. Passion fruit juice has several health benefits because it is rich in vitamin A, C, B2, B6 and minerals like potassium. It’s great in a smoothie drink, fruity dessert, and absolutely wonderful in a margarita- which by the you can experience in El Cafe y Bar at El Burrito Mercado.
I encourage you to raise the heat just a little out of your comfort zone the next time you we ask you, “spicy or no spicy”? And for the sake of love get it spicy! Add a beer or refreshing glass of wine with it, and end the experience with fresh mango sprinkled with a spicy powder we sell in our market call TAJIN, it’s a unique fruit experience your palate (and your entire being) is certain to enjoy.
Don’t be disappointed if you feel no reaction from any of these ‘aphrodisiac’ foods, it’s about the experience with a loved one! Try this refreshing recipe, it’s wonderful on cooked poultry or fish, I love it on a tossed salad! (A fun flirty way to refer to someone that is ‘hot’ is to say ‘que mango’, so next time your honeybunny is looking hot, whisper to him or her in a sexy voice “mmm, que mango”, and then make this mango salsa!)
1 ripe mango cubed
1 tbsp finely chopped purple onion
1 chile serrano finely chopped (only use 1/2 if super spicy)
3 cilantro sprigs finely chopped
1/2 cucumber de-seeded and cubed
1/2 lime juice
combine all ingredients
Set in fridge for about 20min to chill, then serve!
If you are still wondering what to do this coming Valentine’s Day, in El Cafe y Bar at El Burrito Mercado we will be serving a wonderful four course dinner, fun cocktails, wine, champagne and live music by a talented, local couple Cathy & Abel.
I’d love to hear about your food related ‘love’ ideas and recipes! Please comment.
Feliz Mes del Amor y la Amistad (Happy Month of Love & Friendship) y que viva El Amor!