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Discover What´s Hot About Mexican Food by Olivia Mordsley / CHIC COLLECTION


Spice Up Your Life

Where to eat good Mexican food

Mexico is a diverse country in every sense of the word and its cuisine contains a wide range of timeless staples and regional specialities. The menu became more varied after the Spanish conquered in the 16th century, but it still retains influences from the Mayan and Aztec times. Mexican food is traditionally spicy and made from a few classic ingredients with straightforward recipes and a lot of garnish.

Street Food

Street food in Mexico city

Photo credits: Shell Tu

The country’s capital, Mexico City, is home to half a million food stands that take in just about every part of the national diet. Many of the foods eaten here can trace their origins all the way back to the days of the Mayans and the Aztecs, in particular beans and corn which play a major role in Mexican cuisine, past and present. Corn on the cob is sold on street corners throughout the country, topped with anything from butter and salt to lime and chilli powder. Insects and plants, such as grasshoppers and cactus, that were eaten many years ago are still enjoyed today, either on their own or stuffed inside a tortilla.

Tamale is one of the most popular street foods. It consists of corn dough stuffed with filling such as zucchini and beans, chicken or pork, then wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed. Corn is one of the staple parts of the Mexican diet and historians suggest it has been present in the country’s cuisine for around 9000 years. It has important cultural significance, too, as many Mexicans believe that they are ‘the people of the corn.’

local mexican food

Photo credits: Federico, Charles Scanlon

Another basic food is the mighty tortilla. Made from flour in the north and corn in the south, these can be eaten sprinkled with salt and warmed through for a classic snack or stuffed with meat for a more substantial meal. Tortillas also form the base of some of the country’s most popular dishes, such as enchiladas and tacos. Enchiladas are covered in a tomato and chilli sauce and stuffed with meat, cheese, vegetables or seafood. Often eaten at breakfast, these are a milder, healthier version of the taco – which is fried until crunchy and then filled with meat or vegetables.  Enchiladas also date back to the Mayan times when people would eat fish wrapped in corn tortilla. Chilaquiles are another tortilla-based breakfast dish that include yet another Mexican staple – salsa. These lightly fried corn tortillas are topped with salsa, eggs and pulled chicken, with plenty of cheese, sour cream and beans added for good measure.

Some Like it Hot

food culture in Mexico

Photo credits: Carsten ten Brink, Waywuwei

Chillies are used liberally in many dishes and range from fairly mild to absolutely scorching. Large Poblano chillies are stuffed with cheese or spicy meat (picadillo) and served as a main meal. If you are lucky, you will be able to try a variation on the traditional Poblano chilli dish in the form of chiles en nogada, which also includes chopped fruit and spices. This a patriotic dish that boasts the three colours of the Mexican flag with the green of the chilli, the white of the cream sauce and the red of the pomegranate seeds. History suggests that this dish was first served to a former Mexican emperor.

Smaller chillies are often used to garnish and in dips such as guacamole – an extremely popular dish that dates back to the time of the Aztecs. Guacamole is also a fine example of the style of traditional cuisine as it contains just a few classic ingredients, bright colours and intense flavours. Sauces and dips play a large role in the diet, with sour cream and salsa also counted among the most popular.

Fantastic Fish





It is surprisingly easy to be vegetarian in Mexico as the diet contains a few classic dishes with a lot of flavour that don’t require meat. Quesadillas are the perfect dish for vegetarians and those who wish to avoid spices, too – these are grilled tortillas stuffed with cheese, beans and salad. Beans are most often seen in the form of frijoles, where they are boiled and refried then served as the main part of a meal or as a stuffing or side dish.

Finally, there is the country’s famous fish and seafood. Boasting hundreds of miles of coastline and deep ocean waters, Mexico is home to some of the most delicious seafood in the world. The Matlali Hotel in the Nayarit region on the Pacific coast is perfectly situated to take advantage of the delectable cuisine and beautiful beaches of western Mexico. The hotel’s Raixes restaurant is world-class and features an expansive terrace where you can enjoy the best of the local seafood. One of the most famous regional dishes is theHuachinango Saradeado – marinated red snapper grilled over coals. A really traditional experience will see the fish smoked over mangrove wood and marinated with lemon and chilli sauce, then served with tortillas. The Nayarit region is also one of the world’s best locations for shrimp, in particular the tlaxtihuilli (shrimp soup).Ceviche – raw fish marinated in lime juice – is another regional speciality that tastes divine eaten al fresco against the backdrop of the ocean panoramas. A classic grilled fish meal will be perfectly complemented by a refreshing drink, perhaps a margarita from the country that created tequila or an ice-cold beer – one of Mexico’s most famous exports.

And all that is left to say is buen provecho!


Olivia Mordsley




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Ritual Relaxation

Ritual Relaxation in Makawé Spa, Riviera Nayarit

Ritual Relaxation in Makawé Spa, Riviera Nayarit

Across the Sierra Madre Occidental, the mountain range in western Mexico, Huichol people begins a long pilgrimage. From Nayarit lands to the arid desert in San Luis Potosí, heading to a place which they call Wirikuta. It is a 248.55 miles crossing and it is also the way Huichol people have to recall the days when they used to be hunters and pickers.

   They are walking toward Cerro del Quemado to meet the Blue Deer. This is an action meant to honour their four principal deities: Corn, Eagle, Dear and Hikuri; all of them descendants of the Sun. One of the most important religious activities for Huichol People is Hikuri picking. It is at the same time the name of a diety and a sacred plant. In Nahuatl language it was called Peyotl, and it is known in Spanish as Peyote.

   In Huichol cosmogony, it is not the traveler who heads to Hikuri, but it is Hikuri itself the one that appears to the traveler and takes him to a two worlds frontier. When they find the Hikuri, Huichol pilgrims shoot their arrows to right and left to keep the spirits of evil away. Hikuri or Peyote is a small, round-shaped cactus without thorns and mainly formed by its big roots. It is a sacred plant worthy of the deepest respect.

   After a prayer, the ones who take part in ceremony are given four dried, bitter segments of root, which they chew and eat. This is the start of a trip to find the Blue Deer who, in the magnificence of desert will reveal itsefl to us and will show us the way back to our life. He will teach us and he will be our medicine.

   Known by its many healing powers, Hikuri is also the main ingredient of the Makawé Spa therapy that was named after this sacred plant. It is a massage that preserves the indigenous art and techniques. Makawé Spa’s Hikuri Therapy is meant to help you to get relaxed through the skilled hands of our therapists and its combination of Hikuri plant and diverse native flora.

   Just the way it happens with the enigmatic Huichol rituals, Makawé Spa tries to help the visitor to find him or herself once again through the expirience of Hikuri Therapy, also known as Huichol Flora.

   From the atmosphere of Makawé Spa to the touch of the balms used to revive the spirit, this ritual is a trip to get over our fears, clean up our souls and a return to innocence. It is the frontier between two worlds, it is the way to leave behind the ordinary, it is… a way to be renewed.

Makawé Spa, Matlali Hotel, Riviera Nayarit

Makawé Spa, Matlali Hotel, Riviera Nayarit

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Relajación Ritual

Relajación Ritual en Makawé Spa, Riviera Nayarit.

Relajación Ritual en Makawé Spa, Riviera Nayarit.

En el espinazo de la Sierra Madre Occidental, el pueblo huichol inicia una larga peregrinación. Desde tierras nayaritas hasta los áridos paisajes de San Luis Potosí, a un lugar que ellos llaman Wirikuta. Es una travesía de más de 400 kilómetros durante la cual este pueblo milenario rememora sus tiempos de caza y recolección.

   Van rumbo al Cerro del Quemado para encontrarse con el Venado Azul. Éste es un acto en honor a sus cuatro deidades principales: El Maíz, el Águila, el Ciervo y el Hikuri, todos ellos descendientes del sol. Y una de las actividades más importantes de la religión huichol es la recolección del Hikuri mismo, una planta sagrada que en lengua náhuatl fue conocida como peyótl, o peyote en español.

   En su cosmogonía, no es el viajero quien va rumbo al Hikuri sino que es el Hikuri quien encuentra al viajero y se ofrece a sí mismo para llevarlo a la frontera de dos mundos. Al encontrarla, los peregrinos huicholes disparan sus flechas hacia la derecha y hacia la izquierda para alejar a los malos espíritus. El Hikuri o Peyote es un cactus pequeño y redondo, sin espinas y conformado principalmente por su gran raíz. Es una planta sagrada digna del más profundo respeto.

   Después de una oración, todos aquéllos que tomen parte en la ceremonia reciben cuatro gajos secos de sabor muy amargo que mastican poco a poco hasta comerlos por completo. Hacerlo es iniciar el viaje hacia el encuentro del venado azul que en la magnificencia del desierto se nos revelará y mostrará el camino hacia nuestra vida, nos enseñará y será él nuestra medicina.

   Conocido por sus muchas propiedades curativas, el Hikuri es también el ingrediente principal de la terapia bautizada con el mismo nombre por Makawé Spa. Un masaje como ritual que echa mano y busca la preservación de las técnicas indígenas. La Terapia Hikuri de Makawé Spa relaja a través de las hábiles manos de nuestros terapeutas y una combinación de Hikuri y flora autóctona diversa.

   Al igual que como sucede en los enigmáticos rituales huicholes, Makawé Spa busca hacer de su Terapia Hikuri, también llamada Flora Huichol, y de todos sus tratamientos una experiencia que ayude al visitante a reencontrar el camino.

Desde el entorno de Makawé Spa, su atmósfera y hasta la textura de los bálsamos con que se reanima el espíritu, este ritual es ante enfermedades físicas o del alma un viaje dónde lograr el triunfo sobre nuestros miedos, la limpieza del espíritu y el regreso a la inocencia. Es la frontera de dos mundos, es dejar de ser ordinario, es… la posibilidad de la renovación.

Makawé Spa, Matlali Hotel, Riviera Nayarit.

Makawé Spa, Matlali Hotel, Riviera Nayarit.