Mostly white

Veracruz was one of the first municipality to be established after the Spanish conquest. As with all of Mexico, its customs are rooted in the intermarrying of cultures: the Spanish, the African culture, the “half bloods” and the indigenous. Specifically in Veracruz, there is the additional mix of Caribbean influence due to the marine commerce during the Colonization; especially in the music.

To the mix of instruments and tunes, nowadays, traditional dancing is performed using an outfit that for women is inspired in the union of three “huastecas”: potosina, tamaulipeca and veracruzana; and for men, wearing the typical “guayabera”. The outfit is easily identified as from Veracruz for the dominance of the colour white.

It is not uncommon to see performers in restaurants often dancing “zapateado” and making bows with their feet during the spectacle.

For celebration or for love?

It is said that when the Mexican Independence finished, the nuns of the Convent of Santa Monica prepared a dish for the celebration banquet of Agustin de Iturbide that would last for centuries to come. Others contend that the dishes origins was the product of the love of three damsels waiting their three respective soldiers returning from the battles of independence who jointly created this dish for their return. Whatever the true origins of this dish, the fact is that during September, the patriotic month, many Mexican tables see the chefs colourful works of art called: chiles en nogada.

This dish consists of poblano peppers filled with a mixture containing mince meat, fruits, and spices topped with a walnut-based cream sauce know as nogada, pomegranate seeds and parsley. The colours of the dish make it representative of Mexico with the green of the pepper and parsley, the white of the sauce and the red of the pomegranate. Being such a laborious dish, anyone who is able to taste it homemade is sure to be grateful for their luck.

Güero güera

(picture taken 27 December 2014)

What güero means you can find here or here. However, the different uses of this word are so varied it is almost impossible to explain. Like, how do you explain a dark skin coloured Mexican being called “güero”? Be it as it may, if you ever find yourself roaming the streets of Veracruz old town, there is an obliged stop to the famous ice cream place “Güero güera”. There are copycats around so be warned…


Sacrifices island

Many pictures of the sea look the same. How do you know if a picture was taken in the coast of Singapore, Malaysia, Peru or Mexico? Sand and ocean… It could be anywhere. But with this island I would recognise my Veracruz any day. This is Isla de Sacrificios which the tales say got its name from the time of the Spanish conquest. Spaniards went exploring and found 2 buildings (altars) and between both there were 5 bodies that had just been sacrificed to the Gods.


First thing after landing

Is always eating tacos. They say that the meat al pastor comes from when some Arabs came to Mexico back in the early days of the Spanish conquest. The meat is seasoned and cooked very much like a kebab. Whatever its beginnings, the delicious and soft flavour for the tortillas wrapping around the carne al pastor cannot be found elsewhere. The sweet of the pineapple with the sour of freshly squeezed lime. And the choice of sauces… Something only truly experienced in Mexico.