Mexican Cooking: A Melting Pot Of Diverse Cultures

By Michelle Ann Gelder

Mexican food – authentic ones, and not those watered-down fast-food tacos and breakfast burritos either – have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. Mexico has a rich history influenced by different cultures and this has brought about a unique taste that cannot be mistaken for anything else.

What opened people’s eyes to the wonderful Mexican traditions revolving around food was the best-selling novel, Like Water for Chocolate. Native food has such an enduring effect that even today, many farmers refer to themselves as ‘el hombre del maiz.’ The honor of being called men of corn was great because their ancient ancestors, the Mayans, Aztecs, and Toltecs valued corn because of all its uses. Other crops too held great significance in Mexican culture: peanuts, beans, avocados, tomatoes, squash, and coconuts were all traded hundreds of years ago. But none can equal the high regard that native Mexicans place on chocolate – ‘ the food of the Gods.’

When the Spanish, led by Cortez, occupied Mexico in 1521, the two cultures exchanged foods. The Spanish got a taste of the Aztec’s food and, in turn, they brought in livestock like cows, pigs, and sheep, along with milk and cheese, garlic and other spices, and vegetables like lettuce. Spices were also brought in by the Spanish so cinnamon, oregano, black pepper, and coriander are now staples of Mexican cooking. These ingredients have been so ingrained in Mexican cooking that dishes like cheese quesadillas or grilled beef fajitas are no longer seen as having any foreign influences.

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Native Americans aside from the Aztecs have also left a mark on Mexican cooking. Native Americans who used to trade with the Aztecs were the ones who introduced corn tortillas to them. It’s just that tortillas have been such a fixture of Mexican cooking that it never occurs to anyone that they are not indigenous to Mexico.

The French also had a role to play. For a brief period, Mexico had been under French rule, so there is a little hint of Gallic flavor to Mexican food. Chilies en nogado comes to mind, a dish made of stuffed chilies topped with walnut sauce.

Finally, the Texans have left a little bit of America on Mexican food. South Texas has been a combination of Mexican and Anglo culture primarily due to the state’s proximity to Mexico. The Mexican ‘barbacoa’ – a method of cooking where meat is roasted slowly over a spit – is seen as the origin of the word ‘barbecue’. Tex-Mex cuisine is known as an amalgamation of the two cooking styles and is characterized by the heavy use of beef, pinto beans, and rich, spicy red sauces.

Today, there are countless regional variations of dishes within Mexico. Sonoran Mexican food is markedly influenced by the Pacific coast and California’s abundance of vegetables. On the other hand, food along the Gulf of Mexico centers on luscious seafood. Too bad that the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico is now under a lot of stress because of BP Petroleum’s recent debacle. Should the damage be permanent, the world will lose some of the most wonderful seafood anywhere.

There is one food that is unmistakably Mexican. Chili peppers have as many varieties as spellings – ‘chili,’ ‘chile’ or ‘chilies’ – they are some of the most potent flavorings around. Whether, they are used in sauces or stuffed like poblano peppers, or used to give dishes a kick like jalapenos and habaneros, chilies are one food that is definitely Mexican.

About the Author: Michelle adores just spending free time in the kitchen testing out innovative recipes using her

crockpot recipes

. 1 of her all time winter absolute favorites is

bread slow cooker recipes



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Israel undergoes major emergency drill

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Israel has tested its readiness for a state of war and emergency by testing its emergency services and shelters on a national scale.

The drill is to be analyzed in order to determine the elements which need to be corrected and fixed, and Israel’s emergency readiness is to be assessed.

Israeli school children were told to hide under their school tables as part of the drill, which officials claimed to be the biggest drill ever in Israeli history.

Syria has claimed, in return, that the drill is intended as a battle readiness exercise and claims that Israel is preparing for war.

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Winter storms hammer Texas, fatalities reported

Friday, February 19, 2021

A series of winter blasts have struck the US state of Texas in recent days, leaving at least ten people dead in the aftermath. On Wednesday, the second wave of the storms impacted utilities and water systems, with cities asking citizens to conserve water usage. Reports early Wednesday indicated more than two and a half million homes and businesses were without power. Texas is the only one of the 48 contiguous US states with its own separate power grid.

One media source indicated carbon monoxide poisoning killed a mother and her child in the city of Houston. A house fire killed a woman and three children in the city of Sugar Land. The storm has impacted shipments of COVID-19 vaccine, according to at least one report. Citizens were asked to conserve usage of electricity where possible. Reports from the city of Tyler indicate roads were nearly impassible on Monday and Tuesday due to ice and snow.

Earlier in the month, winter conditions contributed to a massive vehicle pile up in the city of Fort Worth, taking the lives of at least five people. Some victims were trapped in their vehicles for hours, awaiting rescue. During a press briefing, an emergency services official said this was a once-in-a-lifetime event.

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Everything You Need To Know About Dock Levelers

byAlma Abell

Many warehouses use leveling devices to allow for quick loading and unloading of inventory. When the lorry backs up the ramp, the floor of the lorry should meet directly with the ramp so that the boxes can be wheeled over directly. If there’s a difference between the lorry floor and the ramp, the trolley wheels will get stuck. The warehouse workers will then be required to lift all of the heavy boxes themselves and place them in the lorry. Needless to say, this greatly increases the time it takes for loading up a lorry. To maximize productivity, you might want to consider using dock levelers.

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What Are Levelers?

Dock levelers are precisely-designed solutions manufactured for compensating the difference between the height of the lorry floor and the ramp. With the help of a leveler, the load can be moved smoothly in one single movement. This greatly increases the efficiency of loading and unloading loads from the lorry. These levelers are usually made from sturdy steel and have a uniform construction to compensate for the lorry tilting, even if the load has not been evenly distributed. Companies such as the Oshiro RK Door Service specialize in installing different kinds of levelers outside warehouses and other areas reserved for distribution.

Latest Loading Technology

Most dock levelers are now fitted in front of the building with a separate loading house. This ensures that the energy efficiency of the building is not compromised in any way. Installing a dock leveler outside of the building is a great idea for warehouse owners who want to improve the speed at which lorries are loaded and unloaded. It’s a worthwhile investment that’s going to pay off dividends for years to come, as well as improve productivity within the warehouse. You can also follow them on Twitter for latest news and update!

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Concert Stage: 5 Most Amazing And Expensive Stages Assembled

Concert Stage: 5 Most Amazing and Expensive Stages Assembled by Phillipa JamesWe all like listening to music. You hear music everywhere – from the supermarket to your car radio. We may all have different reasons for listening to music, but one thing’s for sure, music gives all of us a common ground. It is no wonder then that we all have this desire to go to concerts. After all, music is taken to a whole new level when it is being played live and you are there to witness all the wonders – from the energetic artists to the flawless concert stage.If you’ve ever been to a live music event you know that some concerts are just a cut above the rest. The artists and performances are not the only mind-blowing experience. You will also be amazed at the extravagance of the stage sets and designs. Some artists hire stage builders and designers to go on tour with them so they can build the same concert stage on all of their tour stops. Below are some of the most amazing and extravagant concert stage designs ever built:U2 – 360 TourPerhaps the most expensive concert stage setup is that of U2 during the 360 Tour. It was considered as technologically innovative, having the loudest sound system ever and cost between $23-31 Million per set-up. The design included a 200-ton, gigantic arachnid-like structure called The Claw. The structure features a central pylon that’s 151 feet in height.Photo Credit: Daily MailU2 featured this stage during their tour between 2009 and 2012 with stops throughout North and South America, Asia and Europe. There was also a huge video wall on the stage set that is said to cost around $1 million to build. These expenses were well worth it as U2 sold out all of their concert venues and the 360 Tour became the highest grossing tour in history – with $730 million total sales.Roger Waters – The Wall TourInspired by Pink Floyd’s The Wall album and tours, Roger Waters went on to have one of the most notable concert tours in history. It was more than just a mere concert, more like a complex display of stage theatrics, symbolism and amazing set design. Held between 2010 and 2013, the concert tour cost about $10 million per setup and spent an estimated $60 million on just props.Photo Credit: TelegraphRoger Waters toured the North and South America, Europe and Oceania – with a total of 219 venues. Each venue featured a stage with the biggest video screens (running at more than 500 feet in length and 80 feet high) displaying various anti-war messages and pictures of people who died during the war. Madonna – Sticky and Sweet TourWell known for her lavish shows, Madonna never fails to amaze and wow her fans in every one of her concerts. She’s the Queen of Pop, after all. For the Sticky and Sweet Tour, Madonna performed 85 shows with a total of $261 million expenses for the stage sets. As glamorous as the queen is herself, the stage was designed with two large M’s which were encrusted with diamonds – each M costing over $1 million.Photo Credit: WikiCommonsAside from the grandiose of the stage, Madonna’s entrance was also of grandeur. She rolled out on a white Rolls Royce and played on a T-shaped catwalk. Various guests included Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Britney Spears, and Kanye West – all projected on a giant LED screen. The tour gathered more than 3.5 million fans and grossed $408.6 million – the highest-grossing tour by a solo female artist. The Rolling Stones – A Bigger Bang TourLaunching their newest album A Bigger Bang, at that time, The Rolling Stones went on a world tour between 2005 and 2007. The tour went on to become the second grossing tour in history, with total sales of $558 million for 147 shows.Photo Credit: N-JinnyThe stage for the famous rock band featured an 85 feet tall and 200 feet wide structure with firework shows and digital graphics. Fans were also able to have fun at balconies for an extra fee. The tour’s stage was as big as two basketball courts and weighed 80,000 pounds. It was estimated to cost around $1.6 million per set.Lady Gaga – Born This Way TourFor the Born This Way Tour, infamous American singer Lady Gaga used a stage design with sketches that she made herself. It was a five-storey tall stage with three dimensions and revolved around a huge Gothic castle. The castle alone weighed 30 tons and was considered a ground-breaking innovation in stage design and technology. The castle also featured 400 sq feet of built-in LED lighting. The set cost around $1 million to build.Photo Credit: GagaDailyBetween 2012 and 2013, Lady Gaga performed a total of 98 concerts and grossed $181 million in sales. The shows were divided into five acts, each with different props. Her show entrances included a huge zipped vagina, dancing with knights, riding a human horse, and dangling from a meat rack. With such controversial entrances, the tour became the fifth highest grossing tour by a solo female artist. Mind-blowing stages and superb performances really. If you are looking to build awesome stages for your next event or concert, UK Festival Stage Hire is here to help. Check out the products and services that we offer. Go to our Contact Us section and we’ll gladly assist with your needs!We have over 30 years experience in every aspect of production planning that your event may require. We can provide everything from simple stage lighting, to multilevel systems complete with staircase ramps, railings and stage flooring. We own hundreds of stage systems and some of the best portable production equipment money can buy. All our stages come with our expert knowledge and team dedicated to making your event run smoothly.Article Source:

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British adventurer flies powered paraglider over Everest

Friday, May 18, 2007

British explorer and mountaineer Edward “Bear” Grylls, has set a new altitude record by piloting a powered paraglider above Mount Everest reaching 29,494ft (8,990m). He and his fellow pilot, Giles Cardozo, who had invented and developed the parajet engine, set out on their attempt from the Himalayan village of Pheriche (altitude 14,435ft (4,400m)) in the early morning of 14th May.

Grylls, 33, is a mountaineer, best selling author and television presenter who spent three years with the elite British Special Air Service (“SAS”) forces. During this time he was involved in a horrific parachuting accident in which he broke his back in three places, almost severing his spinal cord. Remarkably, in 1998, after months of rehabilitation, he became at 23, the youngest British climber to scale Mount Everest and return alive.

Cardozo is considered to be one of the top paragliding pilots in the world, and it is reported that he and Grylls first came up with the idea for the attempt about a year ago when he had invented the engine that would take them up the mountain.

Grylls and Cardozo flew their paragliders together to 28,001ft (8,353m) surviving temperatures of minus 76°F (-60°C) and dangerously low oxygen levels, when a fault developed in Cardozo’s engine, and he had to abort his attempt just 984ft (300m) below the summit. Grylls went on to reach his record height at 09.33 local time. He had originally intended to cross the Mountain but turned back to base camp fearing that he might be arrested if he entered Chinese airspace.

On his return to Kathmandu, Grylls voiced his feelings of loneliness and exhilaration:

When Giles descended and I found myself alone so high up I was feeling a lot more vulnerable but I knew the weather and wind conditions were perfect. It was so amazing to look into Nepal, India and Tibet and all of a sudden these great Himalayan giants looked so tiny. It was a very special moment when I realised that there was no mountain in the world above me, especially after having stood on the top of the world myself nine years ago.

The attempt was sponsored by British technology and engineering group GKN. The project, GKN Mission Everest, raised £500,000 (approximately $1m) for Global Angels, a charity helping children in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

In a separate incident, a German paragliding champion has survived being sucked up by a storm to a height of 32,612ft (9,940m) whilst preparing for a world paragliding championship in Manilla, New South Wales, Australia.

Ewa Wisnierska, 35, the 2005 World Cup paragliding winner, lost consciousness and was covered in ice and battered by orange-sized hailstones as she was pulled upwards by the sudden tornado-like storm which she had been attempting to skirt. After regaining consciousness as she descended she was able to make contact with her ground team which had been tracking her by her GPS equipment, and landed safely 40 miles (60km) from where she took off.

Remarkably she spent only an hour in hospital after her experience, being treated for frostbite and blistering to her face and ears.

A fellow competitor, 42 year old Chinese man, He Zhongpin, who was also caught up in the storm, was not so fortunate and died from lack of oxygen and the extreme cold.

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Mumbai officials demolish 39K shanties; 200K homeless

December 25, 2004

Officials in Mumbai, India, demolished over 6,000 shanties today in a push to eradicate the capital city’s slums. In total, 39,000 shanties have been flattened, displacing over 200,000 people, in the city’s biggest-ever demolition drive, which began in early December.

When complete, over 2 million people are expected to be displaced. After wiping out the least desirable shanties, next in line for demolition are the illegal ‘well-off’ shanties and neighborhoods, according to the legal and bureaucratic motions that have been executed toward cleaning up Mumbai’s appearance by lowering the dominance of shanties, which make up 62 percent of Mumbai’s housing.

“As far as eye can see, there are mounds of wood, tin and tarpaulin, the remains of 6,200 illegal homes, flattened by a heavy excavator running on tank-like tracks and giant motorised claws,” the Indian Express reported about today’s destruction. [1]

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that citizens would see a change within six months. “Every chief minister likes to be remembered, and I’m no exception,” said Deshmukh, who despite having an empty exchequer, also announced that Rs 31,000 crore will be spent on new roads, sea links and rail lines. [2]

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