20. Chile guajilla, epazote, y tomatillo

These are just a few of the ingredients I used today. All very authentic Mexican ingredients. It was for a meatball soup I did today that turned out very flavorful and it was a joy to make. I’ve come to develop a deep appreciation for the raw natural ingredients that go into making a dish and love shopping around different stores to source the very best.

It’s a bit hard to believe I would be excited about vegetables, but they can be quite amazing. Beyond their flavors and nutrition, there’s a story of where they originated from, what cultures domesticated them, what cultures adopted them, etc. Even the names tell a story. Take tomato for example: Tomato comes from the Spanish word tomate, which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word tomatl. The tomatillos above are the native variety the Aztecs called tomatl. The Aztecs then cultivated this fruit to be sweeter and red and called it xitomatl which we know today in English simply as tomato. Many Mexicans today will refer to the green ones above as tomate and the red ones as jitomates.

Isn’t food and language beautiful?