Cinco de Mayo with Pati Jinich

Pati Jinich

Pati Jinich Photo credit Greg Powers

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  Mexican cuisine is a flavorful mosaic of cultures infusing Spanish, African, Asian, Lebanese, indigenous, and Jewish cuisines.  Pati Jinich, host of the Emmy nominated and James Beard nominated PBS culinary series, Pati’s Mexican Table and author of her latest book Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens shares recipes and the culinary influences of a confluence of cultures in Mexico.  Pati features a recipe for Miso Soup in addition to Matzo Balls with Mushrooms and Jalapeños! In her book, Pati highlights the The Third Root, the name given to Afro-Mexico to honor the African component in Mexico’s history that dates back to the Spanish conquest.  Pati features a delicious Hearts of Palm Soup with Sweet Potato Croutons that reflects the rich and delicious heritage of The Third Root.

“Mexican cuisine is borderless. No longer can anyone say that Mexican food is most authentic south of the border” Pati says. “ Pati explains the emergence of new Mexican cuisines in the U.S., “As Mexican communities have settled in different states in the U.S., the personality of the regions where they come from blends with the personality of the state where they land and create a new type of Mexican cuisine.” Pati describes how the geographic regions in Mexico differ with their preparations and ingredients of dishes. “In New York, the cuisine from Puebla is most prevalent.  The food from Puebla is more complex and baroque in style as compared to the Zacatecan cuisine in California which is more simple with grilled meats.”

What is your favorite Mexican dish?

Savor the day!


Recipe for Hearts of Palm Soup with Sweet Potato Croutons

Text excerpted from Mexican Today, © 2016 by Pati Jinich. Reproduced by

permission of Rux Martin
Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
15 minutes
25 minutes
The soup, without the sweet potato cubes, can be made up to 4 days
ahead, covered, and refrigerated.
This silky, delicate soup is often the most talked-about dish of the evening when I serve it. Its a tribute to Mexico’s
African heritage. For centuries we Mexicans were taught that our Mestizo heritage was the
result of intermarriage between the Spanish and the indigenous people of Mexico. But the African
component to our history that dates as far back as the Spanish conquest, a
result of several factors,
including the slave trade, migration from the Caribbean, and the Africans
who came along with the
Spanish as conquistadores, was long overlooked. Afro-Mexico is finally getting its due, and even has a
name – The Third Root.
¼ cup canola or safflower oil
Kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon ancho chile powder, chipotle chile powder, or paprika (see page 65
) or to taste
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice (about 2 cup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
10 scallions (light green and white parts only), thinly sliced (about 1 c
2 garlic cloves
2 (14-ounce) cans hearts of palm, drained, rinsed, and sliced
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, homemade (page 40 or page 41) or sto
2 tablespoons chopped chives

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