Double Standards and Human Rights

On the second week of September, a picture taken by Kerstin Langenberger went viral as it showed a really skinny polar bear. This is the picture everybody was talking about:


Sad looking image, and as it has been said by scientists and the international community, global warming is a real threat, regardless of the sceptics who keep on cherry picking information to justify the argument that this isn’t more than a conspiracy theory.

Global Warming 2

“I felt total pity. What a horrible sight! “We all love the bears, I don’t think there’s anyone who does not feel sympathy for them. Seeing a bear on the brink of death is a horrible sight, no question about it.” said Kerstin to Daily Starfish

Friends of mine posted this picture on their social networks, with quotes like: “This really makes me sick” or “This is so sad, and this happens very often and most of us are just indifferent to this outrage”. Must be said that the social media activists reacted immediately to the picture, with anger, sadness, broken hearts, disappointed on humankind.

Anyway, so that was that, and this is this: On Wednesday dozen of pictures of dead Syrian refugees started to be shared by the international media. These refugees drowned close to the coasts of Europe, where their bodies were found on the shores of Turkey, in front of the resort Bodrum.


According to The Guardian they were part of a group of at least 12 Syrians that were trying to get to the Greek island of Kos. They were running away from the military conflict held in the Syrian town of Kobani, where ISIS and the Kurdish forces struggle in a fierce battle.


As said by The Guardian: “The UNHCR calculates that some 205,000 Europe-bound refugees have entered Greece, mostly via its outlying Aegean isles, this year alone. The vast majority (69%) are Syrians, Afghans (18 %), Iraqis and Somalis fleeing conflict in their countries.”


The Greek government states that this is the biggest migration crisis in living memory. So, there you go, 200,000+ have fled these middle eastern and northern African States, willing to risks their lives to find a better place, or at least, one less worse. But social media, and Western Society aren’t willing to share their thoughts on this, nor to express their concern towards other human beings. We rather “feel sick” and say “shame on you, humankind” because of a starving polar bear, than to love and care for our neighbours.

How are we going to “save the planet” if we aren’t capable of helping our own kind?


5 Tips to Become a Better Person

1 “Please” and “Thank you” 

Don’t be an arse, so every time you ask for a favour don’t forget to say please. Personally, I do remember those who kindly ask for my help or assistance. If you are under a lot of stress and you ought to get something from someone and you just forgot to ask politely, after you have finished, come back and nicely acknowledge his/her help. And always, always, always, say thank you.


2 Help people out

You don’t need to go all “Mother Teresa” about this one, just be kind. Last Saturday I went for a long walk, I usually walk 3 kms from my place to my favourite taco stand (Hey, it’s a great 6km workout!) and out of the sudden I heard a wobbling sound, turns out a truck got a flat tire. I signaled the driver, he pulled over, as soon as I noticed that flat tired I knew I wanted to help him out to change it. Helping others is awesome, it feels good, it’s rewarding, and for me, every time I do something good for somebody else I know I’m getting some extra Karma points.

"You can do it!"

“You can do it!”

3. Call your family 

Yes, you owe them big time, they have put up with your craziness, literally, all your life, so give your parents and siblings a bloody call. Since my dad had a stroke I’ve been calling home more frequently than before, just to hear my mum and dad’s voices, to tell them I love them, to talk about life, about food (obviously) and just to tell them how proud I’m of them.


4. Cook for others 

I know, that’s my passion and I love cooking, but,  without hesitation, doing something from scratch, like cooking, writing or crafting, that was meant for others, feels good. When I cook for my mates I think about what they might be craving, what they like and enjoy; I become extra careful with those details, I want them to have an amazing experience based on what I’ve crafted for them.


5. Smile

Because, it sounds like a cliché, but when you smile, the world smiles with you. Give it a try, if you begin your day as an optimistic person, smiling at those who interact with you, suddenly something amazing will happen, it’s call mirroring, people will smile back at you. Smiling boosts your optimism, and let me tell you a secret, it confuses your enemies.


There you go, give it a try, you can put all these advices to work today, tell me how it goes, or not.

Cuba and the US – The Musical

The relationship among the US and Cuba is in its course to full improvement and complete restoration. Today the US flag flies again on the Cuban sky, at the same time John Kerry, Secretary of State, arrives to Cuba to reopen their diplomatic representation in the island.


John Kerry greets the islanders with a message of optimism and solidarity, with a very promising statement given to Univision recently: “More people will travel. There will be more exchange. More families will be reconnected. And hopefully, the government of Cuba will itself make decisions that will begin to change things.”

Man smoking cigar

“Cuba Libre? Yes please”

Must be said that this moment was certainly led by plenty of good will meetings, most of them arranged by the Vatican, specifically the Pope, Francis 1st.

As the bilateral relations settle, the investors will find their way into Cuba, and plenty of economist and financial analyst outline the fertile land ahead for entrepreneurs, but I can´t help to wonder that we are in front of two different Cubas. One, befriending the US (and all what is involved with the US abroad), and another where Fidel is seen with Maduro and Evo Morales, hanging out, unaware that the “empire” has reopened its franchise right in the heart of Cuba.

a situacao atual de cuba

As for the island, Cuba will have to reconfigure not only its immigration and economic borders, but its political doors as well. It is well known that the Cuban community living in Florida can’t wait to reclaim what is theirs, and are willing to expand and strengthen their sphere of influence into the island, waiting for the Castro family to weaken.

About Guantanamo Bay, well, the Pope had to be a hell of a negotiator to leave that topic pretty much untouched and barely addressed by the Cubans.


As Huffington Post recently summed up: 

  • Cuba wants the United States to end its economic embargo of the island, return the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in eastern Cuba and halt radio and television signals beamed into Cuba.
  • The Americans will press Cuba on human rights, the return of fugitives granted asylum and the claims of Americans whose property was nationalized by Fidel Castro’s government.

Overall, this is indeed a historic moment and, as a Mexican columnist wrote today, the “most democratic” country in the world restoring its diplomatic ties with the longest dictatorship in The Americas can´t go unnoticed.


I’ll be going to Cuba this year, late November, with some awesome New Zealand friends, can´t wait to see how this event has evolved. Yet again, as an international relationships and human rights graduate, this is the “What if” that they used to teach us at university, now we are witnessing it.

Which I'm sure these lads never imagined their revolution would lead to this.

I’m sure these lads never imagined their revolution would lead to this.

Paella by Mexicans

As part of many things The Americas inherited from the Spanish settlers, I reckon, the most important one was new ingredients and cooking techniques. Not only we got some great Spanish recipes, but this “Mestizaje” resulted in new and thrilling cooking methods, the incorporation of exotic ingredients, flavours and textures. The The Latin American cuisine was born as a rich, exuberant,and voluptuous (I always wanted to use to that word to describe food, far out!) pallet of flavours and emotions.

It was actually rougher than this. A very bloody and violent cultural assimilation.

It was actually rougher than this. A very bloody and violent cultural assimilation.

… Anyway, so, a few days ago, we decided not to go for the traditional Mexican dish, nor a North American craving (remember, we are from the north, close to the border with the US and A, so, aye, we love HEB and Texan massive portions), instead we went for freaking Spanish food.


Why Spanish? Well, I’ve recently bought a “Paellera”, which is a special pan for paella, as shown bellow:


I got the rice and the spices, then my youngest sis and I headed to the “San Juan” Market, which, I reckon, needs a post of its own, as it is an impressive place full of the most exotic ingredients, meats, veggies and a wide high quality charcuterie stands.

Colours... edible colours ...

Colours… edible colours …

Among other things we needed for the paella, we also went there to get the seafood, as northeast Mexicans from the Gulf of Mexico we do value fresh, high quality seafood. So, let’s get started, shall we?



  • A 30 cms paellera
  • Cooking tongs
  • 1 medium size pot (for a 1 to 2 litres of chicken stock)
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • White piece of cloth

Ingredients (usually for a 4 to 6 people paella):

  • 600 grams of rice (preferable the “bomba” or “calasparra” variety)
  • 300 grams of chicken meat (I used chicken thighs, deboned)
  • 200 grams of pork in cubes (I recommend pork chops, deboned and leave some fat, always leave the fat)
  • 300 grams of large shrimps, skin and head on
  • 200 grams of white clams
  • 200 grams of squids (ask your vendor to clean them up before weighting them)
  • 100 grams of fried chopped tomatoes (I used two, and worked great)
  • 50 grams of sliced Spanish chorizo
  • 1 tsp of sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp of saffron
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ chopped onion
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 to 2 litres of chicken stock

Now what?

First, turn on the heat to meadium, on the paellera pour some olive oil (2 to 3 spoons are fine), level the paellera, you want to cook rice evenly, always. Next, throw in the pork and the chicken, you want to brown the outside of these meats before moving to the steaming process needed for the rice. Add the chorizo, the onions and the garlic, then the tomatoes, and the rest of the spices (saffron, paprika, oregano, pinch of salt and pepper).


All set? Awesome, now, the secret of a great paella rests in the stock you use. Please, put as much love to make the stock as you do to prepare this paella. Oh well, screw it, you can buy chicken stock too, so anyway, where was I? Aye, put a good amount of large spoons of the stock in the paellera. As soon as the stock touches the hot pan your kitchen will be filled with amazing aromas, sounds and excitement (not the same sort of excitement we all felt while watching the first trailer of the upcoming Star Wars movie, but pretty close). Cover just half of the paellaera with the stock, let it boil.

Is it boiling now? Add the rice, distribute it nicely along the paellera, use your wooden spoon and distribute the hell of that rice, oh yeah, distribute it good… you are loving it aren’t you? Now pour more stock in it until you entirely cover the rice, lower the flame, and let it cook. Regarding the saffron, some put it while they stir-fry the meat, whilst others add it right after covering the rice with the stock. I used the first technique.


Ok, so your rice is cooking, your stock is simmering, you’ve poured yourself a good glass of Tempranillo (because cooking and drinking is always mandatory), now, what’s left? Oh right, the seafood! Start arranging the shrimp, squid and clams in the paellera. Gently push the ingredients into the rice, they’ll cook fast, that’s the reason we didn’t cook them with the meat at the beginning. Pour a little bit more of that stock, you don’t want to burn your rice (unless you like socarrat, which is super delicious).


At the last phase, when you notice the rice is almost ready, the seafood cooked (just check if the shrimps turn into that lovely pink colour) turn off the heat and cover the paella with that white piece of cloth you were wondering why I listed it in this recipe. Let it rest for good 15 minutes, it helps to settle and finishing cooking the rice.


There you go, now take some nice pics, upload them to Instagram, use a nice filter, and share it with the rest of the world.


Ps. Did you get the chance to watch the Republican debate yesterday? I didn´t, but it seems that Trump is doing his best to keep on surprising us. He is a jerk, but really popular, the lad might have a chance to compete against Hillary for the US presidency.

Ps2. Veracruz, that Mexican state in the shape of a wrinkled banana, by the Gulf of Mexico is now the one most dangerous places on earth for journalists. Javier Duarte, governor of that state, during an event with journalists warned them that the authorities knew which one of them were hanging out with the bad guys. Last Friday, Ruben Espinosa, photographer, allegedly threaten by Duarte’s administration, was found murdered in Mexico City. “Espinosa was the 13th journalist working in Veracruz to be killed since Governor Javier Duarte from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) came to power in 2011.” published The Guardian, regarding this event. Shame on you, Duarte.

Due to Trump’s Recent Remarks…

Due to the recent derogatory statements made by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, specifically Mexicans; Tacos and Politics’ staff (myself and my mate who proofreads the posts before I publish them), its board members and collaborators (still my mate and I), is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.

We are addressing either him or his hair...

We are addressing either him or his hair…

We deeply regret these racist and inappropriate remarks, which not only offend the Mexican community in Mexico, but those who have crossed the border pursuing the American Dream (which nowadays is known as the Canadian Dream, but hey, still neighbours, right?).

Pretty much the routes Mexicans take to get into the US

Pretty much the routes Mexicans take to get into the US

Even though we are a tier 3 online media outlet, not at all relevant to the American public, nor capable of reverting the effects of Global Warming, Tacos and Politics has decided to halt any current or future endeavors with Mr Trump (Take that, Trump!)

Or his hair...

Or his hair…

We deeply condemn those who applaud and agree with Donald’s expressions full of hatred. You are supporting a hateful and narcissistic individual without any kind of values, both personal and business wise. As well, by supporting Trump’s presidential aspirations you are also supporting a growing trend of bigotry and division in the US and A.


T&P Staff

Ps. If you haven’t watched or heard what he recently said, please feel free click on the following youtube clip:

Ps2. Here, have a Trump Piñata, which are becoming very popular on this side of the border.

You know you want one...

You know you want one…

Father´s Day Asado

Almost a month ago my dad had a stroke, it was the day after my birthday, as soon as we found out my sisters and I didn´t hesitate to run to our hometown, to be there with him and our mum. So, together, as a family, we made it, my dad has almost fully recovered and he is very keen to take the most out of this second chance life has given him. So, last weekend we came over again to celebrate father´s day with him. Indeed, it was a very meaningful celebration.

For this weekend, one of my sisters decided that we should feast as we always do on special occasions, throwing a massive asado (or “carne asada”, as we know it here in Mexico).

Ribs, picanha, and more meat... plain and simple

Ribs, picanha, and more meat… plain and simple

We used a charcoal grill, medium high heat, only using half of the cooking surface. This turned out to be a great idea as we usually just spread the heat all along the grill, in order to use all the cooking surface. However by doing this we were able to cook perfectly the pieces of meat and the rest of the veggies without burning them. Start by putting some jalapenos and tomatoes on the grill until they burn, later we place them on a mortar and make a salsa out of it. Wrapped in tin foil we placed some potatoes and onions really close to the fire, we want all the heat on them as they take longer to cook.

Let those jalapenos burn,  and destroy in that mortar, add some caramelized onions to the salsa and a splash of lime juice.

Let those jalapenos burn, and destroy in that mortar, add some caramelized onions to the salsa and a splash of lime juice.

Finally, for the “piece de resistance“, this time we had beef ribs, some fillets, and a 1.5 kg piece of picaña (which comes from the top back part of the cow). For the picaña (or picanha), the meat had to be scored first, it has a thick layer of fat, and you want the scoring not to get all the way to the meat but to be slightly deep, as you will be rubbing the whole piece with pepper and salt. Asado 3 My strategy is simple, put it on the fire, and let it cook on the surface, when you reckon it has a nice colour on the outside put the meat away from direct fire and close to grill´s lid, we are going for a medium level of doneness,  lots of juices and a beautiful pink in its core. The whole asado takes around 1.5 hours to 2 hours to cook, including the meat, ribs, vegetables, salsa and sides. Asado 4Indirect grilling turned out to be a fascinating technique, as it allows the meat to cook evenly, but without burning it, giving you more control during the process. Certainly the result was outstanding and it was the best way to celebrate not only Father’s day but also the successful recovery of my dad, he is getting there and we couldn’t be happier.

Beautiful indeed...

Beautiful indeed…

Pork Rib Roast – The Musical

This one isn’t an easy recipe, turns out that for great dishes and outstanding flavours sometimes we have to be patient and take our time.

So, get your oven tray ready, turn on the heat, sharpen your knives and let’s get kraken with this.



  • 1.5 kilograms of Loin rack Joint
  • Half a litre of white wine
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 10 white small potatoes
  • A good bunch of fresh thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Let’s find the meat. Go to your favourite butcher, I know I have mine, and ask him for a good piece of Loin rack Joint (use the previous image for life changing purposes), tell the lad to leave the fat on, (always leave the fat on), take it to your kitchen counter, ready? Now let the magic begin.

First remove the membrane that comes on top of the ribs, this will make the meat really tender while cooking it. Ready? Sweet, now score the meat on the other side, you want the salt and the pepper to really get into that layer of fat.


Now place the white potatoes, in halves, the thyme, pepper, salt and the garlic cloves on the cooking tray. This will look like a potatoe bed where you will place the ribs on, fat up.


Pour 300 ml of the wine on the tray, cover the meat with tin foil, and put that baby inside the preheated oven, now leave it there for 1.5 hours at 180 degrees Celsius.


1.5 hours are gone, take the tray out of the oven, remove the tin foil and put the pork back in. The meat is now cooked but we want that fat to turn into a beautiful golden crust. Leave it there for 35 more minutes, after that, place the piece of meat on a wooden board and let it rest for good 5 minutes, you want those juices to get evenly distributed. In the meantime, take that tray and pour the rest of the wine, deglaze that bastard, use a whisker to scratch those flavours out the tray.


Get a good knife, and cut the pork into slices according to each rib, now plate, pour that gravy on and it is done. Enjoy it with a chilled white wine or a really good Pilsner.


Hot Wings and Beer


That’s, I reckon, the best title I’ve ever come up with for any of my posts in this blog. The reason for today’s topic is plain and simple, Hot Wings and Beer are awesome (it’s in the bible, look it up)



Here in Mexico City we tend to go for wings every other Wednesday, and when I say “we”, I mean my mates from my hometown who live here and sometimes we bring a special guest. This sort of tradition began with my friends up north in Monterrey, most of them from my hometown, Tampico, used to get together every Wednesday. The day was chosen not because we love Wednesdays, but because of the specials they have that day at this restaurant (Wings Army), you order 20 hot wings they bring you 30. This place, Wings Army, besides serving great wings, also has a wide variety of national and international beers, which is awesome. From the local brews, to artisan beer, all the way to Cuban or great German beer. The place has it all.

Literally, from everywhere, except, you know... North Korea

Literally, from everywhere, except, you know… North Korea

I must admit I don´t really know how they do it, how they cook these wings to perfection, I’ve tried at home and the result is not disappointing but just “not the same”. I’m not going to explain how to cook the perfect wings, or what to look in a hot wings joint. This is just a reminder that there are some things that other do better, and we should appreciate them and munch our way through.

What other dishes you’d love to cook at home but just don’t turn out as good as your favourite food joint cooks them?

Ps, Oh, by the way, do you know that this guy in Guadalajara registered the “Duff Beer” and branded the bottles to commercialize this brew.


Punta Mita – Mexico

As it turned out, what I just needed were some days off, close to a Mexican beach, going for long walks, a beer as cold as my ex`s heart (or cold dead as William Shatner`s career), enjoying my home country’s cuisine, and celebrating the marriage of two great friends.

Pic taken while going for a morning walk

Pic taken while going for a morning walk

Punta Mita is an hour flight away from Mexico City (or, if you happen to be a bad holiday planners as me, a 12 hours bus drive). When you get to Puerto Vallarta, just walk a few blocks from the bus station to the bus stop, and take the “Punta Mita” local bus, it’s only a 45 minute trip (don’t you worry, it’s says “Punta Mita” on it, hard to miss).

I stayed at“El Coral” hotel, which is fine, around USD60 a single bedroom, or USD 110 for a double (sounds weird, but go for the double if you are more than 3 people). And the food, my friends, the food is efing amazing, the restaurant isn`t that flashy, the kitchen looks dodgy (but they are so friendly, they even let me cook with them), and most people get there because it’s right where the boats leave to the “Marietas”, but it is fantastic.

Not Islas Marietas, but some other islands close to Marietas

Not Islas Marietas, but some other islands close to Marietas

I’m from the Gulf of Mexico, so the ocean there is quite tame, with soft waves and refreshing breeze; but this is the Pacific, the water breaks against the reefs, the waves storm on the shore pulling the sand back into the ocean which such ferocity it is sort of intimidating even for experienced swimmers like me. The seafood is different, the shrimps, lobsters, fish and oysters are bigger, making any seafood platter you order here look voluptuous, massive and awesome (or, like John Key might even refer to these specimens as “tantalizing”, while stroking any wee Mexican girl’s pony tail). Unlike the seafood from my hometown, aye, seafood is bigger, but the flavours from the Gulf are sweeter and, honestly, more delicious.


However, the food was outstanding, like the “Pescado Zarandeado”, or “Pulpo a la plancha”, or the fresher oysters I`ve ever tasted. Literally, I was just hanging out at the restaurant and this fisherman gets out of his boat carrying a bag full of oyster he just got out of the ocean. Without hesitation I told my waiter “I want a dozen of whatever he`s carrying in that bag”. 15 minutes later, he arrived with a platter of delicious oyster, fresh, sweet and massive.

PUnta Mita 8

What about the wedding? It was beautiful. My mates looked like coastal royalty, and the venue was fabulous. They said yes to each other while the sun was setting in the background, and we couldn´t resist but to let a wee “awwww”.


Anyway, just wanted to post some pics of this weekend off, mates, if you are really keen to visit a magical place, take some time off and get your arses to Punta Mita, you won’t regret it.


Quesadilla Sans Fromage

For all my American friends, the title of this post is actually “Quesadillas without cheese”, and that´s today complaint.

See that melting cheese coming out of the tortilla... in love dude, in love

See that melting cheese coming out of the tortilla… in love dude, in love

I´ve been living in Mexico City here for 2 years already, and besides being an amazing place full of history and culture and stuff happening around you literally all the time, there´s one thing that I can´t understand.

Quesadilla with chorizo...

Quesadilla with chorizo…

And this sole thing seems to be a concern not only for me but for the rest of the country. Let´s do something together, ok? I want you to picture a soft corn tortilla, nice and freshly made, now, I want you to mentally put some cheddar or Edam cheese (grated) on one of its side, right? Now place that tortilla on the pan, medium heat, cheese side facing up. Imagine how that cheese begins to melt on that soft, freshly made tortilla, right?

That´s what I´m talking about!

That´s what I´m talking about!

Now, we are going to mentally do this together, right? Fold that tortilla, involving that sweet, melted cheese in all its glory. How do you call that?

A QUESADILLA, that´s right. 

Turns out that in  Mexico City, this is a Quesadilla with Cheese, meaning that the term quesadilla, when you order one on the street, doesn´t necessarily mean that they will give you what we just described in the above paragraph. When you order a quesadilla in Mexico City they´ll ask you if you´d like that with or without cheese, or what kind of stew will you like in it, not cheese involved.

Folded into perfection ...

Folded into perfection …

For the rest of the country, a tortilla with anything in it, is a taco, but when it has cheese it becomes a quesadilla (it´s in the Bible, trust me, Deuteronomy or something like that, true story “And Abraham melted cheese on a soft corn tortilla, using the heat of the pit of fire of sins of the gentiles…” ).

That´s the spot...

That´s the spot…

Apparently in Mexico City they don´t respect this, and will often confuse a taco with a quesadilla, only troubling the mindset of the tourists and other Mexicans, offending our history and traditions.

I will not rant about how much this pisses me, and the rest of the Mexican community, off, I rather write these lines to en-light all of you out there.

Whenever you come to Mexico City, it is your right, no! it is your Human Right (universal and stuff) to demand your quesadilla with cheese, always, and to ensure that melting cheese is always part of your gastronomic needs. Whatever they serve you in a tortilla, without cheese, is a taco, period! Quesadilla_de_Queso_by_mclaranium Damn… is anybody else hungry too?