Viva México! Sit again to savor traveling with award-winning actor, director, producer Eva Longoria, who heads south to scoop up delectable vacation-and-meals favorites in Looking for Mexico, a new six-episode CNN Primary Series, premiering March 26. Born and reared in Texas with Mexican heritage, Longoria showcases this shut-to-her-coronary heart place that she deems her 2nd property, wherever she also achieved her partner, José “Pepe” Bastón. A well-liked tourism destination for Americans, Mexico is embraced by Longoria, who spotlights its sightseeing jewels, picturesque landscapes, cultural amazements, visionary personalities and guiding-the-scenes stories, though devouring various dishes in Mexico City, Yucatan, Oaxaca, Nuevo Leon, Jalisco and Veracruz. “All I know is that just about every time I eat Mexican food items, I am delighted,” she exclaims. Co-executive developed by Longoria and Stanley Tucci — whose have CNN clearly show Seeking for Italy received Emmys for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series in 2021 and 2022 — Seeking for Mexico could have you cheering: Olé! Listed here, its trailer and some episode snapshots to whet your appetite.
Episode 1: Mexico Town
Longoria commences Exploring for Mexico’s journey in this most significant of North American towns. There are plenty of methods to be wooed by its rousing new music, murals and morsels. She joins food stuff author Gabriela Rentería on a pleasurable taco-athon, as they dash to dine on generously filled tortillas. If you think that you know tacos primarily based on what is usually served in the U.S.A., surprises await. Mexico City has prolonged attracted people from all above the planet, who have brought their origin country’s culinary influences. Thus, Mexican meals is an amalgam of world exchange. Taco fusions are vibrantly diverse, these as tacos al pastor (with spit-grilled slices of pork), a notion launched by Lebanese immigrants who imported shawarma (spit-grilled lamb served on pita bread). Even in Mexico City’s most recent district of Minimal Tokyo, Japanese-Mexican ingredients are blended. For sweets, she recommends concha (round sweet bread that resembles a seashell) at her choicest neighborhood bakery. Longoria also treats Santi, her four-yr-previous son, to warm chocolate and churros (fried choux pastry dough).
Mexico City’s historic centre impresses. Structure Plaza, also named El Zócalo, is minutes absent from National Palace (the official home of Mexico’s president) with lauded paintings by Diego Rivera baroque Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico Town (construction started in 1573 and ongoing for 250 a long time) and 13th-century Aztec Temple — the Good Pyramid of Tenochtitlan. With Eduardo “Lalo” Garcia, just one of Mexico’s esteemed cooks, Longoria boats as a result of a community of ancient Aztec-developed canals and tiny islands to see the floating gardens of Xochimilco. It airs: March 26.
Episode 2: Yucatan
On the east coast of Mexico, alongside Gulf waters and in jungles of Yucatan, Longoria delves into significant contributions of ancient Maya — an completed civilization for millennia until finally 16th-century Spanish conquistadors arrived. The Maya’s astounding pyramids, these types of as those people at Chichén Itzá, Uxmal and Tulum, are environment renowned. She explores how the Mayan essence is stored alive these days by way of their cherished recipes. Chef Roberto Solis, mastermind of New Yucatan Delicacies, dazzles with imaginative pushing-the-envelope fare. In the city of Merida, his new restaurant Hunik, indicating “unique spirit” in Mayan, pays tribute to intricate spice combos, such as negro recado — a charred, smoky, aromatic chili sauce. A lot of of the ideal Yucatan dishes involve a devoted, prolonged preparing approach. For instance, conchinita pibil is pork sluggish-roasted in a rock-lined underground pit for 8 several hours. It airs: April 2.
Episode 3: Oaxaca
“Do you believe in magic?” asks Longoria. “I didn’t until eventually Oaxaca forged its spell on me.” She travels to southern Mexico’s Oaxaca, tucked amongst mountains and the Pacific Ocean to the south. “A bewitching spot, exactly where culinary miracles are conjured,” she continues. Oaxaca is both of those a condition and a metropolis. Considering the fact that pre-Hispanic times, trade routes from South The united states funneled a multitude of ingredients north, criss-crossing by Oaxaca, endowing it with much-flung culinary gifts. “Oaxaca is a mecca for food items enthusiasts in the know,” Longoria provides.
The revolutionary chef who has put Oaxacan cuisine on the up to date global-gourmand map is Alejandro Ruiz, whose Casa Oaxaca restaurant salutes the region’s develop. His bespoke, cacao-centric mole negro sauce — sophisticated, silky, clean, refined — has 28 substances. Longoria and Ruiz make mole collectively in his kitchen area afterwards, it is served with turkey, as is classic in Oaxaca, on Ruiz’s rooftop terrace. Referred to as the “food of the gods,” chocolate is a cornerstone of Oaxacan gastronomy. Subsequent, food author and passionate cheese enthusiast Omar Alonzo navigates Longoria to the city of Reyes Etla, in which full-unwanted fat quesillo cheese, Oaxaca’s beloved export, is generated. At cafe Las Quince Letras, innovative Chef Celia Florian generates an in-desire finger food items, in which a hand-measurement Hoja Santa leaf — which has purely natural flavors of anise, eucalyptus, mint — is topped with torn quesillo and crunchy roasted (protein-abundant) grasshoppers, then folded, heated, minimize and rolled into bite-dimensions parts edible flowers and drizzles of pesto sauce costume the really plate. Longoria at initial appears careful about consuming the grasshoppers, then concurs that the dish’s textures and flavors enhance each and every other well.
Historic Zapotecs thrived in the Oaxaca location termed Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the narrowest extend of land between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These days, guardians of Zapotec delicacies are regarded as Muxes, who are identified as a third gender. “We are folks of two spirits,” says Felina Santiago (above). “We are the duality, neither person or girl, neither less or extra.” Their culture has specified them a sense of liberty. “It has been a privilege for me to spend time with the Muxes, who’ve cast their individual path in Oaxaca,” claims Longoria. They dress in standard dress, elaborately embroidered with bouquets. Stuffed pork is a favored dish, served with casserole-like mashed potatoes loaded with enough amounts of garlic, spring onions, carrots, eggs, butter and large product. As Longoria allows the Muxes manually mix the elements with their palms, she remarks, “This is a exercise!” Unique occasion foods can include armadillo, iguana and mountain pigeon.
Tomatoes, also, originate from South The usa. They were traded by way of Mexico, then Spaniards took them to Europe. In Mexico, the birthplace of maize, a lot more than 60 diverse species flourish. Corn is central to Mexican cooking and identity. An hour generate from Oaxaca City, the farming neighborhood of Santa Ana Zegáche is corn’s epicenter. It has been cultivated there for much more than 6,000 years. Longoria visits a family farm, pointing to its cobs of burgundy, darkish yellow and white kernels. A different prime Oaxacan export is mezcal liquor, created from the agave plant. Longoria eagerly pitches in at a San Baltazar Chichicapam agave farm — operate by a female, a rarity. Just after agave plants are harvested and machete-cut, they are cooked in a coated firey pit, which can just take up to 5 times, then mashed and milled to obtain an agave juice, fermented, distilled 2 times, casked (based on intent of getting older) and lastly bottled. It airs: April 9.
Episode 4: Nuevo Leon
Mexico’s northeastern condition of Nuevo Leon borders Texas, southwest of Corpus Christi. Significantly of its rugged, dry mountainous terrain is inhospitable to fruit and vegetable farming. Instead, meat is on most menus beef and cabrito (little one goat) are widely accessible. Open-flame cooking and barbecues are commemorated. Ranch-fashion beans and breakfast tacos are staples. Longoria attends a festive carne asada event to relish nearby aguja steak. She tastes tender goat with flour tortillas that might derive from a Sephardic Jewish custom — and she helps assemble venison tamales for her movie crew.
Numerous Nuevo Leon chefs astonish with their out-of-the-box creative imagination. For case in point, at Koli Cocina de Origen in the town of Monterrey, Longoria scientific tests the cutting-edge, excelling menus of three proficient brothers: Chef Rodrigo Rivera Rio, Pastry Chef Daniel Rivera Rio and Maître d’/Sommelier Patricio Rivera Rio. Intent on their restaurant obtaining an uplifting relatives grace, they selected the title Koli, this means “grandfather” in Náhuatl, the language of Aztecs who dominated Mexico between the 14th and 16th hundreds of years. Not nicely recognized as a language exterior of Mexico, Náhuatl is nevertheless fluently spoken currently by close to 1.5-million Mexicans — and, in truth, some Náhuatl phrases, this sort of as avocado, chipotle, chocolate, coyote, guacamole, mezcal and tomato have been incorporated into the English language. It airs: April 16.
Episode 5: Jalisco
On Mexico’s west coastline, bordered by six states — Aguascalientes, Colima, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Michoacán and Zacatecas — Jalisco is typically regarded the most quintessentially Mexican. Traditions these as mariachi bands, ranchera songs, charro cowboys and tequila originated there. Its Pacific beach locations are beauties, engaging tourists to swanky resorts, specially in Puerto Vallarta. Energetic Guadalajara is the money its plazas, neoclassical Teatro Degollado (theater) and golden-spired cathedral charm. Longoria preferences well known dishes, these types of as birria, a sluggish-heated goat stew, and torta ahogada, a sourdough sandwich loaded with pork, a legacy from French invasions. Pop-up eateries and polished eating places proliferate these days, led by energetic cooks. At outstanding Café Pa’l True, Chef Fabian Delgado has brainstormed a novel mole, employing Mexican and European components. Longoria then steers toward Jalisco’s location of Tequila to toast the nationwide consume. She also talks with the fiercely very pleased indigenous Coca persons. It airs: April 23.
Episode 6: Veracruz
Alongside the warm Gulf Coast, the japanese point out of Veracruz — just 60 miles large, stretching 400 miles long — is acknowledged as the cradle of the modern-working day nation of Mexico. Spanish conquistadors initial landed on its shores. Shortly thereafter, Veracruz turned a extremely energetic trading hub: Spaniards imported espresso, oranges, pork and spices Mexicans exported a prosperity of coveted foodstuff, like tomatoes, chocolate and vanilla. A treasure trove of substances coming and heading remixed and ignited complete new cuisines. Can you consider Italy with out the tomato? France with out chocolate and vanilla?
In a fascinating Exploring for Mexico trajectory, Longoria retraces the path of her ancestor, Lorenzo Longoria, who established foot in Veracruz 400 yrs ago.
Today, Veracruzanos are popular for their feisty defiance and resilience. Women are potent, progressively striving for independence and leadership roles. Making a optimistic impact on Veracruz’s fishing field is Chef Erik Guerrero Arias, who has inspired sustainability and expanded the assortment of consumable fish species. With Longoria, he helps make a chilly seafood ceviche that is “disrupted” with heat refried beans and drizzled avocado oil. Longoria then drives to coffee fields in verdant mountains, to study how shade, altitude and awesome temps boost improved crops. She visits a important vanilla farm, which has been owned by just one family members given that 1873 and now, for the first time, is headed by a female, Norma Gaya. The entrepreneur demonstrates Longoria how to cook dinner delightful rooster with prized vanilla, braised onions, and nata — a thick butter-like product that sorts on the leading of raw milk, which is then boiled. For dessert? Heated bananas are doused in artisanal vanilla liqueur and served with do-it-yourself vanilla bean ice product. Hungry yet? It airs: April 23.