If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know how much I love Central Market. It’s basically Disneyland for foodies. So when Central Market invited me to preview Passport Mexico, I was ecstatic!
This is Central Market’s seventh annual Passport event, which lasts two weeks (April 20 – May 3, 2015) and celebrates a different culture every year. I learned that they carefully select the featured country years in advance! The question is, how does one sign up for that gig?
The New York Times ranked Mexico City as the #1 travel destination in 2016. If you can’t travel south of the border, thank Central Market for bringing Mexico to Texas! During Passport Mexico, Central Market stores will offer imported wines, olive oils, honey, chocolates, craft beers, coffee, and more. The stores’ chefs and café staff will serve traditional Mexican dishes such as pozole, mole, and nopales. Special events including wine dinners, cooking classes, and appearances by renowned Mexican chefs are a big part of any Passport event. Let’s dive in, shall we?
One of my absolute favorite savory items will be at the sip and stroll event. Order pozole, squeeze fresh lime juice in it, and top with cabbage. It’s the most refreshing soup! Don’t overlook it. It pairs beautifully with the pineapple fresca.
There are tons of wonderful Mexican cheeses available at Central Market during Passport Mexico. To be honest with you, I was not previously familiar with most of the kinds of cheese presented to me. Los Altos Queso Requeson reminded me a bit of feta. I bet it would be great with watermelon as an appetizer!
Los Altos Queso Panela can be grilled like Greek Halloumi. How fun would that be in a fajita?
Los Altos Queso Oaxaca Deshebrad (try saying three times fast!) is a Mexico string cheese. It just pulls right apart so I think kids would love its mild flavor.
The Rattlesnake cheese combines cheddar, tequila, and habeneros. You may have noticed by now that there are not a lot of spicy dishes on The Rose Table. That’s because I don’t care for spicy food so I feel quite brave to have tried a bite of Rattlesnake. (Even if I did wash it down with an embarrassingly large spoonful of Mexican sour cream.) This was way too spicy for me but would be fantastic melted on a burger if you’re into heat.
Los Altos Queso Manchego was my personal favorite but then again I was already a fan of manchego cheese! It’s firmer than cheddar but softer than Parmesan and delightfully salty. This would be delicious tossed with corn, tomatoes, and cilantro.
The stores are also hosting various cooking classes so you can get your hands dirty and learn how to use the bold flavors of Mexico in your own cooking! Melissa here will teach you how to make your own churros in Fort Worth on April 22nd. She’s an absolute delight so I know it’ll be fun. Tell her The Rose Table says hi!
I can’t resist a good churro. What’s better than freshly fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar? Well one that’s tossed in cinnamon sugar of course! Melissa tossed these bad boys right into the brown bags and shook them with cinnamon and sugar to coat. I need to do this with all homemade doughnuts from now on. I normally burn my fingers off hand coating them!
Speaking of dessert, Central Market has several Passport Mexico desserts that we need to talk about. These might appear to be ordinary Mexican wedding cakes but the powdered sugar cookies are actually filled with cinnamon. The shortbread cookies pictures above also have a bit of a kick.
The cajeta cake is phenomenal. Cajeta is a Mexican caramel that’s whipped into the frosting of this moist yellow cake. If you’re a caramel fan like my mom, you’ll love it.
My absolute favorite item that I sampled is the coconut rice pudding. Absolute heaven for coconut lovers like me! The toasted coconut on top adds the perfect amount of crunch to its silky texture. You know that emoji with the hearts in the eyes? That’s what my face looked like while sampling it. In fact I might just have to go to Passport Mexico tomorrow to get more!
Passport Mexico runs April 20 – May 3. Special event dates and times depend on the store location. Click here a full list of Passport Mexico events and click here to find a Central Market near you.
The Rose Table