By adding the regional foods of Mexico to your dietary lexicon, you participate in their continued preservation.
Humble, hard-working people proudly bring Mexico’s most precious native foods to market.
Women, from the very old, bent and wizened, to those with small children in tow, travel long hours to various markets with that day’s produce. Without a set stall ‘address’ they’ll set up on the fringes of the mercado, at a weekly tianguis, or perhaps at a bus stop or in a plaza.
Some roam the streets with pails on their arms, others lay a cloth on the ground with tidy piles of fruits, vegetables, and often, handmade tortillas made from freshly ground nixtamal laid out before them. They are marchantes; itinerant vendors.
What they have to offer you is pure gold in exchange for a few pesos.
Working as a Personal Chef in Mexico, I preferred to buy my produce from these vendors. In doing so, I began learning about foods that are unique to Mexico and truly the foundation of the gastronomy. My wish to share that with you was the motivation behind this “Passion Project” , my self-published digital guide which I titled, simply…
Frutas y Verduras
A Fresh Food Lover’s Guide to Mexico
A labour of love…
Frutas y Verduras took two full years to complete. A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign helped me get started; personal funds and thousands of hours got it finished. I published it to iTunes and Kobo stores in November 2016, where you can buy it for $12.99.
On this page I’m trying something a little different…
You decide how much you wish to pay.
Unconventional, I know, but why not? If you’re just a bit curious about these foods of Mexico, then, that’s ok… pay a little. I don’t mind! If you’re in the industry and can write it off, please pay a bit more.
please note that you must click through a second time after choosing price to go to PayPal and complete purchase. USD amounts are displayed; PayPal should convert the amount to the currency your account is in.
Once you download it and begin exploring the interactive ‘pages’, if you find yourself thinking…
“Wow! this is amazing! “
SHARE this page with friends, and/or write a review/testimonial. Your efforts will be appreciated!Then please,
Here’s a peek inside…
Millions of Mexico’s indigenous poor depend on the fruits of the earth for their own economic and physical sustenance.
Indigenous communities are the defacto guardians of the native plant ingredients. It may surprise you that the mainstays of their daily diet are the same foods that were the foundation of the Pre-Hispanic diet. It’s sustainable and certainly affordable for the common person.
These foods, associated with poverty, have in many ways been disregarded as modern and industrial farming offered more international options to the upper classes. But in the last 10 years in particular, the native plants of Mexico are getting their due through the work of high-profile chefs, like Enrique Olvera and Ricardo Muñoz Zurita.
With the knowledge you gain from Frutas y Verduras, you can easily start to incorporate these special regional plant foods into your own daily diet…
Consider wild plants, called ‘quelites’.
When these common greens are in season, they are collected by locals and brought to market… available to you and me.
Or the squash, corn, beans and various other plants grown on compact, sustainable and largely organic “milpa” plots. What isn’t needed to feed the community, is sold — again, available to any of us who seek out those vendors at market.
Some of the foods covered in the guide were brought from the Old World early on during Spanish trade excursions… long established in regions where the climate best matched its place of origin.
…you’ll learn about these foods in Frutas y Verduras!
A woman sits on the ground scraping the needles from prickly nopal paddles… or selling xoconostle, chayote or jocote from a colorful pail…
Use your ‘Frutas y Verduras’ guide to learn how to use them. Your exchange of pesos for fresh produce will make a big difference. This act not only helps to feed a family, it demonstrates an appreciation for the preservation of these foods.
What readers are saying….
What a great resource for food lovers!!
Before I moved to Mexico, I visited frequently. Always (and still)my favorite part is the mercados, but even now I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by what is unfamiliar. Now that I have this book, I feel motivated to try something new every week! This is a beautiful guide, full of information, and with a very user-friendly design.
-Jody (review from Kobo.com)
Unique and useful guide to the treats of Mexico…
As a chef that loves the culture, food and tradition of Mexico I found this book to be a great guide to the common and not so common treasures of Mexican markets.
The produce of Mexico is truly unique, and often overwhelming to understand. For a traveler or ex-pat, it can be intimidating and confusing to see 20 varieties of bananas, apples, squash, etc. at the market and have no clue what the difference is. For a chef or inspired cook, those same markets can overwhelm your curiosity. This book is the solution for both. I especially enjoyed the seasonal info which will help to find the best that the market has when you visit.
Good photos, more info than you expected and all easy to navigate and read. Great pocket guide on the iPhone, but looks better on a bigger screen, so do your research at home and tag the ingredients you want to hunt down at the market.
-Chef Clint Jolly
Wish I’d had this on my first trip to Mexico…
…but you can bet I’ll have it with me on my next! Ms. Hefner focuses on fruits and vegetables that are not so commonly seen outside her adopted country. Her writing is straightforward, commonsensical, and lucid. Her photos show all the right details, and her visual overviews by category — say, all the fruits, or all the herbs — are especially useful in making identifications, and in distinguishing between close botanical relatives. Highly recommended.
-Dave Cook (iTunes purchase)
Recommended Devices and Reading Apps
This multi-layered content-rich book contains audio, pop-ups, and other enhancements. Be sure you have a suitable device along with an appropriate reading app…
- BEST: iPad, Android or Windows Tablets. *greyscale eReaders like Kindle, Barnes and Noble etc will not work
- Larger format smart phones (5in+) Because of the layout of the book, smaller phones are not recommended
- On any Mac or PC: Use Chrome browser with Readium Extension
- If you would prefer to purchase from Apple, please click here.
RECOMMENDED READING APPS (best to install app before downloading the ePub file)
This book has functions that most reading apps cannot handle. It was designed for iOS (iBooks) and tweaked for Android & Windows. If you already have other apps for reading ePubs on your non-Apple device, Kobo could replace them all (except Kindle)
- Kobo Reading App* (free from GooglePlay) is a well-reviewed option that works on most devices including iOS, Android, Windows and Desktop. Should you have a Mexican IP, the correct version of this app is called Orbile also free on GooglePlay
- iBooks -comes standard on iOS devices
- As in #3 (devices) use Readium extension with Chrome browser to read the book on any computer.