Mexico City’s taco al pastor and its Lebanese roots

Tacos al pastor is a regional culinary specialty of Mexico City, and one of our favorite things to eat when we go to Mexico.  Apparently, it has its roots in middle eastern Sharwarma, which makes sense when you see them preparing it.  Of course, its been highly modified since its introduction and its roots are only recognizable in the cooking method and pretty much nothing else.    
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It is almost time for our Study Abroad trip!

Our yearly USC Study Abroad trip is a month away!  Today is the last day that students can register for the course.  If you haven't already registered with the SA Office, do so now. In anticipation of our upcoming adventure, I wanted to share some information about a couple of stops we will take along the way.  We will visit the great ancient city of Teotihuacán located just outside of Mexico City.  (more…)
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Son Jarocho

The state of Veracruz has a centuries old rich multi-cultural history with European influence going back to the first Spanish explorations of the Central America.  Founded in 1519 by Cortez as "Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz" ( the rich village of the true cross), the city of Veracruz was the major Spanish port in Central America for centuries and it was through this city that nearly all Atlantic commerce flowed.  Because of this, Veracruz has strong Caribbean, European, and African influences that combine with its indigenous traditions to create a unique culture.  This amalgam is easily seen in the music of Veracruz, son jarocho.  It is characterized by the arpa jarocho (a style of harp particular to the region), the jarana (a small instrument that, to me, appears to be a cross between a mandolin, ukelele and banjo - it  has 8 strings in 5 courses and has an…
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