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Oct 9, 2006 05:16 AM

....Estilo de....

On my explorations of the local latino culinary scene, I have noticed this term to come up quite a bit. I believe a rough translation would be: style of...

For example, today I saw "Borrego Estilo P...(achuga?), Hidalgo.

It really gives me pleasure to see that people are proud of their traditions and patrimony. This, and the honorific sense it imparts on a dish as well as the refreshing sense of history -- cuisine was once inextricably bound to your surroundings (only local herbs, veg, livestock etc).

So much for or magic 1000 mile traveling food of today...

While I have not researched throughly into this tradition, I have only seen it usually attached with Mexican states, and even towns- as above and as mentioned in Rworange's SF board post on a bread from an extremely small town in Michoacan.

So I ask chowhounds out there if they have seen this and if so would they contribute the example. This would be a great thread to have in the archive to preserve this wonderful tradition and to have to search.

Many thanks for bearing with this tangent post.

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  1. It's telling you how the food was cooked -- like so many other places, there is a lot of regionalism in Mexican food.

    In my (very Latino) area there's:

    estilo Veracruz (fish with green sauce, french-press type coffee)
    estilo Jalisco (birria, pozole and beef in its own juices)
    estilo D.F. (this is on a taco table)
    estilo Michoacán (carnitas, carnitas, carnitas)
    estilo Morelia (chicken with squash and chile sauce)
    estilo Campeche (coconut shrimp, fat tamales)
    estilo Guadalajara (sopes, 'drowned' tortas)
    estilo S. Cristobal d/Casas (rabbit with huitlacoche)
    estilo Sonora (burritos topped with fried egg)
    estilo Ensenada (fish tacos)
    estilo Chapultepec (ham sandwich)
    estilo Puebla (chilaquiles with mole sauce)

    There's probably more... I haven't done a scientific study of them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      Good post.... we are finally starting to get Regional Specialties instead of Faux-Pan-Mexican Spanglish... but they are still the minority...nonetheless the momentum is there... and the best part is that the demand is more or less there. I think there is a critical mass of Non-Mexicans here in the States that are at least aware that Mexican cuisine... as well beyond the Tex-Mex they are accustomed to...and there are plenty of people willing to embrace "The Real Thing"... one challenge is that some of these descriptions are often misleading.... like going to a Purepecha style restaurant that doesn't serve cusine typical of the Michoacan Highlands.... like lots of Avocado Dishes.. the Corundas & Barbacoas. It will probably be another 20 to 30 years... before these places can survive on Regional Specialties alone... like they do in Mexico.

      In terms of how many Estilo de... their might be... in Mexico City there was probably a several hundred differnent types of Specialty "Establishments"... I put "Establishments" in quotation... because some specialties like the huge huarache-like empanadas (not huaraches... something distinct) topped with Pre-Hispanic delicacies... are really only available by the extremely mobile "kitchens" manned by barefoot indigenous women that speak Spanish with a very heavy Nahuatl accent.

      I don't know that we will ever get to that level of specialization here because it tends to counter the U.S. central tendency... convenience, comfort, broad selection & brand recognition over freshness & repetitive excellence.

    2. kare_raisu, you are correct in your translation. "En el estilo de" does indeed mean the dish is in the style of. It can be the State, a town, an indigenous tribe such as the Purepecha or even a person, such as Estilo de Doña Martha

      And speaking of Doña Martha, you might want to check out this web page - . Rolly lives in Lerdo in Northern Mexico and has compiled a wealth of practical and usable information about the Mexican kitchen and his friend Doña Martha and her style of cooking, which being in Northern Mexico will be quite different than Central or Southern Mexico. There is even a fairly extensive dictionary of English/Spanish translations of foods, cooking methods and such related to the Mexican kitchen. The whole Rollybrook site is a tremendous resource for Mexiphiles.

      And finally, you may also want to check out The Mexican Kitchen forum on MexConnect -
      It, too, is a wealth of information about Mexican cooking and about 85+% of the posts are by people actually living in Mexico

      4 Replies
      1. re: DiningDiva

        thanks for the links diningdiva! the rolly one is truly fantastic...couldn't ask for a cooler site!

        Is the mexconnected a pay-for site?

        1. re: kare_raisu

          It is, but sometimes Google caches can help you out there... they exempted the webcrawlers from paying.

          1. re: kare_raisu

            A great deal of the site is free. The forums and some feature articles are free for the first 5 days you use them, after that there is a fee. I think the fee is something like $30/year which makes it about $2.50 /month. I believe there is a fee for some of the archieves. I'm not sure if you have to subscribe for a whole year or if you can go month by month.

            I think the fee is fair, especially in terms of what you get for it. For anyone seriously interested in Mexico, or relocating there, MexConnect can be an invaluable source of information.

          2. re: DiningDiva

            Awesome websites!

            I'm always looking for good authentic recipes from the north. I'm from the south so we cook a little different. :D

          3. Incidentally, Barbacoa al Estilo Hidalgo (Pachuco/Actopan/Tulancingo)--barbeque in a pit covered or wrapped with maguey leaves--is delicious.

            3 Replies
            1. re: butterfly

              Did they serve it with a little chickpea soup made from the lamb drippings?

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                Pachuco....thank you butterfly!

                Eat Nopal, if you are ever in SD...check out El Borrego, as the name implies thats what they serve. The have mixiotes, and serve the soup as well. delicious

                1. re: kare_raisu

                  Actually it is Pachuca, Hidalgo not pachuco. :D

                  Huaraches estilo Veracruz are the very best there is!!!

            2. "estilo de" is no different from the italian "alla", as in Pesto Alla Genovese