Cooking in England




Everything in England has been lovely but my only struggle has been cooking. I learned how to cook since my pre-teens/early teenagers years so I can take care of myself in that sense. Back home, in Oregon, I eat traditional Mexican dishes so coming to Brighton I was worried about what I was going to eat here. Once I arrived and established myself I realized that my challenge was finding the ingredients to make a proper Mexican meal. After looking around throughly in my local stores, Sainsbury’s and Aldi, I found tortilla wraps and coriander (which it took me some time to figure out it was cilantro). I immediately bought the tortillas and after cooking them I was disappointed to find out they got super stiff immediately after cooking them. I felt like I was going to struggle eating homemade meals here. At one point I was considering asking my mom to send me tortillas and hot sauce (another essential in my life) to me. But things took a turn…

I met a mutual Mexican friend and she told me that one day walking down the North Laines she walked past a Chili Shop that had Mexican hot sauce on their front windows. I was so excited that after a lot of googling and looking through Yelp, I finally found the shop. I made a trip there and was so surprised to find more than just the hot sauce! I found corn flour to make tortillas (among other meals),  Tajin seasoning powder that can be put on basically anything but usually fruits and vegetables. With these three products I was very prepared for cooking! I’ve used the hot sauce and Tajin on most snacks and sometimes when I’m making food that needs a little something extra to give it a kick and spice it up. I do want to clear up that I am still limited to what I can make because we don’t have a blender in our flat. So far with the three products I bought I’ve made Ceviche, Tacos Dorados, Memelas, Homemade Tortillas that go with just about anything. I’ve shared this piece of my culture with my flatmates, so when I cook I try to make a bit extra that way I can have them try my Mexican food out. I like sharing with my friends because they are not Mexican, they’re either American or Dutch so I love seeing their reactions to when they try my food. I have to say that I’ve impressed them with my cooking skills, which has actually motivated me to cook more traditional meals. Even before coming to Brighton, I was planning on steering away from frozen meals or cup & noodles soup and in my time here I have not had any of that, which has made me proud of myself. It has made me realize that I am actually a good cook and can fend off for myself in that sense. Being Mexican in a foreign country is not as hard as I initially thought it was and I’ve realized I love sharing my culture with others through my food.