About the Authors

I’m Susan, a Jew who was born and raised in Mexico City. I learned how to cook by standing on a chair and watching my Hungarian grandmother every Sunday. The other great influence on my cooking was my mother-in-law. Both my and my husband’s grandparents immigrated from Europe to Mexico in the late 1920’s, bringing with them the traditions and flavors of the old country. Combining these with the fresh ingredients that were available in the mercado led to a unique fusion of flavors.

In order to preserve and continue the culinary traditions of our family, my daughter Alex and I are writing a Mexican Jewish fusion cookbook. As we progress, I will be sharing anecdotes, recipes and details of our culinary exploits. For more information about our cookbook, please go to http://www.mexicanjewish.com or find us on Facebook and twitter.

Weekly family dinners continuously allow me to honor the traditions of my heritage while infusing them with a little spice. So come along with me on this journey of tacos and Matzoh ball soup!

Alex SchmidtI’m Alex, the product of Susan — the Mexican Jew above — and Isaac, another Mexican Jew (of Polish ancestry). I was born in L.A., and got to reap the benefits of a pretty interesting cultural heritage. I don’t love cooking (understatement?) but I appreciate it, and I REALLY appreciate all the work my Mom has done to feed and nourish her family all these years (I’m the eldest of 5!) .

Through the process of writing with my Mom, I hope to broaden my cooking interests, learn from her, and record what we think is a pretty special and delicious mix. Thanks for reading!

* FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US AT: mexicanjewish@gmail.com *
We love to hear other people’s stories, and if you happen to have a Mexican Jewish recipe you’d like to share, we would be very interested in incorporating it into the blog and the book (with credit, of course).

70 responses

  1. I love this! I will be trying your recipes. I know that you are wonderful cooks and I am excited to try these, they look delicious! Will you be posting a chile reiilleno recipe,,,excuse the spelling? Thanks for sharing your stories and the food you love! Jessica

  2. At last!! Trade secrets of the most delicious recipes to grace Shabbat and holiday tables in North America!! Tying my apron strings!!

  3. Susan and Alex, What a wonderfully creative idea of melding the two cultures from a cuisine perspective! Looking forward to following your blog and trying all your delicious recipes. Much love — Sandi

  4. The fusion of cultures leads to delicious culinary experiences and richness in living by bridging what appear to be great differences into the one pot of love, which when simmered properly with the spice of life reveals the tasty dishes prepared by Susan.

  5. Very interested in the cookbook, as I am also a Mexican Jew – daughter of an Ashkenazi German father and a Mexican-American mother. What a great way to blend all the great food I grew up eating!

  6. I am in love with you mujeres already! My mom is a Polish decent Jew who grew up in Mexico. (Maybe you guys knew eachother, where did you go to school?) And so I grew up with the fusion of that food too! Now I’m married to a Mexican myself, and I’m having to learn the “real” Mexican food all over again. Keep it’s coming!

  7. I just discovered your site thanks to the NPR article. Thank you so much for turning me on to another wonderful cuisine. My wifes family is Mexican and I can’t wait to try some of your recipes.

  8. Pingback: Jewish And Mexican Cooking Meet In ‘Challa-peño’ » 99dzh

  9. Heard you (Alex) on NPR this morning and loved, loved, loved it! My LA Ashkenazi totally secular family subscribed to this old saw: What do Jews eat on Christmas? Chinese food! I’ll probably head down to Chinatown today myself. But your radio piece was so well done and so evocative, I could just taste those chicken-fat and onion tacos. Does your grandma call the cooked chicken fat & skin “gribenes”? That’s what my grandma called them, and she used to spread chicken fat on matzo for me to snack on. Oy vey!

  10. I am a Jew born in Zululand, grew up eating spicy food of the Indian community (largest outside of India, where Gandhi lived for decades and where he grew all of his ideas), interestingly the Hindus and Muslims still form ONE community, they emigrated before partition. I moved to Colorado, my substitute is of course, Mexican food, which I adore. When I lived in Israel, I found many ethnic Jewish foods, but no Mexican Kosher! I can’t understand why not, of course the Sephardi Ladino communities are the oldest Jewish communities in all three Americas, they came fleeing the Inquisition. My Spanish family went to Holland. I had heard rumors about, and later found, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the United States, in Las Vegas NM, now abandoned but from the 1500s, when New Mexico was Old Mexico. I have always guessed that Mexican Kosher is an old and rich cuisine, but I have never been to Mexico (still a dream), although of course, New Mexico is a chip off the old block!

    So my challenge to you and your community is – when will you open Israel’s first Mexican Kosher restaurant? I also envision Mexican Kosher fast food! Taco Harif? (Harif (with a Het or Chet) =Picante=Spicy).

  11. Pingback: Jewish And Mexican Cooking Meet In ‘Challa-peño’ » » Controversial ShitControversial Shit

  12. Susan:

    It was a pleasure meeting you last week. I have passed on this site to my friend in Mexico City. Happy Hanukkah and I look forward to working with you again in 2012.

    JDM

    • Hi Jesse, It was a pleasure meeting you as well, I look forward to working with you again in the new year as well! Thanks you so much for passing the site on to your friend in Mexico City!

  13. I saw/heard your story on the NPR website. I am so glad to get a Mexican latkes recipe as my son was insistent that adding chilis to latkess could only be a good thing!
    Also, I am looking for a recipe for gefilte fish in hot sauce, to recreate a wonderful culinary experience I had at the Shabbos table the last time I was in Mexico. Do you have something? .

  14. Pingback: Jewish And Mexican Cooking Meet In ‘Challa-peño’ - Diet Buzz

  15. ha sthe cookbook been published yet? my grandparents where easten european jews and now im living in texas so the idea of a jewish-mexican fusion really appeals to me

    • Jeff, Thanks so much for your interest. The book has not been published yet, but we’ll be sure to let everyone know when it’s available through this blog, and through twitter. Take care.

  16. So excited to have found your blog! My parents are also Jews from Mexico City and many of the recipes and memories in your blog are those of our family. People often ask me for my fusion recipes and wonder if anyone else out there eats the way we do…nice to know I’m not the only one passing along these wonderful flavor combinations.

    • Sharon, we’re glad you found us too. We’d absolutely love to hear some examples of fusion recipes. We’re hoping that the book includes not just our own family recipes, but other families’ recipes as well (we’ll credit the other families, of course!).

  17. I am very excited about your blog. I have a niece and nephew who are “jewsicans” (mother mexican and father jewish) and I am jewish with an adopted mexican son. As an adoptive mother, I want to expose my son as much as I can to both the mexican and jewish cultures. There is no better way than through food! So I am looking forward to getting your cookbook and reading your blog 🙂

    • Susan, so glad you are here. Please feel free to share some of your own journeys and food experiments. We love hearing what other people come up with! Happy Holidays.

  18. I’m an American Jew. My wife is a Mexican American. We have two children in their 20’s who call themselves Jewxicans. We were the only family on the block who ate Matzo Brei for breakfast, blintzes for brunch, and enchiladas with beans & tortillas for dinner. We love your blog, and your recipes!

    • Gary, so glad you found us. We love hearing about other people with similar experiences to ours! Please feel free to share your recipes with us and we will gladly credit you both on the blog, and if we include some of your experiments in the cookbook! Take care.

  19. Is great you are doing this, I am also jewish mexican living in US, it would be very interesting if there is a part of your book were we all can contribute with our family recipes and make the experience even better!

  20. I think your site is fantastic! I work for Reboot, a national non-profit which incubates projects that aim to re-imagine Jewish culture and and ritual in order to make them relevant and meaningful today. Reboot is getting ready to launch Beyond Bubbie, http://www.beyondbubbie.com, an interactive community cookbook that will “reboot” the process of sharing of recipes by creating a place to link them to the stories that make them special. The site is in its beta phase and we’re in the process of soliciting content before our public launch this spring. Would you be willing to cross-link a recipe and/or a story from your blog on the Beyond Bubbie site? We’d love that!

  21. buenísimo! yo vivo en Sao Pualo, Brasil, y ademãs de judío y mexicano soy vegetariano, veo que algunas recetas como los latkes de papa son veegtarianas, ser~ia bueno marcar eso en el libro, felicidades por documentar nuestra cultura!
    Micael Cimet

  22. My son came home from Hebrew school today with two of your recipes. They are studying Mexican Jewish Culture! We are so excited to find this site. We had already decided that we were having a Mexican Hanukkh next year! The Mexican culture is so big in Dallas Texas!

  23. Wondered if the name Schmidt is of Polish-Jewish origin. My grandfather’s name was Schmidt and he was born in Poland, but we have never met others Jews with that name. Thanks for your help. toby rose

    • Hi Toby,
      Yes, my paternal grandfather, Jacob, was from the Galicia region of Poland (now Ukraine) — specifically, a town called Glinyany. This was a region that saw a huge amount of migration over time, and also changed hands many times, so it’s not too surprising that a German sounding name ended up there.
      By the way, we have a Toby in our family as well! Where did your family move to when they left Poland?

  24. I’m so happy to stumble upon this blog! I, too, am a Mexican(-American) Jew. My family are descendents of conversos (both my mother’s and father’s families). My mother was born and raised in Michoacan and I grew up with the delicious Mexican food traditions. Since marrying a lovely Jewish man from NYC (hello, Ashkenazi food traditions!), I’ve been working hard to blend our two cultures. Thank you for this blog and your fabulous recipes!

  25. So excited to keep reading your blog! Definitely going to try some recipes. I’m adopted from Colombia and have always felt “Jewish” in my heart, although I’ve recently found out that no, our family is quite Catholic. I love when cultures are messy and mixed up – especially when they involve food!

  26. I am thrilled to have found your blog! I am an amateur scholar of unique Jewish cuisines, and am delighted by your blog’s window into the cooking of Mexico’s Jewish immigrants. It forms an important chapter of Jewish culinary ethnography, and I am really looking forward to making some of the recipes.Best of luck with your book – I look forward to reading that as well.

  27. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the lecture at the Museum of Jewish Heritage yesterday on Latin Jewish food and how much you brought to it. The panel and your blog have opened my eyes to a whole new side of Jewish cuisine. I hope when you are finished with your book you come back to NY to speak about it some more.

  28. We are interested in having a Jewish Cook Book author speak at Temple Isaiah in Fulton,Md on February 8, 2015. I don’t know where you’re located but found your blog INTERSTING. Please let me know if you might be interested. Thanks. Suzanne Posner-410. 727-4324

    • Hi Melissa, getting back to you just now after you inquired so long ago. Our publishers are waiting for a stronger online subscription presence before they will commit to the publication. So in the meantime welcome to the delicious online version of Challa-peño, so happy to have you!

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