Thursday, June 13, 2024

Black Woman Brings Soul Food to Mexico City (Watch)

Blaxicocina, the only soul food restaurant in Mexico City
Blaxicocina, the only soul food restaurant in Mexico City (blaxicocina.squarespace.com)

*A woman from Mitchellville, Maryland has brought a taste of home to a part of the world where it’s rarely experienced.

First-time restaurant owner Tiara Darnell is the owner of Blaxicocina, the only soul food restaurant in Mexico City. According to Darnell, many Blacks in Mexico City left the U.S. to escape systemic racism, and Darnell hopes to provide a welcoming space for all people.

According to DCist, Darnell feeds the Narvarte community with food and funds through partnerships with local farmers. All but one staff member at Blaxicocina are Mexican nationals, and Darnell said that hiring people from the area is her way of putting money into the neighborhood. DCist also reported most of Darnell’s vendors and contractors are Mexican nationals.

Many spices and foods used in African American dishes are unavailable in Mexico City, Darnell told the outlet. She formed a partnership with The Heirloom Collard Project after being unable to find collard greens. “When I first got here, I see kale, I see Swiss chard, other types of greens, but collards were nowhere to be found,” Darnell said.

Menu items at Blaxicocina, the only soul food restaurant in Mexico City
Menu items at Blaxicocina

As for the soul food staple corn bread, Darnell said corn goes through a different process to make tortillas. “We have to grind our own corn to make the cornbread the way we want it to be. We have to grind our own corn to make the coating for the fried green tomatoes that we’re trying out right now on the menu,” she explained.

Darnell says many Blacks in Mexico City left the U.S. to escape systemic racism. The restaurant owner knows Americans moving to Mexico raises the cost of living, but Darnell aims to create a welcoming space for all people.

The soul food restaurant has been warmly received in the neighborhood. “I really like that combination when they mix part of the food, the culture, but they also look for more environmental, more ecological options to do it,” said customer Lesly Aldana.

Blacks in the city feel the same. Darnell’s friend, Adi Shaku Bennu, said, “To see people come here and establish roots and build shows that you don’t have to live in America to make it. You know, you can leave and make something great outside of the States.”

Below, artwork for the restaurant and an interview with Darnell:

OTHER NEWS ON EURWEB: Shemar Moore Beams Over Baby Daughter’s First Word (Watch)

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