My Interview with MexGrocer UK

>> Sunday, September 19, 2010

Since I began writing my blog I have received countless emails from fellow Expatriates and from Europeans asking me if I could tell them where they could purchase Mexican ingredients. Sadly for the longest time I have had to tell them no and have suggested they look at my blog for my alternative ways of cooking Mexican food as authentic as possible. I had just given up on finding an authentic Mexican ingredients in Europe or trying to get merchants to ship to Europe. Mostly we have relied on a very expensive way of burdening my family by sending us some care packages. Well about two weeks ago just for fun I did another Google search and I have found not one but two sources of authentic Mexican food products and one was right here in CZ, woohoo happy dance time! Today I'm going to tell you about one of them,

Today's post is a post dedicated for all my fellow expats and for those Europeans looking to find a great authentic Mexican product selection. MexGrocer is owned and run by a Mexican/English family. One of MexGrocer's owners is Katya, and I have invited Katya to answer a few questions about the store so that we can get to know them a bit better.

1. Your site says that is run by a family, I'm assuming that it is by Mexican expatriates living in the UK? Can you tell us why you decide to open the store?
" was originally created and operated by a couple, my friends Monica and Sol Flamberg. Monica is Mexican and Sol is English. They opened the online store in 2006 because Monica missed her (Mexican) food badly. When they (Monica and Sol) decided to move to the USA in 2009 I bought them over, because my experience and business contacts were food orientated due to Mestizo Restaurant (which we will talk about shortly). "

2. Does have any relationship to
"No, and just share the name and we each have a different ownership. We do recommend each other to our customers from different regions of the world, the one that best suits the customer's location. We recommend them to people living in North America, and they recommend us to expatriates living in the UK and Europe."

3. Do you have a recipe section or recipe ideas to use the products purchased from your store?
" Yes, we have a recipe section ( follow this link), you will find many authentic recipes. For example there are many types of enchilada recipes. I think it's one of those dishes that represents a lot the day to day Mexican food. It can be for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it can be spice or not, vegetarian and/or any color, it's also a favorite dish. This year we had a very successful Enchilada Festival with 12 recipes from different states of Mexico and it was very successful even among the British!"

4. What are your favorite Mexican and English dishes?
"My favorite Mexican dish is "Chiles en Nogada" or as my grandmother said "Chiles enojada (upset)". She said that because it takes too many hours and effort to prepare it but at the end is worth it!, My favorite English dish is Beef Wellington, I am very lucky because I married an Englishman that loves cooking, and to me he makes the most delicious one :o) The best of two worlds!"

5. Where does ship to? Is it just The UK or will you also ship to mainland Europe?
"We ship within the UK and to all of Europe. "

6. offers a wide range of authentic Mexican products from dried chiles, masa harina, candy, canned goods and some tools. I see that you also offer cooking classes in Nottingham, can you tell us who teaches the courses?
"The cooking classes are taught by a chef. Her name is Sara and she specializes in spicy food! Anyone interested can sign up and contact us through our website for more information."

7. I see that you also have a link called "Our Restaurant", can you tell us a little about the restaurant?
"The restaurant is called Mestizo, and with my two partners (Mexican as well) we opened up in London in 2004. The main goal was to bring proper authentic Mexican food to this part of the world. It has been a long journey but it has paid off, we opened Mestizo Madrid in 2007. It has been a pleasure to see how open Europeans are to our food. We have many events like "Jueves de tacos or Taco Thursdays" with a Mexican DJ, playing Mexican music. On Sundays we offer Sunday Brunch, with many handmade authentic dishes. We also have many festivals and parties, like "Gastronomic week" samples of food from 7 states in Mexico, "Independence day party" with all the traditional "grito" mariachi and flags, "Day of the dead Festival" with an altar and teaching classes how to make sugar skulls and "papel picado", "Mole Festival" with a menu with 10 different moles from all over Mexico, "Enchiladas Festival", "Mexican posada", "Frida's Menu" from Frida Khalo recipe book, next year we will hold our first "Tamales Festival" well... the list just go on and on because Mexican food is so big that is nearly impossible to cook every single traditional dish."

8. Mestizo sounds like a great restaurant offering very authentic dishes and a great taste of Mexican culture. Tell me what does the Mexican community in London think of Mestizo?
"Mestizo in London is now considered the home for Mexican expatriates (including me). But of course everyone from any country is welcome to visit us :)"

Muchas Gracias ( Thank you very much) Katya for spending some time with me and my readers. I know all of us expatriates both Mexican and Americans as well as curious Europeans will really appreciate your store. It has been so great finding you guys and I'm so excited to have one great place to find all of those authentic ingredients. Please stop by to pay Katya a visit and place your orders for anything you may need. Buen Provecho! (Bon Appetit! )

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girlichef September 19, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

Very awesome resource for you in the UK!!!

Magic of Spice September 19, 2010 at 8:03 PM  

Wonderful article and I am so excited that you have found this...I hope that they branch to shipping in the US as they have an amazing variety and great passion :)

Stella September 19, 2010 at 9:12 PM  

Hey Nancy, this is such an interesting post. I mean, I'm sure it is to people living in Europe that grew up with or just love Mexican Food. It's interesting to me though, as someone recently told me that American's access to authentic Mexican and/or TexMex food & ingredients is Europe's envy of us in reference to anything culinary. I guess generally they don't have much to envy us in the realm of wonderful food (smile). It's great to see that they will be getting their Mexican fix now...
Great post, Nancy:)

Juliana September 20, 2010 at 6:25 PM  

Wow! Nice that you can "share" :-)

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron September 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM  

That's great! I didn't know it was hard to find Mexican ingredients. I now feel fortunate living in Seattle to have access to pretty much all cuisine. Great interview Nancy and I'm sure this will be helpful to those who're looking for "real" Mexican ingredients or else they can look at your recipes for some alternative ways.

Spicie Foodie September 21, 2010 at 6:47 PM  

@Alisha, you can find the same product at they ship in the US.

@Stella, Oh yes for Americans and Latinos living in Europe it is this constant disappointment of not finding authentic Mexican or Tex/Mex food here. The food that they try to pass off as Mexican can be really disgusting. It's better to make your own. But then there is the problem of not finding the ingredients. So yeah we are jealous of American's access to these ingredients:)

@Yes many ethnic products are hard to come by. I'm so grateful for the Vietnamese community here because they have many shops that import ethnic ingredients. What would I do with out my Vietnamese friends :)

Anonymous,  September 22, 2010 at 2:35 AM  

Thanks so much for pointing this out and for going the extra mile and doing an interview! I'm SO excited about the online shop. The last time I found Mexican products in the UK was when we dined out at a Mexican restaurant in London for Dia de los Muertos 2006. The name of the place? Mestizo! It was fab and it's good to hear they're still going strong! :-)

Spicie Foodie September 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM  

@ Ruby,
Oh really what a coincidence :) It's nice to see that good places stay in business for so long.

Angela November 15, 2010 at 1:36 AM  

*flails happily* Yet another grateful expatriate (from Southern California) here in an ethnically not-so-diverse area of Northern Europe, thanking you for this awesome link and interview. Trying to get food items and spices sent through customs is hellish! o.O

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