Eva Longoria Shares the Unexpected Food She Fell in Love With While Filming Searching for Mexico
From acting in hits like Desperate Housewives and The Young and the Restless to directing episodes of Black-ish and Jane the Virgin, Eva Longoria is a leading force in show business. But she isn't new to the food space either, producing social justice documentaries like Food Chains and The Harvest.
Now, Longoria is traveling across Mexico in Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico to taste the varied cuisines across the country, sharing the layers and complexities of Mexican cuisine.
"I don't know what the secret to happiness is. All I know is, every time I eat Mexican food, I'm happy!" Longoria says in the show's first episode (we got a sneak peek of the show, and it's a must-watch!).
EatingWell was elated to sit down with Longoria to talk more about the new series, airing March 26 on CNN. Read on to find out her favorite meals she ate while filming and the dish she was most skeptical about but fell in love with in this exclusive interview.
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EatingWell: What was the most memorable dish—or if you had to choose, the most delicious—you ate while filming?
Longoria: Each region is just so diverse. In Nuevo Leon, we had this carne asada that was to die for. But then in Oaxaca, we had this amazing mole. In Veracruz, the highlight of that trip for me was going to the vanilla plantations, so we had vanilla ice cream, vanilla chicken, vanilla bananas! It was a dream. We had birria in Jalisco with churros, that was an experience as well. That's the point of this show; the identity of Mexico is so rooted in tacos and tequila, and Mexico does that well, but it's also way more diverse and goes beyond that.
EatingWell: Was there any dish that you were initially skeptical of, but you ended up falling in love with it?
Longoria: Mole. I wasn't a fan of mole, and once I got to Oaxaca and prepared it and cooked it and really took part in the process, I really enjoyed it. There's so many different moles: there's sweet, green, red, dark and bitter. There's just so many different kinds and thousands of mole recipes.
EatingWell: Were there any cooking tips that you learned while watching the local chefs whip up their signature dishes?
Longoria: There were so many ancient techniques that a lot of Mexicans still use today. Like the pib, which is underground cooking that they still use in so many places. The ancient techniques that they preserved and the tradition that they preserved were really fascinating to watch.
EatingWell: What does "eating well" mean to you?
Longoria: Specifically for Mexico, Mexican cuisine was primarily vegetarian pre-colonization. It was the Spaniards that brought the pigs, cows, sheep, goats and dairy. If you look at a decolonized diet, you focus on the grains and vegetables which are really beautiful. It's a super healthy way of eating.
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