MEXICO remains close to my heart. I spent 6 months there when I was 20, back in 1996. I worked at an all-inclusive resort in San Jose del Cabo on the Baja Peninsula, entertaining guests as one of the activities (actividades) staff. We acted in comedy shows; ref’d pool volleyball; hosted casino nights, beach parties, and a plethora of other fun events. As you can imagine, the job was terrible. Kidding.

My experience with Mexican food up to that point was Old El Paso hardshell tacos. You know: seasoned ground beef, tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and salsa. Not that I didn’t love that version of “Mexican food,” but my mind was blown wide open actually living there and eating the local cuisine. I was introduced to dishes like mole poblano and chilaquiles.

In 2010 I spent a few weeks in the state of Oaxaca, furthering my appreciation for authentic Mexican food. I fell in love with tamales and tlayudas and some strange-but-awesome concoction of grilled corn on the cob smothered in cream, lime, chili powder, and crumbly cheese.

The 1-minute video below, shot and assembled by food video ninjas The Perennial Plate, is a rapid-fire assault on my senses, driven by Latin hip-hop star Omeca. Alright, time to go feed my grumbling stomach.