It is the world’s 13th-largest country by area. Nevertheless, actor Eva Longoria is Searching for Mexico (BBC Two, 8 October, 7.20pm).
Not literally, of course, but rather spiritually, through the nation’s rich and varied culinary culture. That’s right, Longoria is doing as Stanley Tucci did in Searching for Italy, following a near identical format: meet local guide, try some food, visit a street vendor, try food, meet old geezer and breeze through some dark history, try food, visit farm, eat food and get all philosophical while eating still more food at a dinnertime get together with a family that’s not your own.
The self-proclaimed “Texican” (born in Texas to Mexican parents) host’s first stop was the state of Jalisco. “Mariachis? Sombreros? Tequila? Every iconic image of Mexico you can think of comes from this state,” Longoria said.
Alongside the food and culture, the programme offered countless facts – the Mexican Revolution was the last war fought on horseback; despite pulled pork being central to so many dishes, the country didn’t have pigs until the Spanish conquest – plus numerous incidences of Longoria’s frankly filthy laugh.
Mexican cuisine is near impossible to eat elegantly. And fair play to Longoria, she seemed content to have sauces dripping down her fingers and stringy cheese flapping round her chin. She clearly had fun – at one point banging her fist on the table to demand more tequila (she’s a real fan, having founded her own brand).
Longoria is not quite Tucci when it comes to foodie travelogues, but gets close.