Mexican passion shines bright in North Rocks

When Marycarmen Aguilera and her husband arrived in Australia during the 2000 Olympics, she couldn’t find the ingredients and products to cook her Mexican dishes.

“We used to alternate with my parents one year they’ll come to Australia for holidays and the following year we’ll go for holidays to Mexico. Every time they and us brought the suitcases full of products. However, I found the products didn’t last so my husband and I decided to bring our first container of Mexican products to Australia and buy a tortilla machine and the rest is history. We have been bringing more products in every container and now we are also importing South American products.”

Marycarmen Aguilera is the founder of Fireworks Foods, an importer and manufacturer of tortillas, corn chips and a wide range of Mexica, Latin American and USA products. Located in North Rocks, Fireworks Foods has been in business for 16 years and Marycarmen’s passion for authentic Mexican and Latin American ingredients is still as strong today as when the business first opened,

When asked why she chose to set up in North Rocks, Marycarmen explained how she fell in love with the suburb.

“I arrived in Australia in 2000 when the Australia Olympics were just starting and we were living in Liberty Grove close to Concord West Train Station, the apartment was beautiful but it was very noisy. One day in our way to visit my sister in law we drove by North Rocks Road, they had an open house and we just felt in love with the suburb. It’s very quiet, there are possums, kookaburras, cockatoos, blue lizards, rosellas, frogs and many parks around us.

For us North Rocks is the place” to grow a family, our neighbours are great and a bonus there is a small industrial area in North Rocks just a walking distance from our home.”

Everything from Fireworks Foods is available on its website, but a visit to their retail showroom can be much more fun. Visit for tortillas and corn chips made and come also for an education in all things hot with a mind-blowing number of chilli sauces that are rated by their heat level, from mild to those that come with a health warning. This is the go-to place for cooking equipment for your next fiesta, including tortilla presses and warmers.

You can visit Fireworks Foods shopfront at 217 North Rocks Road, North Rocks.

By Marycarmen Aguilera
From Yucatan, Mexico
Serves 6

2-3kgs Pork Shoulder preferably bone in
50gms El Yucateco Achiote Paste
½ cup Orange juice
¼ cup White vinegar
¼ cup Lime juice
½ Teaspoon ground cumin
½ Teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
½ Teaspoon ground pepper
2 cloves
8 Garlic cloves crushed
¼ White sliced onion
2 tablespoons salt
24 Corn Tortillas Carmelita

Pickled Onions
2 Purple Onions thinly sliced
¼ cup Fresh orange Juice
¼ cup Fresh lime juice
1/8 Teaspoon dried Mexican Oregano
1/3 teaspoon sliced Habanero El Yucateco (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water

To Serve
½ Cup fresh coriander roughly chopped
4-6 Sliced lime
Salsa verde, roja (optional)

To Prepare the Pork Pibil:
Add the achiote paste, orange juice, vinegar, lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to the blender to make the achiote marinade.

Rub the pork all over with the achiote marinade (wearing plastic gloves the achiote can stain your hands), cover and let the marinade to work overnight or at least 2-4 hrs.

Place the pork inside the slow cooker with all the achiote’s marinade juices, top the meat with the crushed garlic and the sliced onion. Cook on low for 9-10hrs or on high for 6-8 hrs. Until the meat is soft and tender and it falls apart. Shred the meat with 2 forks, keep the meat warm inside the slow cooker.

To Prepare the Pickled Onions:
Place the sliced onions in a colander on top of a casserole.
Pour the hot water on top of the onions using the colander drain well the onions.
Transfer the onions to a clean serving bowl, add the orange and lime juices, salt, oregano and the sliced habanero.
Combine well and set aside.
You can keep the pickle onions in a jar in the fridge for 3-4 days you can use them in tacos, tostadas, sandwiches, hot dogs, etc.
You can prepare the pickled onions the night before or at least 1hr before, keep in the fridge until you are ready to use them.

To Prepare the Tacos:
Have all your ingredients ready on serving dishes on the table for the guests to make their own tacos: Pork Pibil, coriander, lime, pickle onions and salsa (optional). Warm the corn tortillas (following the package’s heating instructions), keep them warm in a tortilla warmer. Top the tortilla with the shredded pork, pickled onions, coriander, lime juice and more salsa.

Serving Suggestions: You can serve the Pork Pibil in a plate with beans and Mexican Rice on the side of the tacos.

Buen Provecho!

Marycarmen Aguilera

Marycarmen Aguilera