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Caarina

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    Northwest Illinois
  1. Caarina

    Huitlacoche

    It grows right on the ears. The closeup photo is the deformed ear with the fungus right on it. These were all the photos I had. It was a Monday night and it was a quick trip to the corn field and totally unplanned. I was lucky I had my camera in the purse to capture it at all. C
  2. Caarina

    Huitlacoche

    After about a year of living in the Midwest again, I decided to alert my lovely friend Donna, who runs the CSA here to keep a lookout for huitlacoche. The last time I asked folks around here for the stuff, they looked at me like I had 3 heads. This time, Donna looked at me strangely, but said she would let me know. Sure enough, a few weeks ago, she said she saw some in her fields, and we could go pick some. What a treat! I'm not the best photographer in the world so the photos aren't top notch, but we had fun. Enjoy. The hunt...yes, I got quite a few questions, like Mom... what are we d
  3. Ah.... Susana Trilling, and American chef based in Oaxaca uses marjoram as a substitute for Oaxacan oregano in her dishes. The culinary nerd in me makes me reach for my "Diccionario Enciclopedico de Gastronomia mexicana" by Ricardo Munoz Zurita to obtain more information on this important ingredient. I will be doing a rough translation of the entry in this document. "Oregano Aromatic herb in the Origanum (Labiadas) and Lippia (Verbenaceas) families in which there exist 4 varieties of edible herbs. Origanum family: O majorana L. sometimes called marjoram is a native of North Africa and SE A
  4. El Naranjo is not being run by the previous chef, Iliana de la Vega. It was sold as of 3/1/07. Iliana is currently living in the US, and she is planning out her next venture. I am on her email mailing list, and I will be sure to post updates on her here for all once I hear
  5. Cow's stomachs are highly appreciated in Ecuador in the dish, Guatita. The stomach is served with potatoes in a peanut sauce and is a classic dish of Ecuadorean cocina criolla. All the innards are used throughout the Andes. I looked in several cookbooks I have from Ecuador and Peru, and I'm seeing recipes for grilled udder, crepes with brains etc. There's also a big appreciation for things like blood sausage etc for the same reasons. In the meat section of Maria Baez Kijac's book on South American Cuisine, there is a whole section on variety meats. People call Mexico the land of no waste
  6. John, This has been wonderful. I am truly enjoying this culinary journey. If you have the chance to pick up the following books, they are very helpful and can help you reproduce some of those delicious recipes at home. The Art of South American Cooking by Felipe Rojas Lombardi (Peruvian) and The South American Table by Maria Baez Kijac (Ecuadorean) YUM. Caarina
  7. Ah... Cuy asado... when in Rome? right! The delights of chicha. I didn't try the corn kind, but I did try the yuca variety in eastern Ecuador. Not something I would voluntarily try again, but I would definately try the corn variety, since I love atoles and other corn based drinks from Mexico. Tomate de arbol is a delicious fruit. In Ecuador it's used in table sauces with aji, garlic and cilantro. YUM. I occasionally find it in my supermarket down the street here in the US. My favorite lunch was cream of spinach soup, with the tomate de arbol salsa topped with popcorn! (regular kind, n
  8. John, This is awesome! I am really enjoying your commentary and photographs. The photographs of the quinoa fields were beautiful! I can't wait for additional installments! C
  9. Can't wait to hear more! I lived in Ecuador back in the early 1990s, and the food in the Andes is definately under appreciated. C
  10. I just received an email from Iliana de la Vega yesterday. El Naranjo has been sold, and it is definate that they will not reopen. If someone does reopen in the same location, it is not Chef Iliana. Caarina
  11. Good to have some different recommendations for Cuernavaca. We went by India Bonita and Casa Hidalgo, but didn't make it in... I'd love to make it back there again for an extended weekend getaway...
  12. For those of you interested in Yucatecan Cuisine, Rick Bayless' TV series has been featuring the cuisine of the Yucatan for the past few episodes. Check it out on your local PBS station.
  13. Have fun! Enjoy the beautiful state of Veracruz. Xalapa/Xico/Coatepec are very special to me. Last minute tips --Seek out opportunities to hear/see danzon and son jarocho. --Try not to overschedule yourself--get some R&R in there too. Please post upon your return and I hope you have a lovely time. Caarina
  14. Caarina

    Oaxaca Dining

    In the first class buses, standard suitcases are usually stowed in the baggage compartment. In my experience, I have been given a baggage claim ticket to claim the bag at your arrival destination.
  15. Note on recaudos. I just picked up my Diccionario de la cocina mexicana by Ricardo Munoz Zurita. I will do a rough translation of his definition as he is much more elegant about his description of recaudos than I am: Recado (also spelled Recaudo): Name of a diverse family of spices which are ground together and added to a dish or stew. They are an indispensible part of Yucatecan cuisine. There are different types of recaudos, like red, black or all purpose. A few decades ago, it was common to see recaudo stores that sold different types of spice mixtures. The mayans call recaudo "kuux."
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