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My Reflections about Gastronomy – La Gourmandista

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Categoría: My Reflections about Gastronomy

On the Original Caesar’s Salad, Homemade

As a child, I used to when the Maître D’ would to come to our table and do something. I didn’t mind if he prepared a salad, a flambéed dessert, or if he only came to cut the piece of meat my parents had had asked for and would share. My curiosity was enormous, and I must say I thought it was delightful. Of course, at each restaurant I would have my own personal favorite. There was the place where I liked to ask for strawberries jubilée. Somewhere else, my choice would always be a zabaglione. Nonetheless, the Caesar’s Salad might have been the ultimate favorite. It was something we never prepared at home. It was something simple, yet for me it was a show in itself. As a matter of fact, I remember my father once told me it wasn’t but lettuce with cheese and a few slices of bread.

It called my attention that I could find it here and there nation-wide, as well as abroad. Nevertheless, there was something inside me that complained, for it was never prepared just as we did it back home. Someone -which might have been my mother- told me it had been invented in Mexico.

In time, I was able to confirm the information, and even learned that it wasn’t just Mexican, but from Tijuana. As I had never been there before, I hadn’t been able to taste the original version. Now, last Spring, I was able to go there to visit my stepdaughter. She made it our first stop in the trip. It was like traveling in time.

Once you get there, the charriot in charge of traveling from one table to the next is right in front of you, and it’s loaded up with ingredients to prepare the famous salad. Here, the main difference with my experience as a child is that everyone at the restaurant knows how to prepare it as per the house’s recipe. Evidently, I asked for mine. I confirmed that my ingredient list is correct. I noted some slight differences. For example: I don’t add garlic to mine. I always put yellow mustard instead of Dijon. I use the whole egg, whereas at the restaurant they only use the yolk. I do add an anchovy filet and I asked why they don’t. I was reassured that the Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce has anchovy and therefore it isn’t necessary. I admit that the result is quite similar, but I guess that if I want to imitate the original dish, I must slightly modify my recipe. Among us friends, I will change the type of mustard immediately, for I like more the French rather than the English sauce.

Once we were served our salads, I asked the garçon which of all legends regarding the creation of the salad was the one considered as the real one by the organization. He honestly didn’t give me a straight answer. However, he did confirm though the “official legends”. But before I go into the nitty gritty of the gossip, let me tell you a bit about the history of the man who allegedly created it, and obviously, the gossip.

The Caesar’s restaurant is located on Avenida Revolución, in downtown Tijuana, Baja California. It’s actually no that far from the Mexico-United States international border. The place was founded by an Italian-born restaurateur named Cesare Cardini. He had originally migrated to California from Italy, but he then decided to press his luck in the Mexican border city as he was escaping from the alcohol prohibition in place in the United States in 1919 after the 18th Amendement made to the Constitution became effective. Said law prohibited all alcoholic beverages from being consumed, thus giving the city of Tijuana the chance to live years of glory and abundance. It also became a place that the American society cherished, as everyone started to cross the border to go party.

Evidently, then, just as now, festivities for the 4th of July are an opportunity for all Americans to celebrate, and obviously, crossing the border when not even a beer was allowed would be mandatory if one would want to party with the refreshing beverage in one’s hand. Therefore, Mr. Cardini, having his restaurant open and continuously full, started to run out of ingredients. Among one of the popular legends, it is said that a group of aviation officials arrived, and having nothing to offer them, Alex Cardini, brother of Cesare, and who was in charge of the kitchen the day in question, mixed the ingredients that today make up the famous salad and the rest is history.

Another legend says, that yes, there wasn’t much to offer guests, and the idea came from one of the servers, also from Italian origin, and whose mother used to prepare said recipe back home in Italy. As they saw everything was available in the pantry, the Cardini family prepared it, and then appropriated themselves with the recipe.

The last one of the stories was in fact the one our server told us. I honestly felt it was even more fascinating, as when I asked if the legend was true, he immediately started to narrate it and I didn’t stop him. We just listened and sat there with our mouths wide open. It is said that among the rich and famous who visited the Caesar’s restaurant there was a lady who always came by the restaurant and ordered it. She used to like it so much, she would go to different places around the World and ask for the dish to be reproduced. Her name: Wallis Simpson. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the same lady who was originally from Baltimore, Maryland and who turned upside down the English Crown… to the point that the new king, Charles III, sits at the throne because of the marriage of Mrs. Simpson and the king who abdicated the crown, Edward VIII, his great uncle.

See? I told you the gossip was good. Anyhow, God knows which one of them all is the true story of the Caesar Salad. Maybe in each one of them there is a little bit of truth. The best of it is that even when the place had fallen into ruins, Javier Plascencia, a chef originally from Tijuana and a great representative of the region and its cuisine, together with this family, who’s in charge of a restaurant group, decided to rescue the place that today vibrates with the rest of the city and carries on reminding us that THIS IS the place of birth of one of the most emblematic dishes of the Western Cuisines of the 20th Century.

Lastly, I read somewhere that the Cardini family, upon their return to the United States had sold the recipe to make a bottled version of the dressing. And yes, curiosity killed the cat and I looked for it at a local supermarket. I found it, we tested it, and the consensus at home was that we prefer the homemade version or that of the restaurant.

Here, I share with you the brief video I recorded that day. Then, you’ll find the recipe I usually make at home whenever I can’t go all the way to Tijuana.

The Recipe

Homey Caesar Salad

The classical dish served at the Caesar's Hotel in Tijuana in a version that my mind recreated from memories of my childhood and restaurants from the 80s in Mexico City.

  • small pot
  • small bowls
  • Salad bowl
  • Fork
  • Whisk
  • Kitchen Tongs
  • cheese grater
  • 2-3 leaves lettuce (romaine)
  • 1 filet anchovy
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ lime (the juice)
  • 3 TBSP. olive oil (extra virgin (approximately))
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano (finely grated)
  • 2-3 bread croutons
  1. In a small pot with water, add an egg and let it come to a boil. As soon as the boiling starts, leave for one minute and bring it out. Submerge the egg in iced water to stop the cooking. (By the way, you may also use the raw egg, but be careful. Also, if you don't like raw eggs, this is a good option to have it partially cooked).

  2. In a big bowl or a salad bowl, and with the help of a fork, mash up the anchovy filet.

  3. Add the Worcestershire sauce, the lime juice, the Dijon mustard, and a teaspoon cheese.

  4. Emulsify all ingredients with the whisk.

  5. Add the soft-boiled egg and then emulsify with the olive oil using the whisk by adding the oil as necessary. The recipe asks for three tablespoons, but you may use a little more if you'd rather. Verify seasoning with salt and pepper.

  6. Roll the lettuce leaves around the salad bowl to dress them well.

  7. Serve in a plate and finish with the amount of Parmigiano Reggiano you desire. Add a few croutons.

  8. If you want to prepare the croutons yourself, a very easy way I like is to cut a few slices of baguette, smear some butter and garlic salt, or some salted garlic paste, sprinkle some grated Parmigiano Reggiano and toast them a little in the toaster oven. They come out delicious and it takes 2 minutes.

Salad
of the World
Caesar, classic, Salad

Lastly, if you go to Tijuana, don’t miss the Caesar’s. Gon and enjoy a Caesar’s Salad. The map to get there is below. Save it!

Good Cooking is Also Homemade

All human beings have to eat, to feed ourselves, to survive, and yes, some of us also do it for mere pleasure. In fact, in today’s society, professional chefs have not only found a place of privilege and admiration, but even rock-n-roll kind of fame, which might make one think that the home kitchen has also earned a special place in the family. However, if we look under the microscope, it does not seem to be the norm.

If we look at the World’s greatest chefs, we can see many of the very famous ones, such as the English Gordon Ramsey, the Spanish Ferran Adriá or even the American Julia Child, who is constantly referred to as “the woman who presented French gastronomy to her compatriots” enjoy admiration and in some cases, one could even think they are idolized by their colleagues as well. In Mexico, a little over a decade ago, names such as Enrique Olvera began to resonate, as he dared to reinterpret traditional cuisine and modernize it enough to receive international accolades.

Anniversaries, holidays, birthdays, and celebrations of all kinds are a good excuse to look for a reservation if not possible in one at the dining room of any of these ‘kitchen cracks’, somewhere better suited to each person’s budget. Just see how impossible it is to get a table for Christmas parties or Valentine’s Day in many of the big cities.

And it is no secret that COVID19 made us all put these gatherings on pause for God knows how long, and that with every truce the viral waves of contagion we get, we all go out like headless chicken to the first restaurant we can. And here is where things might come a bit confusing because, even when this same situation has made us all return to our cocoons and for months we have had to feed ourselves and not go out and het it, homemade food cannot find once more that special place it had when we were young. Remember the days when the family Sunday meal took place at the grandparents’ house. We didn’t feel forced, we would rather look forward to seeing what our Nana or Auntie prepared, the wine they would serve with the taco feast or the huge paella platter. We all brought something Mom had made and proudly shared it with the family. But the mothers of my generation seem to no longer be like that. Or maybe there are just a few of them out there.

Now, I wasn’t like that either. Cooking was a weekend recreational activity. From Monday to Friday, we had a quick breakfast at home, lunch was provided by the cafeteria service of the company where we worked, and for dinner there were options that included takeout, going out to a restaurant or making a sandwich or a couple quesadillas to eat quickly in front of the TV. And life went on like this week after week. Over time and after my interest in changing professions to become a cook, the dishes I serve have become more and more homemade. Everything I cook now is from scratch and from whole ingredients mainly sourced from agricultural sources. I try not to use ultra processed products that my grandmother would not have had in her cupboard, much less in her refrigerator.

I went back to work and it seemed that the menus at home would obviously suffer. Therefore, I decided to cook on Sundays and carry on without sacrificing the quality of our dishes; much less the opportunity to continue the adventure of trying new flavors and recipes that now, due to work, I would be able to prepare.

Friends and acquaintances everywhere think that although it is a luxury to eat homemade, for them it is not worth taking the time -because you have to look for it. One has always something else to spend time on. Others think that I surely do because of my work rather than for my interest in good cooking or the gastronomic hedonism I have spread my family with. Few are those who really understand it around me. On the contrary, most only want to obtain the finished product, saying they are willing to pay for the preparations.

I find that this situation is experienced by many who, like me, also work in some area of the culinary arts or whose families enjoy good food and in the desire to share such interest with others others, they also share their know-how and even build businesses upon that know-how. Like them, I also share what I have learned, I have small gatherings with friends who have become family, hoping their families enjoy that incomparable homey flavor which have built our life stories, and thus, perhaps, one day, they’ll also miss it and try to serve these week-end meals with their loved ones wherever they decide to set their roots.

Enjoying Ice-Cream at Home

Today’s text isn’t completely mine. I worked on it with a classmate from my Master’s. However, this last version of it is more my style, more mine. Ande even when it has a lot of what I worked with Ana, I made it more my own.

Having a scoop of ice-cream while waking in the park may be an image of any given Sunday. I even close my eyes and remember my high school sweetheart and how we went every Friday afternoon to have one at a local soda shop. Oh, this was way before the Condesa district in Mexico City was hip.

Going to these places to eat artisanal ice-cream when my grand parents were young was very common. Freezers were not as common as they now are. This makes enjoying ice-cream, even when not artisanal, something we can do whenever we fancy. For Ana and myself, serving a scoop of ice-cream is the perfect moment to be paired with something on Netflix.

About the Packaging that Allowed Us to Take Ice-Cream Home

Ice-cream has been around us for more than 4,000 years, but their packaging only 90 or so. According to the specialists in ice-cream science, the packages originally used were squared. This made it easier to ‘box’ the product in the form of a cube. Then, in the 90s, cylindrical tubs became quite popular, for it allowed consumers to scoop it out more easily7. Currently, we can find both types of packaging. Each brand decides what suits them best.  

However, the form of the ice-cream’s container has nowadays evolved once more. It is something ice-cream marketers have chosen to call sqround. I say it’s something not quite square or round, but something in-between. And even when the main material is cardboard, it’s got a special kind of waxed coating that makes it moist-resistant.

Also, let us not forget about sustainability, and how this has made manufacturers re-asses the materials they use in their packaging. For example, Ben & Jerry ‘s states it’s using 40% less plastic, making the tubs more recyclable. Other companies, such as Haagen Dazs, have planned to have fully recyclable or reusable containers by 2025.

How to Enjoy Ice-Cream at Home

There are many ways one can eat ice-cream at home. Some even have rituals or be personal obsessions. For examples, ice-cream can be “pimped” with a variety of ingredients such as granola, fruits, cookies, chocolate hips, dry fruits, sweet coulis or liquors. They may be scooped and served in sugar or waffle cones, in a glass tulip, or even in a small plastic bowl. It will all depend on the occasion and the age of the consumer. Some even prefer to enjoy them directly from the container with a metal spoon.

My Personal Ranking in Terms of Flavor and Brands

Some rank vanilla as the most popular flavor of 2021. Others say it’s chocolate. I’ll stick to vanilla as the winner. But other flavors I enjoy are: (Belgian) Chocolate, Matcha, Lime Sorbet, and Red Fruits Sorbet.

In terms of brands… well, many say Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen Dazs, Baskin Robins and Magnum Bars. Since I look at the amount of sugar each option has, I frequently like buying Bryers’ Smart Carb.

From Being Omnivores to Becoming Vegans

If I look back a few years ago, I remember having known someone who turned into an organic raw vegan diet. For me, back then, the term was eccentric and even without any logic. What was that about? Eating only vegetables that were raw and only organic? Yes, I admit, cow’s mil has never been my favorite option for the morning’s cereal, but I didn’t imagine either choosing a ‘plant-based’ hamburger pattie.

Under the banner of climate change, animal suffering, or overexploitation of the sea -just to mention a few causes-, our dishes have reached an incredible amount of options that just ten years ago that those of us who try to have a balanced diet would have imagined without leaving behind animal-based products. And, if Alain Passard was the first accoladed chef to offer a fully vegetarian menu at his well-reputed restaurant Arpège 20 years ago, the eco is just starting to be mainstreamed in spruced up places such as Eleven Madison Park in New York, whose latest menu is 100% vegan or Normade Veggie in the city of Tijuana in Baja, Mexico, a place which also wants to have a smaller environmental footprint and therefore serves everything in banana leaves; a marvelous practice that many could adopt and which is not exclusive for ‘plantivores’.

The U.S. has always been the most popular neck of the woods for hamburgers, BBQ, and grilled steaks. However, in April, 2021, Sentient Media, a San Francisco-based journalism NGO in the United States of America, in its effort to create transparency around the role of animals in our daily life reported finding a decrease in the country’s “meat eaters” from 85% in 2019 to 71% in 2021. And even when the number of vegans is still unknown, they did find a 300% increase in the population following this regime between 2004 and 2019.

Evidently, this trend is not exclusive of the United States. Every country has its own rhythm. However, it is nowadays undeniable that there is more interest to adopt lifestyles favoring vegetables as well as plant-based proteins. Also, in-between steps such as the flexitarian diet have arisen. The objective of this regime is to favor vegetables, but be flexible, and every so often be open to eating fish, eggs, and some dairy and not feel guilty about it.

My Preferred Washingtonian Food Journalism

On my Current Food Readings

The United States of America has plenty of Culinary Journalism options. When I first arrived to the capital city suburbs of this country, I evidently became interested in getting to know the culinary arena of my new surroundings. Many advised that there were plenty of restaurants I shouldn’t miss. Thus, I found several publications, but I became an avid reader of the “Food” section of the local paper, The Washington Post.

I’ve always thought that having such a newspaper as the local one is being lucky. At least in my country, this newspaper is frequently quoted everywhere as a true source of information. Little by little I started reading the editorials and opinion columns, such as an ode to the egg written by the famous French chef, Jacques Pépin. As a matter of fact, I think it was with this piece that I became a regular reader of the paper, of their restaurant reviews and critiques of the region’s restaurants. They even have a recipe database that is updated every day by chefs and food writers.

And even when I may or may not agree with the opinions of journalists and critics on one or another restaurant, or like the newsletter’s recipe of the day I get in my email inbox, I am sure that they are constantly looking for the most relevant and all the novelties around here.

Why am I sharing this?

Last September I started my Master’s in Communications and Gastronomy Journalism. It’s a program completely online that allows me to grow and share with professors and peers all around the Globe. Therefore, as 2022 starts, I will also begin to post all the texts I’ve been producing with them in my journey as a student. As always, they’ll be available in the three languages of La Gourmandista. So, here’s the first one. I hope you like the ones that will come out in time. Surely, I’ll be reflecting on new and unimaginable things -at least for me, and until now.

Dark Kitchens: Restaurants with No Dining Room?

It’s no surprise that the COVID19 pandemic has caused everyone everywhere jump through hoops to save our businesses and jobs. It is no secret either that the Restaurant industry, like many others, has had to literally re-invent itself.

I remember that at the beginning of the shelter-in-place, someone invited me to see a roundtable hosted by Mexico’s Cámara Nacional de la Industria Restaurantera (the National Chamber of the Restaurant Industry). Also, I virtually attended talks in both the United States as well as in France, and everyone discussed the same. How could we re-open restaurants making our guests feel safe and that they can rely on us? The truth was that NO ONE had any idea on how or when we would be able to do so. The only thing we knew is that it had to be soon, for thousands, if not millions depended on these jobs.

18 months have elapsed since many os us have either voluntarily, because of fear, or even due to government’s mandate, went into lockdown. I remember having watched a video on social media of a little girl crying nonstop because she didn’t understand why her favorite fast food eateries were closed. And since then, nothing has been the same, at least up to the moment I sit down to write these lines. Nonetheless, we are still hopeful that in some way everything “we’ll go back to normal”. There are some places where we even see people already getting together like we all used to.

Back then, no one knew nowhere knew what would happen in the restaurant sphere. There were governments which gave very important financial backing to save and give support to as many as possible. In other places, it was the community as well as themselves as entrepreneurs, chefs and servers put all their creativity to be able to stay afloat. We already know that the best moments for growth are when facing crises.

And that was when people started to hear about and approach dark kitchens for those times when fatigue, lack of time, or even little cravings allow us all to enjoy something delicious without having to be cooking for hours. But, what are they? Where are they? Is this something new? So many questions, but I’ll try to briefly respond and maybe we will all take a chance and approach one we had no idea was near us.

When and Where did Dark Kitchens Come About?

Well, dark kitchens aren’t new at all. But let us start at the beginning, because a dark kitchen may or may not be a dark restaurant, and one specific dark kitchen may produce for one or several brands and merely be a place where production and provision takes place.

If we go back in history, delivery services began in the 19th Century in Campania, Italy when King Umberto and his wife ordered pizza delivery. Nonetheless, we can be sure that the business model has evolved in a very important way.

Now let us fast forward to 2015 when the term ghost kitchen appeared for the very first time in an article published in New York City and talking about how digital platforms such as Seamless or GrubHub and restaurateurs were offering services using different restaurant names or brands while cooking their dishes in production kitchens instead of restaurants with dining rooms.

Regarding Dark Kitchens and COVID19

Given that restaurants closed in March, 2020 and that fixed costs would not stop, chefs, restaurateurs, and pretty much all entrepreneurs in the industry were asking themselves if they would be able to keep on going with home delivery and curbside pickup. Hence, many of them started using their restaurant kitchens and production kitchens. Their dining rooms became assembly lines of packages handed out to delivery services or even to part of their staff who were delivering themselves, or even UberEats and the above mentioned app participants.

La Cocina del Huiza

Alan Morales is a young chef I met not long ago in one of the many trainings offered online in the middle of this mess. We were both looking to make the most of the pandemic times and carry on learning. We started following each other on social media and I found we had more than one common interest. So, I talked recently with him about his new project: La Cocina del Huiza. Given that Alan had planned to open a restaurant at the beginning of 2020 and COVID19 made him put a halt to the opening until further notice, he decided to be an entrepreneur of a different project; one which was more adequate to the times. He therefore planned a dark kitchen that would operate from the place he hopes in the future becomes the restaurant he’s been promising for his clientele of a year and a half.

But let me give you a little bit of context. Alan is a young cook with Type 1 Diabetes. So, it is no secret that He must be more careful than the rest of us and avoid at all cost catch the dreaded SARS-CoV2 virus. Therefore, he decided that it would be best for him to share through La Cocina del Huiza a local cuisine that is almost farm to table, or in this case, ranch to table. With the chef’s special touch, he shares traditional foods of Mexico promising we won’t have to sell our soul to make ends meet.

It sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it? And if many of the most luxurious restaurants world-wide brag about their farm to table, La Cocina del Huiza is not that far off, for Alan has a very close relationship with producers, farmers, and many of his vendors provisioning to make posole, chiles en nogada and many more seasonal delicacies.

Placing your order is no difficult task either. You must contact him via Insta. His handle is @yosoyares. Follow him and be on the lookout. It is in his TL where he will share menus, dates, and availability. To place your order you’ll just need to DM for availability and confirm you’re within their scope of delivery, which is limited because it is the team behind La Cocina del Huiza in person doing the deliveries to eliminate third parties that most probably will make the food more expensive.

On top of all, be sure that you’ll learn something about the dish you get to taste. Alan puts all of his effort not only to cook great food, but also to share knowledge. Doesn’t it sound appealing already? I think, this one, at least for now, is actually a restaurant without a dining room.

One last recommendation if you ask for delivery from a dark kitchen: Verify they comply with all the licensing and health requirements to operate.

Huitlacoche: The Funky Corn

Let’s start at the very beginning… Dear Reader, Do You know what in the name of God huitlacoche or cuitlacoche is? Hey fellow Mexicans -yes, I’m seeing your faces, calm down, I know you do. But the rest of the World says ‘huit-la-WHAT?’ HUITLACOCHE, sir, CUITLACOCHE, ma’am. Let me make it easier and suggest this: weet-la-COH-cheh. That may have been easier. Now, it doesn’t matter if it is spelled one way or the other, they are both the same thing. Sounds like a tongue twister, what can I say? The common name in English is corn smut. In French it’s charbon du maïs. Both terms mean ‘burnt’, and its scientific name ustilago maydis has the Latin root ustilare that means ‘burn’ as well.

But, what is it, exactly? Well, it’s a parasite fungus that infects the corn cob when the spore sprouts. And notwithstanding how the entire World has snubbed it, I cannot affirm the Aztecs ate it since forever. As a matter of fact, there is no record that would allow us to unsolve the mystery. Nonetheless, we have treated is as a delicacy, for agriculture everywhere has used their best chemicals to avoid it from invading the crops, and in my country when farmers find it in their parcels, they get thrilled at least since my Grandmother was young. That is as far as my records go.

The Mexican Truffle -as some have named it- goes from gray to black in color. To the naked eye, one can assume it’s a mushroom. It’s soft and delicate; fragile, but with a pungent flavor and great personality, just like the black truffle. They also remind us that they come from the soil; you can even taste it. Lastly, they announce, just in case one hadn’t already figured it out, that they are part of the fungi kingdom, for they have flavors that might resemble shiitakes.

And yes, I know it sounds weird, and maybe not all Mexicans like it, but for me, this ‘gift from the gods’ has been one of the products that I have missed having access to as I’ve lived abroad. It is one of the flavors that built my palate from a very young age. My mom wasn’t a big negotiator with me when at the dinner table. She used to say she was no restaurateur. I had to eat everything I would find in my plate, so I not only learned how to eat them, but I fell in love with them.

With this in mind, I cannot stress enough what I felt when I saw fresh huitlacoche available in the United States. I confess not having searched much, but one day Facebook presented me with one of those ads one finds after the app has profiled you well. I checked on the prices and was astonished. It was SO expensive, I let it pass. Then I started craving for it, and since I already knew it could be found, I started doing some more research trying to find something LESS expensive.

At the same time, I started educating myself to know about the benefits of huitlacoche. I had no idea it was so good. It turns out the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) -the National Research Center in Mexico- has carried out studies on huitlacoche and I learned that the fungus’ genome sequence is available since 2006. Also, among the information I thought relevant was that huitlacoche is rich in antioxidants, it’s got plenty of essential amino acids such as tryptophan and lysine, and it’s high in fiber and minerals. Also, it’s got up to 16.4% protein.

Among the therapeutic features of this fungus, we know it helps the body absorb calcium, it strengthens the immune system, helps forming collagen and it could even contribute in lowering blood sugar levels and lower the risk of developing chronic or degenerative ailments such as cancer and/or cardiovascular illnesses.

In summary, if corn is gold for Meso-Americans, huitlacoche is black gold, because talking dollars and sense, the market price locally in Mexico can be 200% above that of healthy corn. In other latitudes, this can be even greater. Let me just share that my first finding was above US$60.00 per pound (454 g). You do the math.

This Summer we decided to stay once more at home. Our resting moment will be local in a few days’ time and our food will be homemade, so pampering us with this delicacy was marvelous. The peak season of huitlacoche is July and August. First, we prepared some quesadillas; later we did crêpes in a poblano pepper sauce for this ingredient has adapted itself from the simplest foods to the fanciest ones. It’s incredibly versatile, should one learn to use it wisely and delicately. It’s only disadvantage, I think, it’s that its shelf life is way too short. 2 or 3 days only. So, at home, we forgot about being courteous. We shared with people who we know like it just as we do, and with others whose hearts got conquered, and it seemed their eyeballs were going to pop out. I reflect on these lines, dear Friends, and rectify. It wasn’t just pampering, you know. I was emotional; I cried.

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