All posts filed under: Food History

Discover Mexico’s Gastronomic History

I’m trhiled to share with you my new projects: Pass the Chipotle Podcast and SABOR! This is Mexican Food Magazine. Mexico’s  national  cuisine  is  an  infinite  source  of  inspiration,  knowledge  and  pleasure. Indeed, I believe there’s no better way to explore a culture than through its gastronomic history. Through SABOR! and its sister project, the Pass the Chipotle podcast, I hope to share my findings – a new approach to Mexico’s food and culinary traditions – with you. Thank you for joining me on this journey! SABOR! This is Mexican Food is a quarterly digital magazine dedicated to the exploration of Mexico’s gastronomic heritage and traditions. Each issue of the magazine offers easy to follow recipes that are delicious and unique, accompanied with great photography and in-depth articles about Mexico’s gastronomic traditions, SABOR! This is Mexican Food celebrates Mexico’s amazing culinary heritage. Click bellow to purchase the magazine. Pass the Chipotle is a delicious and thought provoking bi-weekly podcast discovering Mexico’s gastronomic history. Presented by me, Rocio Carvajal Food researcher, cook and author. It will …

Transmutation of food. Thoughts on Crenn and Redzepi

I often find myself reflecting on what’s behind and beyond food as a cultural process of creation and consumption, beyond our place in the food chain. We constantly disrupt the natural states of raw, fresh, dry and rotten to transform food and ingredients to every limit imaginable. For the past days I’ve been doing some cross-reference reading between Dominique Crenn’s Metamorphosis of taste and UK WIRED’s article: Noma’s taste of Tomorrow, without any deliberate effort I saw many connections between the way both Redzepi’s and Crenn’s approach and relationship of food. For neither becoming a celebrity chef was a goal in their lives, like most true geniuses they simply navigated towards it [food] as a means to manifest their creativity. For Redzepi the transmutation of the environment and its elements isn’t limited for their edible qualities or their natural physical state (s) -but for both-cheefs creative freedom is a very structured and deliberate exercise of perpetual experimentation. The self-imposed restrictions -for the case of NOMA– to only work with regional ingredients forces the team to …

Why the world will end without sauces (not really) but almost

Runny, thick, seeded, spiced, creamy, cold or hot, sauces are almost universally present throughout different cuisines around the world. Contrary to what we might believe, they’re not the sole invention of enlightened Parisian chefs of yesteryear, sauces have been around basically been around, basically since prehistoric hunters noticed that the juices and fats dripping from roasting meats was not only delicious but great for dipping their meat in it before eating. To deliberately prepare a sauce (not just the saving of juices) requires very little utensils, a few pots, perhaps grinding stones and something to stir them are enough. Sauces have the primary function to add moist to an otherwise dry dish by repurposing ingredients from the cooking process and/or providing extra seasoning and texture. Here’s a rather liberal account of historical sauce-making traditions.   Ancient pots. Archaeological evidence shows that Saxons in Britain used to season their rich stews, usually prepared with veal or wild boars, lamb or beef with herbs such as sage, nettle, mint, melissa and wild garlic.     Roman cooking. …

Tortellini, edible pockets of goodness

Many have been the solutions we’ve given to two basic needs: prepare food ahead and transp orting it. Convenience, portability and efficiency have determined the evolution of the solutions.   Nomadic cultures have very efficient and simple ways to eat on the go without interrupting their journeys, typically involving dried or cured meats, transporting dried fruits, roots or nuts. Rotting, smoking, dehydrating, pickling and baking are common methods to preserve meats, fruits and vegetables. Some great solutions for transporting involve edible pockets: Pasties, dumplings, empanadas, pies, vareniki, calzone… The vessel always responds (at least historically) to the needs of the eater: How far ahead in the day will the food be eaten Travel conditions Can it be eaten cold Will it be the only meal Will it require cutlery… and here is when the refinement of each dish comes into play.  We can easily picture farmers or miners happily munching a pasty – pastry and all– at this point the beauty of the food is irrelevant as long as the content is safely preserved and the pastry merely complements …

The Elegant Economist

By Eliza Acton In previous posts I’ve reviewed other titles of the penguin series: Great Food, one by M.F.K. Fisher and Isabella Beeton. Eliza Acton unintendedly ended up in a very controversial affair when a certain Mrs. Beeton -you might have heard of- The latter decided to compile a mammoth of a book aiming to help young housewives like herself to have a detailed all in one reference to master the art of managing a household. Commendable as this task was, Beeton –deliberately?- failed at one tiny detail: provide references of the many sources she consulted to compile her works. You can read my review on The Real Mrs Beeton here, this is one of the few books that has been written about her. In The Elegant Economist we get a glimpse into the writing style and overall approach Acton had on cookery. Although it is customary for us nowadays to find shelves filled cookery books that are too often written by women, this certainly wasn’t the case in 1845 when Acton’s Modern Cookery was …