Cilantro Seeds and So Forth

20190609_135856.jpgYesterday, taking a break from work, I sifted and sorted cilantro seeds saved from last year’s crop. Crop as in a clay pot in backyard.  A field, in my imagination.

They scent evoked yet another flavor memory; cilantro– or coriander– seeds are used in traditional Mexican candies that are placed inside piñatas. Colaciones in plural or colación singular, they are bumpy little white marble size balls. You bite into one and a small explosion of flavor occurs, sugary sweetness and cilantro seed, the flavor of Christmas, of posadas, of childhood.  It’s an acquired taste, mysterious, profound, causing wonder,  a “where am I?” sort of feeling.

We have these endless supplies of food memories in Mexico because food and flavors and their relationship to daily and celebratory life are countless. Strike up a conversation in Mexico about food and you will get advice as to where to eat, a story of a best family cook, a recipe, a food related anecdote.

Please join us this time ’round on  September 21-28, 2019 as we delve into Querétaro, San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City.

We love bridging your world with ours as pioneers in culinary travel to Mexico. True regional cooks, chefs– and always fairly paid. Our ethos since 1989.

Sign up at: office@culinaryadventuresinc.com

Querétaro Flavors

My food memories of Querétaro are of contrasting flavors. When someone made a dish from there, it was definitely not our Morelia food, nor even Michoacán. ¿De dónde es?– I would ask. “It’s from Querétaro.” Querétaro evoked an exotic place in my mind because of those flavors, and never matched up visually once I went there. It too was a colonial city like Morelia- they even had an aqueduct like us! But the flavors were theirs alone.

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A contrast of flavors: fresh with spicy, sweet with savory, rough with delicate. Cumin, oregano, cinnamon, clove, mixed into sauces and dishes unlike my region’s; near yet so far taste wise.

A gordita (little fat corn dough cake) is made in Querétaro with just a sauce of ancho and guajillo chiles, mixed into roughly ground corn masa, along with crumbled queso fresco, and some pork lard.  It is an example of that “contrast” style. Here is a recipe instead of just talking about it:

26oz roughly ground corn masa

4 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, deveined, soaked in hot water, drained

2 guajillo chiles, prepared as the anchos above

8oz good pork lard

12oz queso fresco, crumbled

salt to taste

Blend the chiles together in a blender until smooth. Mix into the corn dough with 3 tablespoons of the lard, 3.5oz of the cheese and salt to taste.  Form into little cakes about 3.5 inches in diameter, closing in a little of the remaining cheese into each one; flatten to about 3/8″ thick. Fry in the [remaining] hot lard until golden. Drain on recycled paper bag and serve. Re-heat on a comal or griddle.

Simply, flavorful and can be accompanied with a lime and olive oil dressed salad or jicama, carrots and cucumbers with lime juice and salt. This is soul food.

Join us on our upcoming trip to Mexico City-Querétaro-San Miguel de Allende, September 21-28, 2019, where we will delve into the local foods with chefs and cooks to guide us on another culinary adventure!

30+ plus years with the best of the best. True regional cooks, chefs– and always fairly paid. Our ethos since 1989.

Contact us at: office@culinaryadventuresinc.com

We are busy setting up our San Miguel de Allende trip…September 21-28, 2019!

San Pascual Bailón, Patron Saint of the kitchen.Going on a culinary adventure to Querétaro and San Miguel seems a culinary challenge for those who know little of our regional cuisines– be they foreigners or our own nationals! “What regional cuisine?” “Everything there [food-wise] is from other regions or countries.” Well, yes, there are many pleasant, tasty restaurants with varied cuisines in both cities, but the states of Querétaro and Guanajuato have their own distinctive dishes and sazón– seasoning– and we will be delving into these in our usual off-the-beaten track style.

Please join us- it is going to be another great trip to unexpected places as per our custom for over 30 years!

True regional cooks, chefs– and always fairly paid. Our ethos since 1989.

email office@culinaryadventuresinc.com  to hold your spot!

Our past trip. Our next trip.

Finally having “Instagrammed” our past Mexico City- Puebla-Tlaxcala trip, I am ready to begin ravings on our upcoming September trip. A “few” photos of this past trip here, too:

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This is an unusual business: one has a need to savour, relish and reflect on the most recent travel to Mexico.  The very interesting, complex people– both participants and regional presenters– the breadth and scope of flavors, ingredients, knowledge and history behind each food shared with us make for deep brooding, and heartwarming reminiscing.

But ….onward to the next culinary adventure!

September 2129, 2019

Mexico City-Querétaro-San Miguel de Allende

This trip is for food aficionados, starting and ending in Mexico City, where we will explore cultural and culinary delights, and onward to discover parts of colonial Mexico and local foods via Querétaro and mainly, San Miguel de Allende!

In San Miguel, a UNESCO Cultural heritage Site since 2008, we will discover Guanajuato and Querétaro’s little known delicious cuisines through our demos and classes in a private home, with chefs, and cooks. Beneath and beyond the foreign retirees and visiting nationals, a thriving local world of course, exists… And the setting is beautiful– colonial architecture, along with galleries, fine handicraft shops, traditional bakeries, and all sorts of bars, cafés and restaurants.

Plan to arrive at least a day early to join our group from the very first gathering in Mexico City on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 6pm.

The fee for this Culinary Adventure is $3750 double occupancy, $4000 single occupancy. As is custom these past 30+ years, our fee includes daily classes or demos, 8 nights hotel, at least two meals a day and all fees associated with the trip, excluding airfare. All classes include well-served tastings or meals– you do not go hungry on our trips!

A $400 deposit is required to reserve a spot on our trip, with the balance due June 12th, 2019.

[Please read our policies here https://culinaryadventuresinc.com/policies/]

Email Carmen now for questions and to sign up:

office@culinaryadventuresinc.com

¡Hasta pronto!

Hesitated to Sign Up? Great News!

It is 85F in Mexico City and high plateau: Join us last minute:

March 10-18, 2019 Mexico City/Puebla/Tlaxcala!

Due to a cancellation, we have a spot for you (1 double/2 people max)! First come, first serve basis.  Don’t say, “I wish I had “on March 19th!

email: office@culinaryadventuresinc.com  call:760-577-2810

***33 year pioneers in culinary travel with the best cooks of Mexico***

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SAN MIGUEL de ALLENDE, 2019

Dates for our San Miguel de Allende Trip are September 21st – 29th, 2019!

Sign up now as we are already filling our roster…

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Join us on an adventure to the high, fertile el Bajío (lowlands) region or heartland of Mexico, where vestiges of the colonial past stand as reminders of their Spanish domination both in San Miguel as in Querétaro.

From chef classes to in-home meals,  regional cooks to demos of local foods both pre-Colombian and post, along with our customary local cultural experiences, we will soak up the warmth of this region, with some time to roam and ramble throughout the charm of San Miguel… and of course, we include a taste of Mexico City. Contrasts- as always- on our culinary adventures!

¡Nos veremos en septiembre!

Email Carmen to sign up plus more information at: office@culinaryadventuresinc.com

 

A couple of updates…

Happy February from Culinary Adventures Inc!

As countdown to our upcoming March 10-18th trip to Mexico City, Puebla and Tlaxcala begins, (last places available) we wanted to share a couple of things:

-1st of all, we have added PayPal to our payment options- for upcoming and/or future trips, yay!

-Secondly, we are happy to announce that we were mentioned in El Restaurante Magazine– thank you El Restaurante!!

 Here is the link to the magazine; we are on page 4.

This week, come snow or rain, with the help of my revered San Pascual Bailón, patron saint of cooks- we will announce and open the formal signing up for our trip to San Miguel de Allende (and environs!) for this coming September! It too promises to be, well, yet another culinary adventure!

Hasta pronto,

Carmen Barnard Baca