Ah that sad lament, it might have been. Do not delay in signing up- August will be upon you, the stress of summer never eased by a visit to the region where your cup of coffee on this continent began. [Unless of course you are drinking coffee from its original continent. But go along with me here please, for the sake of lyricism.] Had the dubious Cortés not landed in Veracruz, I would not exist. I would not be here to recount the joys of watching Raquel Torres, as she explains with warmth and serenity, the delights of her regional food. You would not awaken one morning, summoned to gather rainy season mushrooms in a forest in Mexico. Think about that…
Then there is another despondent thought. It is Labor Day weekend. Your nose is assaulted by the smells of hotdogs and other American delights. But you are not drinking a form of chocolate which clarifies the Latin name of Theobroma cacao in one single sip. “Indeed- the food of the Gods, and I am partaking of it. I am deserving,” you would reflect. Chef Ricardo waxes poetics on the complex flavors of Oaxacan cuisine and life is forever altered. Your tastebuds and your soul revived and uplifted, stamped upon your memory in a manner that would carry you forth in other days that come when life is not so easy or fun…
Encountering foods from other parts, meeting those who prepare their food with care and kindness, is perhaps one of the most pleasant things we humans can do, putting aside all prejudices and differences. What each region does with the foods it produces is a work of art, a majesty of human nature that redeems us from our destructive side.
Allow us to share the grace and beauty of our country. It will revive and uplift you; you will cast a kinder eye on your own part of the world, finding local peace and pleasure because you saw it in another place, different from yours. Don’t regret it and find yourself thinking, “oh, it might have been!”