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.

queretaro quadratin.com.mx

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