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.
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!
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