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October 2012

Eating Veracruz in Mexico City

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Whenever I'm in Mexico City, I hint to my friends that it sure would be grand to make a stop at La Fonda del Recuerdo. They have good food from the region and lots of singing and booze and I always end up having a good time. 

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At my age, this is what I want a party to look like. A huge platter of oysters and seafood and lots of beer to wash it all down. 

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The music of the region is pretty wonderful too. Musica Jarocha has influences of the Caribbean, Africa, Spain and of course the rest of Mexico. The players often sing a call and response type of music and the harp is a monster, keeping the beat and the harmony on the long strings with the left hand, and the melody and improve is on the upper, smaller strings with the right hand. I can't get enough of it. 


Sea Salt from the Yucatan

In April of 2011 I made my way down to the Yucatan with my friends Yunuen and Gabriel. The goal was to eat well, relax, get a tan and drink beer on the beach but inevitably we were drawn to the mercados and eventually to the salt marshes. 

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The locals have been collecting the salt in the same way for generations. 

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There were a few collectives in different parts of the coast but we found a group of women who seemed to do the best job and we've now imported salt from them. 

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I asked Yunuen if you were supposed to crush the salt in a salt grinder and she just laughed. No one in Mexico uses a salt grinder! You just throw an appropriate size chunk of salt into your pot and it dissolves quickly. This isn't intuitive for those of us who like precise measures but I've been using it for two weeks now and I haven't over-salted anything. 

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A small bowl of the stuff looks pretty cool around the stove. That never hurts!

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Sal de Mar at Rancho Gordo. 


A Delicious Substitute for Runner Cannellini

Crop failure has made our lives miserable here. People try and be understanding but they want what they want and we wish we could help. Nature has its own plans!

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Runner Cannellini are in the ground, doing well and we hope we have a bumper crop. In the meantime, we can offer this delicious Ayocote Blanco as an alternate. It would be great in a cassoulet or a thick white bean and bacon soup. It's very much like the beloved Runnier Cannellini but it has a thinner skin (making it less desirable for salads) and it has a slight new potato flavor and texture. 

As for the Runner Cannellini (and Yellow Indian Woman, for that matter), they're still in the ground and we've yet to know when they'll be back.