Como Sur | South American Gastronomy

All posts tagged #tradition

Watch Peruvian Farmers Cook Potatoes In Their Own Soil (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Astrid y Gastón]

[Astrid y Gastón]

It should go without saying that one of the top dishes of 2014 is the re-creation of the huatia that Astrid y Gastón chef Diego Muñoz made as part of the inaugural menu for the new Casa Moreyra.  A dish typically made from roasting potatoes in the same earth as they are grown, Muñoz and his incredible team managed to bring the experience tableside, giving diners at least a taste of the potato farmer’s life, albeit much more elegant.  Always eager to highlight the same producers from whom they source their ingredients, the incredible video team at Astrid y Gastón have made another short film about some of the potato farmers who supply the restaurant, as well as their traditional hutia cooking technique, which is another part of the process.  Muñoz presented this video at his Star Chefs presentation in New York last week, along with a live version of the cooking technique, which many dubbed as the first-ever huatia in New York.  If you ever have the chance to enjoy potatoes cooked in this manner, we highly recommend it.

From Engineer to Actor to Baker, Talking With Pan de la Chola’s Jonathan Day

By Maribel Rivero

[Patrick Hieger]

[Patrick Hieger]

One of the most powerful presentations at this year’s Qaray, the annual chef’s symposium that takes center stage at Peru’s Mistura, came not from the chefs talking about innovation and the future of cuisine, but from the baker clad in a bandana and plain white t-shirt, who spoke about a return to the cooking styles of our ancestors, free of so many of the processed chemicals that have become ubiquitous in today’s cooking.  Much like butcher Renzo Garibaldi, Jonathan Day, who owns and bakes at Pan de la Chola, the small bakery in Lima’s Miraflores district that has developed a near cult-following, took the artisan approach to gastronomy, avoiding the multi-faceted world of becoming a chef, to focus all of his attention on bread.  His choice was the right one, and for native Limeños and hungry tourists alike Day has managed to do for bread what the Cronut did for junk food. 

Watch A Trailer For ‘La Epoyepa De Pebre’ (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Pebre]

[Pebre]

“We’re all part of a system that we need to protect.”  This has been the mission of Pebre, the group of Chilean cooks, restaurant owners, journalists, historians, and more, that have been aiming to protect and promote Chile’s culinary traditions since their inception nearly two years ago.  With food and Chile at the very heart of the project, Pebre has fed countless groups of people, helping those who lost everything in the devastating fires in Valparaiso earlier this year, serving up one of the biggest parties for Chile’s independence day that Santiago has ever seen, hosting summits to talk about the traditions and the advancement of Chilean cuisine, and countless other events.  And now, documentarian Jaime Landeros is making a film about them.

Destinos: Get Your German On In Blumenau, Brazil

By Joanna Marracelli

[Laurent Lhomond]

[Laurent Lhomond]

One of my favorite things about Brazil is its diversity.  A visit to this country will challenge your expectations that you might have carried in with you.  Much more than sambas, carnivals and beaches, Brazil wears many different hats.  This is reflected in the diverse population born from its colonization.  The largest population of Japanese outside of Japan resides here.  More than 1 million Italian immigrants call this country home.  The north has a varied culture all its own and is home to many African immigrants.  In the city of Blumenau and its surrounds (such as the town of Pomerode), thousands of Germans, many of whom still speak the language of their home country, immigrated here.  You can find German-Brazilians throughout the entire country but the largest concentration is in this area.

Argentina: A Culinary Coming Of Age Story

By Megan Chochla
Argentina Coming Of Age

We all know the stereotypes and the folklore about food and wine in Argentina.  There is incredible beef.  Malbec.  The asados in Argentina are infamous and often include a variety of cuts of beef and the king of sausages, chorizo.  Argentina is the land of empanadas and also yerba mate.  Slightly lesser known are the strong Italian and European influences, but after a couple of days of wandering around Buenos Aires and being assaulted by the choice of Italian restaurants that look like the dining rooms of grandmothers, there is no doubt in your mind.

Some people might try say that Argentina hasn’t had much of its own style when it comes to gastronomy, that it is too dependent on other influences, Italian, Spanish, other Latin neighbours. Others choose to view the history of Argentine cuisine as a culmination of some of the best of what these other influences have to offer.  Any way it shakes out though, Argentina has some delectable raw materials, world-class even, and as the gastronomy industry grows up here, the chefs here are very excited about what the future holds. 

Hector Solís Says Peru Isn’t Booming, It’s Always Been That Way (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Hector Solis / Facebook]

[Hector Solis / Facebook]

Nobody told us, but apparently this week over at Vice‘s Munchies is dedicated to Peru.  Yesterday and today, they released part one and part two of Being Frank, which was filmed all over the country. Today, they’ve got Hector Solís, of Fiesta and La Picantería fame, talking about the boom, or rather the traditions, that have helped Peruvian cuisine become what it is today.  According to Solis, there is no boom.  “When people say there’s a gastronomical boom in Peru, I say no, because it’s always been like this. We just weren’t advertising it.”  Touché.

The rest of the world wasn’t advertising Peru either, at least not like they are today. Read up as Solís talks about the deep culinary traditions he inherited from a childhood spent “next to the pots.”  It’s a good eye-opener of an interview that shows us the importance of tradition, rather than hyped up fame.  He speaks loudly about the importance of products, which is quickly becoming the mantra for not just Peru, but the entire continent these days.

Required reading. 

The Beirute: Lebanon Meets Brazil In A Sandwich

Natasha G. Buenrostro

[Wikipedia]

[Wikipedia]

São Paulo’s gastronomical landscape is full of both local creations and international imports. The beirute, however, is sort of a mix of both.

The sandwich traces its origins to two brothers, Fares and Louis Sader, who immigrated to São Paulo from Lebanon. In 1951, they opened the restaurant Bambi in Jardins and created the beirute: a sandwich cut into quarters on pita bread (called pão sírio, or Syrian bread) with roast beef, sliced tomato, mozzarella and the spice mix za’atar. Over the next fifty years, the brothers would open (and close) numerous restaurants around the city. Bambi closed in 2001, re-opened in 2009 in a new location, only to close again in 2012. Owner Edgard Louis Sader, son of Louis, affirmed, “It’s not the end…We have a strong brand.”

Watch How Peru’s Traditional Dessert Turrón Is Made (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Correo]

[Correo]

Why is Peru awesome?  Well, there’s several reasons.  One, they invented ceviche.  Two, lechón sandwiches.  Three, one of their most famous desserts always comes topped in sprinkles.  And who doesn’t love sprinkles?

Turrón, the dessert in question, is a traditional Peruvian dessert unequivocally tied to the month of October, when Peruvians and other Catholics around the world pay homage to El Señor de Los Milagros, a painting of Christ believed to have curative powers.  History has it that a slave in the north of Peru, Josefa Marmanillo, made the cake in homage to the Señor after she was cured of paralysis.  It remains a Peruvian staple through today.