The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Thursday, February 7, 2008

El Burro

Tortillas are at the very heart of Mexican cuisine. As one who loves to cook and learn about food and its preparation, I have gotten quite an education about corn. It is a very big deal here and transgenico corn is a major political issue. There are literally thousands of varieties of corn here. In certain villages there may be as many as 26 different varieties growing, each dependent on differing amounts of sun, soil condition, etc. Having lots of different varieties helps the plants to be more insect and disease resistant.

And for those of you who have never had a real tortilla there is nothing the real thing.
I certainly have eaten my fair share of fine Mexican food in the States, but I never had a real tortilla until I came here.

It is like the peaches we used to get directly from the orchards in South Jersey. You could not even drive them home. They were so perfect and delicate even the slightest bump damaged them. They were the real peaches that very few ever get to taste. Manna from Heaven.
And that is what the tortillas I get are like. A woman in La Union makes them for me from the corn she and her family have grown. I can pick the color corn I want –white, yellow, black, blue.

And her tortillas are the best. You have to pull a bit to bite through them as they slightly tough and chewy with wonderful flavor.
The corn is shucked in a very unusual way. Normally in La Union people simply do it by hand, but here they use el burro, a ring made up of corn cobs bound together on the outside by wire.
They say they learned about it from people from Santo Domingo de Morelos Pochtla, a village near the coast and it really does the job.

1 comment:

Serena said...

Ah, tortillas! Have you been to Itanoni yet? Incredible biodiverse corn creations to be found there...