jueves, 4 de agosto de 2011

Food and Communications

Have you ever realized that when you turn on the T.V. it always shows about three or four food comertials, and you can't just think about anything else but that fried chicken or thick burger? Well, I'm not that crazy about junk food, I rather real food, to me a stuffed turkey makes me drool, and a good lamb chop makes me dream. 

Anyways, this isn't the point where I'm heading. Have you realize that in the past 10 years, you get to see more and more shows about ways to cook, how restaurants work, and there's have been campaigns to get people back into the kitchen. I'm a huge fan of Gordon Ramsey and Anthony Burdein. For real. I love Ramseys way to see the restaurant as a company or an actual mine of gold if you work it right, but also his passion for food. I've always wonder if I'd get to win a challenge with my eyes blind, and tell the names of all the things he'd make me smell and test (and Here, I'm talking about food and condiments only). 

Burdein's makes me wonder about the world and cultures, about the difference between two asian countries in the way they cook, eat and live. I wish I had the chance to know either one of them. I'd probably faint, or scream, or stay mute, I don't know... Most people dream about meeting U2, or some bands, but I have met Bono, and other artists, and it was like meeting regular people (I'm not saying that they are, just how I felt it), I dream about meeting those amazing chefs.

What's cool about these kind of shows, is that they approach people to food, to ways to cook... To flavors, to culture. In a world where is easier to go out and eat at some restaurant, and where is cheaper to buy frozen meals, and where there's no time to make a dinner for your family, they try to make a stop and say: Hey! this is an amazing thing! You can eat things that in other places they'd never dreamed. I wanted to be a chef, but my mom talked me out of it. She said: you'd be standing up for hours, you'll get cut, you'll have your hands full of blisters that will become hard... She talked me out hurting me in my vanity. I still cook things, and enjoy watching cooking shows, sometimes I look something up in the internet and make it at home.

Anyways, communications has brought food back into our lifes, they are getting bigger and bigger shows, where we dream tasting those dishes. I love to see the american and english culture, and I wish I had and oportunity like that to make the world know that there's a lot of food from southamerica that is worth knowing and tasting. I want to bring my land to a high point. I'm not saying I feel like it's gonna be easy, I don't know if I'll make it. But I'll sure try.

miércoles, 27 de julio de 2011

Poison and Food.

There's a few ingredients we use in a everyday basis, or something very close to that, that are basically poison. We eat it and enjoy it, some of them are so common that it was impossible for us to think that it contains some kind of danger in it. I was thinking about this while I cooked dinner tonight, I made Pasta bolognese, it turned out great, but... it contained tomatoes.

Did you know that "The leaves and stems of the tomato plant contain a chemical called “Glycoalkaloid” which causes extreme nervousness and stomach upsets. Despite this, they can be used in cooking to enhance flavor, but they must be removed before eating. Cooking in this way does not allow enough poison to seep out but can make a huge difference in taste." I found this out in this site, and learned that there are other ingredients I love that can possibly make me sick. I can't think about eating a pizza without mushroom, and I've been eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away.

But these are just a few  of the things we love and makes us sick. We all know about Fugu or pufferfish, that contains tetrodotoxin that can produce paralysis, convulsions, and death within 4 to 6 hours. But let's talk about a national produce for my country: The cassava (yuca). 

Cassava is a kind of root that grows mostly in south américa and is part of the food in a daily basis in most countries that grows the plant. Cassava roots and leaves should not be consumed raw because they contain two cyanogenic glucosideslinamarin and lotaustralin. These are decomposed by linamarase, a naturally-occurring enzyme in cassava, liberating hydrogen cyanide (HCN) (thanks wikipedia) well... this all means that you should not try to eat it raw. And the sweet cassava actually makes cyanide. If cassava is prepared incorrectly, it can be deadly. 

Ok, let's move on to another ingredient you can find in my country, and it's very dangerous to eat if you don't know how: Cashews. Most people think it is a nut, they are actually seeds. Cashews grow inside of a shell-like structure that grows on a fruit, and in my opinion, the fruit is way batter than the seed. If you go to a store and ask for "raw cashews" they are selling you previously baked seeds, why? because when they are really raw they contain urushiol, which is the same chemical that you’d find in poison ivy. You wouldn'd eat poison ivy, would you? If you consume urushiol in big ammounts it can be deadly. In small amounts you'd get simmilar reaction as you'd get with poison ivy or oak.

Have you heard on tv or from some boyscout that the nature gives the animals, plants and so on the colors to tell the world that they are dangerous to eat? The red, black, white and yellow. Those are the colors that says: Hey, if I don't kill you, I can make you feel sick, really sick! Well... They aren't quite wrong. If you see, most fruits and vegetables that are red, are possible poisonous: Apples, Cherries, Chilies, Tomatoes... And still we eat those. Most seeds most be baked or cooked before they can be eaten, or we'd be facing a very heavy stomachache. 

After all of this I find myself saying: thanks to those who dared eat this! I can't live without eating most of them.

jueves, 23 de junio de 2011

My week.

I started working , and I now realise how hard it is to make your own food to take to work, mostly because you get home from work and all you want to do is take your shoes off and watch TV. So I have this problem, I want to eat well at work, not bread/sandwiches everyday. I want fruits, grains, and everything you're supposed to eat to be healthy and stay well for as long as I can.

For a long time I worked at a hotel, where everyday, food was served, it wasn't the best quality food, but it was ok. Now, I do not have that. I have either to bring my food with me, go out eating, or just simply eat bread everyday. So I decided this:


This will be "Bring your food to work" day. Sunday night, I'll cook something nice, like chicken,or meat, with rice and spices or something tasty I can make at work.


On Tuesdays I figure it'll be nice to be "Go out to eat" day. Probably I'll end up eating at a naturist place, or just sushi, It doesn't matter, I'll just have to pick! =)


This is a busy day at work, they call every 5 minutes, so I can't really go out, and I don't like to eat in front of the computer, so this day will be "Have a BIG breakfast in the morning, so you won't get hungry for the whole day" day. I imagine myself having scrambled eggs with fruits, cereal, cheese, everything is valid. And at the end of work, I can go home and eat nice things.


Hard day, 'cause I can't think what else I can do...
Ok, I'll do this, in the morning, I'll bring a fruit (apples, pears, kiwis.. fruits), nuts and cereal. Plus, I'll have breakfast at home. That way I can have snacks, and when I go home, I'll eat a nice meal, with fish! Yes, this is the "Fish" day!!!


It's friday, friday.. Ok, no. Well yes it's friday. And as such I think a nice thing to do is start with a nice breakfast at home, come to work, have a sandwich and at the end of my shift, go out eat with my boyfriend.

Yes, I think this is a nice plan.

Tell me, what do you think?

miércoles, 15 de junio de 2011

Grocery Lists (or fast food part II)

Ok.. I've been reading some nice food blogs and realized something: Every single one has at least one post about their grocery lists.

"You are what you eat"

My mom always told me that when I asked her why we wouldn't go eat out like the other families I knew (or know). If I could go back in time, I probably would stop Ray Kroc, you know who he is, right? He made Mcdonald's a franchise. Why? just because it's food is so damn addictive! That's because of the sugar, the body uses sugar to work, but when it is in everything you eat (as you actually are doing in Mc donald's) your body keeps asking for more and more. So.. you probably started as a little kid eating just the Happy Meal, right? A tiny hamburger, tiny fries, and let's face it... You didn't want to go there for the food... You just LOOOOVED the toy inside and the playzone, right? And your mom and dad had to stay there for hours until you got tired and take you home.

Well... Mom, THANK YOU SO MUCH. There. She saved me from a lifetime of junk food, giving me fruits instead of candy, making food at home... Even my school lunches were made by this AMAZING woman. She woke up at 4:30 every school day to have everything ready for my sisters and me to take to school. Scons, muffins, sandwiches, pizzas (homemade style), cookies, you name it, I took it to school... And I hated it.

And so on... I grew up, confident and sure that my mom was doing wrong... Until I went to college, and learned to eat junk food for every meal for 2 or 3 years. Man... I grew! I started to understand my mother, and my body did too. So I went back to my roots, I buy everything I can from farmers markets, make my own food, with plenty vegetables. So this is how I ended up having this grocery list: (yes, sorry, I use Metric system)

4 Red apples
4 Pears
1 kg green grapes without seeds.
1 kg strawberry
300 gr mushrooms
500 gr potatoes
6 Oranges
1 Lettuce (sometimes roman, and depends on which is fresher)
1 kg of rice
1 kg of flour
4 Milk packs (around 4 gallons)
1 Garlic
1 Avocado

And that's my grocery list... Or at least, the grocery list I use the most.

We are what we eat. What do you think about that?

miércoles, 3 de noviembre de 2010

Fast Food!

Ok.. So, it's been a while, and I'm working on this special section about chilean food, It's not easy to write about what you just met and hardly know.

So, I won't talk about the chilean food for now, but i will talk about food that most chileans seem to love...
They call them "Completos" (complete, full... I don't quite get how to translate that in the right way.. that make justice for the whole meaning at least) or hot dogs. What's wrong about that?,  you might ask.

I think these are terrible hot dogs, and I should know about that, I love hot dogs!
What's wrong with them, ok, let's see.

In Chile, they put a bun with the sausage (of course) on top of that they put dice sliced tomatoes with a pinch of salt, over that they add smashed avocado and they cover the hole thing with home made mayo. Sounds interesting, right? I said the same thing and i was terribly wrong!

The whole deal of eating a hot dog is get to taste the sausage and everything else is just added to increase the flavor, right? Not in here. I guess they don´t like the sausages, or at least the one's I were used to try. Wanna see one? Courtesy of this guy...
Do they look atractive? Really?
It does?
Hmmm... maybe I'm wrong...
I guess that when you get used to all the publicity telling you to buy food, and food, "5 cents more and you get 50% more" and stuff like that, this kind of food actually speaks to you.

I'm a Mcdonald's generation. I grew up in a little town, in middle of nowhere, surrounded by shallow friends, that were pretty sure that the top of the top was going to eat at those franchises that were at least 2 hours away from home. So, imagine all those kids when the first (and I belive still is the only) Mcdonald's arrived... Total Madness!!! It soon became the hot spot. The oasis in the middle of the desert, everyone HAD to go there in order to be SOMEONE. Silly highschool, now it's kind of funny. I remember myself begging my mom to take me there, so I could get maybe a big mac, perhaps just a sunday. Instead, my mom took my sisters and me to this tiny family place, where the pizza was awesome (and authentic Italian). She took us to eat out only when there were a special date, if we got good grades, and so on. Thanks mom! You are the best!

Maybe that's why I don't really like those incredibly full of calories stuff, plastic flavors and all... Maybe that's why I'm so obsessed with food, maybe that's why I'll marry a chef, I don't know. All I know is: Fast food is bad for you. Please, if you have to eat something, and you are short with money or something like that, think twice before going into a place like that... you are not getting what you think you are... and this guy actually shows that up in his website.

So.. i have no idea why I made this post, But I guess I'm just tired of all the junk food...

Take care and Thanks for reading!

sábado, 22 de mayo de 2010

Farmers Market

Have you ever been at a market in an unknown city? Every time I visit a city, I end up in a market. My dad always says: She loved the market since she was lost in one at age of 3. And he's right. I were lost at a market, when I were just three years old. I was with my dad, and I can only imagine now how desperate he was that time. The thing is, I was lost, and there were this guy that had a little place, and he was selling potatoes, as people tells me. He saw me lost, and asked me (and this I remember) Are you lost?. I looked up and nodded. He then grabbed me and he said: Well... Lets wait until your father comes. I was crying. I knew that something were wrong. Eventually my dad found me, of course, I were all dirty after playing with potatoes for about an hour or two. He thank the guy and took me home. I can remember this, I don't know why. But I belive that this made me love the big farmers markets. 

When I went to Barcelona, I went to the market, and I took the picture that this blog displays. In Chile, It took me almost a month, but i eventually did it. I went to this BIG farmers market. Ate a lot of things that day and bought a lot of fruits home. And that day ended up quite nicely. With this guy. Yes, I know. But he's super cool, and took me to the best date ever. Market, movies, walking around the city, a lot of food I didn't knew. Cool thing is: we are both from Venezuela, and he ended up finding eachother in another country. Isn't that just perfect?

Thanks for reading!

domingo, 16 de mayo de 2010


Hey people! I know it's been a while, and trust me, I know!

I recently moved to another country, so I've been eating new things everyday, and I'm impressed 'cause I still can't drink water... Not like they do =(....

Well.. It was quite a trip... That I Called Trip of Hell...

Have you ever been in a middle of a nightmare trip, just to realice that that thing you ate just kicks your stomach to make you dizzy and make you go to the bathroom any chance you got?

I went Saturday to the airport, to take a plane that was supposed to take me to Santiago de Chile. I just couldn’t figure out that the drinks that the girls gave me were going to make me go to the bathroom so many times that eventually would hurt my butt, stomach, belly… Everything hurts.

It’s the water! The Water is making me sick! Can you belive that? Tragic. The Horror, like Sheldon would say. Anyways… I’m in Santiago now. It’s been a while since I got here. But everything is just different. Most people told me that I would fall in love with the city. I haven’t. Not yet at least. I think that I’ll feel better soon, I’m seriously hoping so.

Chile is different. The food is different. They eat things that are way too expensive in Venezuela. And I don’t know why, they don’t actually drink too much wine (or I haven’t meet anyone like that) and it’s such a shame… wine here is excellent (or so I’ve been told)... Soon, I can only hope!

What have I tried already?
Sustancia!! That's some kind of marshmallows, that taste different than those... And I just loved them.
I also tried Mote. That's a drink. Made of dried peaches, whole wheat (and I mean that) in peach juice... People love that... it made me sick... again!
Empanadas de Pino. Those are some pieces of heaven, made by the glorious hands of my friend's mother in law. I can belive those were so good!

I'll bring soon some pics!! Until then, It's been a pleasure to share this with you!