Category Archives: Food and Funn

Besides being a teacher and a business minded person and with strong believes on education, I am also a chef. Well self made chef, and I love writing about food in a way that demystifies what it represents to people!

A Tini problem. Martini I mean.

Once I heard a macho say that a man who drinks any drink that ends up in “tini” is no man. That “those kinds of drinks” are for girls or gays. To what I replied (in my mind), “Man, what a tini idiot he is”.

Well let me give you an example fellow readers. JAMES BOND who is the characterization of all the fantasies that almost all men want to be, you know, things like traveling a lot / living in the edge / having sex with women from around the world / dressing fucking awesome / being a super secret not so secret agent / presenting himself last name first / having an almost infinite supply of cool moves / having a pretty cool British accent / with amazing fighting skills… drinks martinis. In fact, martini is his signature and favorite drink.

On top of that, I drink martinis. Well I am starting but still. And I like’em dirty, apple, watermelon, vesper, and any other tini that there is, and I don’t consider myself gay. In fact, that is pure bullshit, I don’t consider that there are drinks for girls or men, or gay, or straight. If you like it just drink it.

Can you imagine a drink just for men? Well, I don’t know you, but I love a woman who drinks whisky. Ufff.

Recently I made a martini with liche, an exotic fruit. It’s like a testicle white ball that taste really good but is creamy. Huh, does it makes me an exotic gay guy who likes creamy white balls?

Come on, it’s a martini. Just a regular unisex drink. A martini. Drink responsibly!

Let La Marea take me away.

I was walking and contemplating the beach. It was dark, I smelled salt, and there were tourists. My almost toned arms captivated the attention of some young tourist girls, and all of a sudden an elder woman of penetrating sight looked at me, and I looked at her. She pointed at me and opened her mouth, as if she was gonna tell me something. Then a noise came from behind me and that elder woman of golden hair yelled, “Ruuuuuuuuun, there comes La Mareaaaaaaa. Take coveeeeeer”, and while she was screaming a big tide came and took us all. I didn’t noticed all the tumbles and turns I did inside that big wave, but what I remember is that all of a sudden I found myself in the nicest place on earth, if it was still earth.

The Police was playing on the jukebox, a sound of cooks cooking was able to fuse with the music and turned into a symphony of pure lust and food porn. I raised my sight to the entrance of that magical place and noticed that the two young and beautiful were there. They smiled at me, and one of the murmured to the other (I could hear) “Wow, suddenly I don’t just like Puerto Rico, but the local guys too.” I smiled and then changed sights to the kitchen. Honestly, I was more interested on what was happening in the hot line than in the entrance.

A guy came to me with with a menu and said, “Bienvenido a La Marea. El especial del día es…”. And while he talked and prayed his menu, I couldn’t resist the idea of eating something wonderful. “Ok, bring me a whiskey with coconut water and a pork tenderloin with sauteed vegetables.”, without letting him finish. He brought the glass of golden happiness with coconut and I just sat back and relaxed.

I enjoyed the view, the drink and the music, and the food came I enjoyed it too. I don’t know what happened there but I got lost in the translation. Maybe it was the food, the music, the wink from that beautiful lady or the salty beach smell. I didn’t want to go back to reality, I just wanted to hang out a little bit longer. I wanted to call home and ask my family to come, and just stay there forever, you know live in shorts, sandals and sunglasses… tanned and all. And while sitting there and enjoying a creme brulee for desert that elder woman screamed La Marea once again.

A big wave came and whipped us all again. Next thing I know I was walking back to my little room, thinking about my job and stuff. I got to the room and went to bed. And while I was sleeping I could hear La Marea coming and going.

A matter of fat!

I don’t know why so much complaining abou fat. You see, some of the most delicious food around the world contain at least some fat, and some of them are just fat. And the most incredible thing is that, in the countries where they eat that much fat people is not fat. Do you follow? Now, think of bacon. Those beautiful white lines that fuse into the cured meat, and people love it. Many countries have their own version; Bacon in the US, Serrano in Spain, and Proscuitto in Italy, and in Latin America we call it sabor. At least I do. So as you can see people love fat, and still, some are so freaking hypocrites that they deny it, but then you see them at the brunch buffet eating not just bacon but bread and butter, ham, sausages and as many other fat loaded foods and they enjoy it.

I have known people who prey themselves as healthy eaters but when they do their yearly little trip to Europe they indulge themselves with foie gras, which is just… Yes you guesd it, FAT.

I believe that the problem with fat is bad advertising. Being a salesman and having an M.B.A in International Marketing I can see where things go wrong, as far as advertising concern. First of all we must, yes MUST, stop calling obese people by the name of Fat. We must eliminate that anchor. Even though that is what they have inside, it is just not fair to compare something so rich in flavor and powerful with a person. Second… Haven’t you noticed that in countries such as the great US of A the problem began when they started promoting refined things that they call food? And third… Obviously people, obviously, everything in excess is bad for your health.

I don’t know you but for me there is nothing more beautiful and soul healthy than having fried eggs and bacon for breakfast. If you haven’t tasted it I encourage you to try it, and you’ll know happiness. And what about pork shops? Who does not love them? And what do you say about lard? Ahhhh man, so much flavor.

Let me tell you something my friend. Try adding fat to your diet and you’ll see that your life will be happier. After all… It is just a matter of fat.

Note: This note is not intended to encourage people to get obese, but to enjoy food at its maximum capacity. If you see that you are getting obese do the obvious. Eat a balance diet and workout.

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Identidad Culinaria

La identidad puede tener muchas definiciones y aplicarse a diversas situaciones, pero en general se puede definir como ese factor que determina quién o qué, cómo, o de dónde es una persona, grupo o cultura. En el caso de la gastronomía, al igual que los elementos ya mencionados, ésta tiene su propia definición en cada cultura.

Francia, Italia, España y China se han caracterizado a través de los tiempos como los países que albergan estilos de cocina únicos y exclusivos. Francia con su creme brulee y su bagguette, Italia con la pasta, España con sus tapas y su innovadora cocina molecular, y China con su gama de sabores, colores, olores y salsas exquisitas, son sin lugar a dudas un mundo aparte con su propia identidad culinaria. Así es como se supone que sea en cada país, al menos eso pienso, y Puerto Rico no debe ser la excepción.

Durante mi corta carrera en el mundo de la comida, ya sea cocinando, escribiendo, planificando o comiendo, me he topado con una serie de personas que me han puesto pensar en esa identidad culinaria boricua que tuvimos, tenemos y que a mi entender estamos perdiendo. Un ejemplo lo es el simple hecho de cambiarle el nombre a los alimentos locales por nombres, en inglés, italiano o francés por eso de que suenen más “chic”. No hay nada malo con añadirle queso de cabra a una ensalada, entonces ¿por qué decirle “goat cheese”? si eso es en inglés y así se le dice en los países de habla inglesa.

El anterior es sólo un ejemplo que tal vez no sea relevante para muchos, pero cuando lo escuchamos constantemente, o cuando nos encontramos con una persona que ni siquiera sabe lo que es el recao, la yuca, ni la malanga y esa persona tiene 50 años es un poco preocupante. Peor aún es cuando nos encontramos con personas que tienen la capacidad de contarnos sobre sus visitas a Francia, España, Italia, Estados Unidos y sus experiencias culinarias, pero la misma no sabe nada de su país, no sabe siquiera qué o dónde es Guavate, nunca ha probado el arroz con gandules o tan siquiera ha visitado la playa ni los chinchorros de su propio pueblo, como me ocurrió en una ocasión.

Por desgracia he sabido de personas que en las navidades en vez de preparar o comer el tradicional lechón asao, arroz con gandules y morcilla o cualquier otro plato que refleje nuestra tradición navideña, han preparado o comprado alimentos que reflejan la Navidad de otros países y no por cuestión de gusto ni por explorar, sino por la presión social que tienen.

Hace unos años, en unas navidades, mientras trabajaba como entrenador personal en un gimnasio frecuentado por clientes de muy altos ingresos escuché a una señora decir “Hay yo no quiero tener comida puertorriqueña en mi fiesta, es que tengo unos invitados de afuera y como que me abochorna”. Ese comentario me supo a… El problema es que he escuchado o sabido de muchos que lo hacen. Hasta me han preguntado que cómo se dice pasteles en inglés.

No hay nada malo con mencionar que nos comimos unos calamares fritos, en vez de calamari fritti o que la pasta con camarones estaba rica en vez de scampi pasta. No es que discrimine contra los términos de los distintos tipos de cocina, sino que entiendo que si estamos en Puerto Rico debemos mantener nuestra identidad y resaltar las comidas que se hacen aquí, a nuestro estilo, sin tener que mencionarla en otros idiomas.

En Francia, por ejemplo, si visitamos un restaurante y pedimos un plato de crevettes frites cuando éste llegue a nuestra mesa, el mozo nos dirá: “Voici votre assiette de crevettes frits”, (“Aquí está su plato de camarones fritos”), ya que así es que se dice en Francia. De seguro no nos va a decir “Voici votre assiette de camarones fritos”

En una ocasión fui invitado a una barbacoa en la que se iba a estar preparando churrasco y la persona que me invitó me dijo que íbamos a estar comiendo skirt steak. En un intento indirecto y frustrado de dejarle saber que también puede decir churrasco (al menos como se le dice aquí en Puerto Rico, ya en otros países tiene otro significado, pero también tiene que ver con carne) le menciono “Mmm churrasco, que rico!” a lo cual el me respondió con cara de sorpresa “No loco, no es churrasco, es skirt steak. Ya sabes, con unas beers pa’ bajarlo.” Las beers eran Medalla. Yo estaba sorprendido, pero bueno ¡¿qué remedio?! Como quiera me comí el skirt steak y me bebí las beers.

Puerto Rico tiene una cultura exquisita y llena de sabores, que aunque haya sido formada por la variedad de visitas de otras culturas que hemos tenido a través de los tiempos y en conjunto con los de nuestros nativos taínos, son considerados da aquí como el coquí y debemos resaltarlos y promoverlos, sin abochornarnos, para que nuestra identidad culinaria sea reconocida en todo el mundo. ¿Qué les parece?