Sunday, March 16, 2008

setting the table- solc day 13

The Splendid Table is one of my fave NPR programs. In our area it runs on Saturdays from 2-3 pm. As the program starts I am often sitting in the car, happily waiting in the parking lot for my daughter to come out of swim practice, secretly hoping her shower will take a long time so I can hear more of the show before she opens the door. As I listen, I sit hanging on the Sterns' every word about local eateries of places I may never get to or I take notes about Josh Wesson's bargain wines or pinots to pine for with the promise of a more glamourous food life ahead. I love this show. Today's program included a couple of connections for me all in one piece. Mexican food and Nebraska. Not your typical food pairing I know. In a nutshell I am half Mexican and I lived in the Cornhusker State for three years while in middle school. I grew up knowing well about Mexican food from my father's side of the family. My grandmother had Mexican restaurants for years. So the intro about Rosita's, a restaurant in Scott's Bluff, NE intrigued me, from well, the intro. I had never considered that Mexicans would choose Nebraska as a settling place. Seems they have emigrated to the midwest since the 1920s. Farms bring workers. In this case, the workers brought incredible foods, opened incredible restaurants and have been a mainstay of culinary delights for almost 100 years.

I loved that the show focused primarily on the corn tortilla and its multiple ways of showing itself on a dinner plate. The Sterns and Lynne Rossetto Kasper (host) bubble on about the virtues of this tortilla as a chip, as a base for nachos, as a shell for delectable meats and veggies. I can relate. I knew what they meant when they said when crisped by hand it became a 3D food as opposed to the 2D chips you buy in a bag. I make those chips. Lately I like to shake Old Bay on them and dip them into hummus. Anyway, it's a tasty piece. Take a listen here.


NCavillones said...

We both talked about food today! I just finished reading a book about the Dust Bowl, in which there is some discussion about how cultures spread through the Midwest, and so I am not surprised to hear that Mexicans are settling in Nebraska. And what a wonderful thing for "gringos" to reap the benefits of true Mexican cuisine without having to leave home. :)

Kevin said...

Never heard of the show, so I guess I will check it out. See how much I already trust the Slicers' opinions and recommendations?
Have a great day

BK said...

As an adult I've having a love affair with food exploration even at the cost of dreaded calories. After an extended passion for everything Taos and New Mexico, I added Mexican food to my list and the passion continues even back in New York, a place that offers everything. I love that fact and Mexican is right up there. thanks for getting my taste buds activated. I am on diet alert.

jules said...

Reading this maks me miss/crave your homemade chips. So delish!

Jane said...

Great slice! I will have to check out those links!

GirlGriot said...

I always find it interesting to see where people settle when they move to a new country ... like my surprise at discovering the large Samoan community in Colorado when my mom lived out there years ago!

Tortillas were a real surprise for me when I went to Mexico the first time. I'd had the Ortega kind, sure, but not real tortillas. And going to buy them from the tortilla shop and seeing them made and eating fresh ones ... Mmm!

Great slice!