Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Oaxaca Inspiration

In January I was able to spend a few days in Oaxaca City studying the local
cuisine and mescal production. The city exceeded my very high expectations,
not only in its incredible cuisine, but also in its cleanliness and overall
level of hospitality. As expected, the various Moles and Tlayudas were
fantastic. I have always been a fan of chapulines (crickets), but was
actually amazed at how much I liked the cooked agave worms. (I don't think
the agave worms will make an appearance at Post Ranch- but I do have some
ideas for crickets- which I suspect will become a popular item in terms of
sustainable food options in the coming years).

I had dozens of amazing dishes while in Oaxaca, but one of the items that
really stands out was chewing on a piece of agave straight out of the
earthen oven. The pulp of the roasted agave had a sweet and smoky
complexity unlike anything I have experienced. I want to see if I can
replicate this flavor using wild Big Sur agave roasted in coals and then
reduced into a smoky syrup. It is always exciting how traveling to a
faraway place can inspire new vantage points on ingredients close to home.

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