Fun Fact Friday: Bolivia (with Poll)

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The highs and lows of Bolivian cuisine In the highlands the people enjoy potato, corn, cheese, and spicy hot food. In the lowlands, they navigate towards bananas, maize, rice, and cassava. Mama Spud... The domestic potato, known to the Incans as Mama Jatha ("Mother of Growth"), was first cultivated high in the Andes mountains near Lake Titicaca about 7,000 years ago. Today this area straddles Bolivia and Peru. It's Potato O'clock! The ancient Inca used the potato to measure time. Boy: … [Read more...]

Technique Thursday: Recipe and information about Llajua (Bolivian Hot Sauce)

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If you want to eat like a Bolivian, I highly recommend you try Llajua.  Bolivians happily splash this liquid fire over their meals as casually as Americans use ketchup - perhaps even more profusely. The stuff goes on everything - from soup to grilled meat, boiled vegetables, savory pies (like the Salteña), and more. The heat originates from the locato pepper, rated between 30k and 100k on the Scoville Unit. From what I gather, the locoto is like a mild habanero. Ha. Mild. Habenero. What an … [Read more...]

Menu: Bolivia

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This is going to be a good week. We're going to eat Bolivian and ... are you ready for it??? ... the evil kidney stone is gone!!! I'll spare you the picture Keith put on his Facebook wall, not because it isn't cool - it is - but mostly because the gross factor is 1 million - you would all run away and never come back. The simple fact that he shared his 5 mm monster with the world just goes to show he's feeling better. Unfortunately, no sooner had I gotten my spunky husband back than he had to … [Read more...]

About Bolivian Food

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But let's get back to the potato. According to Jose Sanchez, author of My Mother's Bolivian Kitchen, there are over 1,200 kinds of Bolivian potatoes. With so many varieties, Bolivians are the number one consumer of potatoes in the world; they eat them about as many ways and in as many dishes as the Bahamians eat conch. For starters, they boil, bake, steam, fry, and freeze dry them. They like potatoes so much that they even put a few different ones together in a dish. For example, stews often … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Bhutan

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This is meal #20 in my personal challenge to eat one meal from every country in the world. Last week, during our Beninese Global Table, we were in the midst of expelling an evil kidney stone. I'm sad to say the misery continues. Poor Keith is a trooper, but he's getting a little ansy to do something besides pain pills. I have high hopes that this week's Bhutanese Global Table will get Keith's Kidney Stone a-movin.' All that spice and butter has to be good for something (besides tasty … [Read more...]

Recipe: Butter Tea

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Serves 1 Butter and tea are two of my favorite things! :)  This rich and flavorful drink is popular in Bhutan, especially during the cold winter months. The secret is to stir the tea vigorously/froth to blend and eliminate any the "greasiness." Ingredients: All ingredients are to taste. Hot water Black Tea Butter (preferably Yak butter, if available) Milk or cream Method: 1.  Boil water. Add tea to desired strength. I like 1 teabag per cup. 2. Add butter and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cracked Red Rice

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Serves 2-4 Red Rice is enjoyed in Bhutan, especially under spicy curries, like Ema Datshi. Ingredients: 1 tsp oil 2 cups water 1 cup cracked red rice salt & pepper Method: 1. Add oil and rice to a small pot over medium heat. Toast rice for a few minutes. Add water and seasonings. Bring to a boil. 2. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 16 minutes. Don't peek! I want you to promise... 3. Remove from heat and uncover. Let sit for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Butter Grilled Poblanos

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Makes 1 Butter Grilled Poblano Here's to my new favorite way to eat peppers! I got the idea from Kunzang Choden, a Bhutanese author who speaks of her father grilling chili peppers this way. We had to wait as he incised slits in the chillies and filled them with fresh butter and salt. When the chillies were ready they were put on bamboo skewers and placed over the flames in the hearth. After much sizzling and hissing took place, each of us received two to three chillies on our rice. The … [Read more...]