Interview with Street Gourmet Expert & James Beard Award Winning Writer,
Bill Esparza

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Bill Esparza Notes

In this episode of Eat My Globe, our host, Simon Majumdar, challenges James Beard Award winning writer and creator of the Street Gourmet LA website to name 5 people to be elevated to the Eat My Globe Culinary Pantheon. It’s an eclectic mix gleaned from Bill’s impeccable knowledge of Central and South American cuisine.

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TRANSCRIPT

INTRO MUSIC

 

SIMON MAJUMDAR (SM):

Hey everybody. This is Simon Majumdar. Welcome to a brand new episode of Eat My Globe, a podcast about things you didn't know, you didn't know about food. And on this very special episode, I'm going to introduce you to someone I’ve known since my first time here in Los Angeles, almost a dozen years ago, and someone who has shown me some of the wonders that you could find here to eat in Los Angeles.

 

Let me give you a little bit of history. So way back when, when I decided, unexpectedly, to move to Los Angeles to marry the lovely lady who is now my wife, Sybil, I did a lot of research because although I'd been to Los Angeles, I knew very little about its food scene. One of the sites I came to regularly to find out about food and this wonderful city was Street Gourmet LA. And through that, I got to know the author of that, Bill Esparza, who is going to be talking to us today.

 

I'm lucky enough that over the years, Bill has invited me to join him on many eating occasions around Los Angeles. And I have had some of the greatest eating experiences of my time in the United States and his company. So I'm going to introduce you to him and let him tell you a little bit more about himself.

 

So Bill, thank you for joining us. I'm so excited to have you on Eat My Globe.

 

Bill Esparza (BE):

Thanks Simon. It's great to be here. It's good to see you too.

 

SM:

Wonderful. Yeah, it's good to actually see each other. Even if it is zoom. One day, it's been far too long since we've shared a meal together, out on the streets. So we're going to definitely do that.

 

So people here in Los Angeles will know you. You're very well known here, and I know that people will know you if they've watched, you know, Anthony Bourdain’s show, God bless him, or they've watched Andrew Zimmerman show or they've watched, you know, Phil's show. But tell us a little bit about your background and who you are because you have quite an unusual journey to get to who you've become.

 

BE:

Yeah, it is. I'm, uh, I'm, uh, it's, it's all a wonderful accident and yeah, so I'm a, I'm a musician and you know, I play saxophone and, and for many years I was on the road with rock artists, uh, jazz, contemporary, jazz artists, and also Mexican, uh, pop artists. And that's how I actually, that's how I got to know Mexico really well is seeing half of it on, you know, we probably went through half of the states while I was on tour, tour with uh Maricella and we, we were would repeatedly go back to certain parts of Mexico.

 

So I got to know them really well. And then of course after that, I, I just had to know more on my own. But, um, so, you know, I got to know all over Latin America, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, uh, what the, you know, all these places I've been traveling to, or first through music. and then, you know, when the music business kind of, uh, well, you know, there's not a lot of saxophone on the radio and it's not like the eighties, you know.

 

[Laughter]

 

I mean, when's the last time you heard radio, let alone saxophone on a radio.

 

SM:

Yeah.

 

BE:

And, um, you know, not a lot of work. And I just sort of stumbled into food writing as a blogger. First at where were you found me, Street Gourmet LA. And around 2010, 2011, I started writing for LA Times. And, uh, you know, and from there, uh, different publications around town, and I was also at the same time doing, starting to fix for television shows.

 

I did, Andrew Zimmern was the first show I ever did was his, uh, I think it was only a second or third season of Bizarre Foods.

 

SM:

Yes, I remember that.

 

BE:

And we did a little thing in Baja.

 

And so from there, I, I sort of got a reputation, um, for my, a certain kind of knowledge, I would say on the ground knowledge of what's happening in Latin America.

 

And, you know, when I was traveling, uh, as a musician, I would go to, for instance, in El Salvador, I was there for a couple of shows and just ran, you know, everywhere I go. Like we do, we run all over the place and try to eat everything we see and, and try to really, you know, I'm naturally a pretty curious, curious person. I think musicians are like, you were talking to a musician and they'll tell you, like, you know, some Miles Davis recording from 1967 and they'll tell you, oh yeah, that was this person on piano and this, you know, be able to go through and talk about the record. And so we, we learn that way. And also we learn tunes that way.

 

So I, I sort of studied food that way I should say, is that, uh, not, not while I'm eating it and digesting it, literally, I'm also just asking questions and started to just absorb all this information. And when I started blogging, you know, 2007, I realized that, wow, like, like, uh, people don't really know about this food. And I looked at, you know, what was happening at the time at LA Times and LA Magazine and all the places writing about Mexican food. And, you know, it's like, wow, there's really a void for someone to, you know, from the community to talk about this food. So look, I'm, you know, I'm very fortunate I got in there. And, um, and I think now, I mean, it's, it's wonderful now to see so many young, Latino, uh, Latinx writers out there, uh, covering food and, and there's more demand. And of course this last year it's even got more intense, uh, more interest in having representation.

 

So, yeah, I'm mean, I, I just learned by going and I've, I've now gone to every single state and Mexico, and. . .

 

SM:

Wow.

 

BE:

I've been through half of the states in Brazil. I've, uh, been all over Colombia, Argentina, you know Guatemala. I went through 13 towns and eight days.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

BE:

And, and so I've just been on, you know, my, our trip, as you know, our travel has changed over time, right?

 

SM:

Absolutely.

 

BE:

The more you get into the food, the, I mean, even before we, we leave the house to go to the airport, we've in our head, we've already got some of that, some of these like ambitions that we want to, things we want to see and do, and we don't want, we want to absorb and understand that place. And of course me, I also want to spend a lot of money there, you know, help, help the, all the wonderful food vendors that I visit. I want to, you know, bring attention to them. I want to eat their food. I want to share it with other people. I want to tell people about their stories. So, yeah, that’s it.

 

SM:

It's one of the things I, I really like about you. First of all, when you write about these communities, you are completely unapologetic in your support for them and your passion for promoting them, which is something that I love. There's no kind of compromise on your part. And also I liked the fact, and it's something I, I think we share, is you're unforgiving of those who try and transgress that, or take advantage of it for their own benefit. And I think if people read your writing, or sometimes we'll give people your social media, they will, they will notice that if people do try to kind of usurp it for their own use, that you will come down and point out to them why they shouldn’t and what's wrong with it in a very kind of, uh, eloquent, very rapier-like way. I have to say, I really enjoy reading it.

 

But the other thing to just to tell people again about your kind of bonafides, before we go into the challenge that I set you. . .

 

BE:

Yes.

 

SM:

You say, you stumbled into writing through blogging. Um, I think sometimes you do yourself a disservice because I, again, I think I stumbled into food, writing through blogging and ended up doing Food Network.

 

First of all, you stumbled into it to the point where you won a James Beard award. So I don't think you were stumbling too hard. You were, I think you've strove to it, to it pretty impressively for recognition of your writing about, you know, Mexican food in LA and for your coverage of it. So it's been recognized worldwide. And also, I want to turn people towards your book, uh, LA Mexicano, which I think is wonderful. I want you to really talk about that before we go on. So people could go out and buy it because it is, I think just a terrific book.

 

BE:

Thank you so much, Simon. Yeah. LA Mexicano is just, you know, I was really fortunate that, you know, my publisher, uh, Prospect Park Books, have had the idea of the title, LA Mexicano. And they approached me when they, when, when I heard that over the phone, I was like, oh my God, I have to write that book. You know, I have to do this. And it's everything that I've been talking and, and, and doing, uh, for, for a long time. And, and, you know, I have to tell you, you know, it's, it's, you can, you've been there for my whole journey, you know, you've basically… when did you arrive in LA?

 

SM:

Well, I first started coming over here kind of middle of 2008 to visit, you know, my, my then girlfriend, now wife. But then I moved over here permanently in 2010.

 

BE:

Right. So you were there from the beginning.

 

SM:

So pretty much. Absolutely.

 

BE:

You've been here for my whole journey. And, and, you know, uh, so LA Mexicano was, you know, was that was really telling the story about what is LA Mexican food as, uh, including the regional vendors that are here, the street vendors, the Mexican American, the emerging Mexican-American modern cuisine, um, and, uh, and also people in the beverage scene. And at the time we wrote it, uh, I kind of love the fact that, you know, uh, we had this idea that, well, you know what, this is really just the beginning. Honestly, this book even might be premature, but we were able to really identify, you know, what's happening now in terms of, you know, if you look, there's so many Mexican and Latinx owned, uh, coffee shops, um, breweries, um, and, and restaurants, and the, the modern Mexican American cuisine is expanding. You know, uh, of course a lot of it's been hurt. Everything has been hurt by the pandemic, but it's, you know, so the book was really about trying to try to encapsulate what is the past, the present and the future of Mexican cooking in Los Angeles.

 

And what I, what I love about it most is that it, for the first time, chefs in Mexico looked at Mexican American chefs as being equals. You know, even, uh, even in Mexico, you know, you go to a big event and they they'd bring chefs in from Italy, from France, they bring fine dining chefs, they would ignore Mexican American chefs. And so I actually brought some of the chefs who were visiting for my, my old event, my old taco festival. And I introduced them to, I said, you know, I, you know, I was sent them to all these restaurants. They, they, they wanted to try Republique and Bestia. And of course the usual suspects.

 

And I said, okay, but you should check out this place at the time when, when a chef was, Avila, was still, um, an owner of, and, and the chef for Guerilla Tacos, he's not affiliated with it anymore. But I said, just check this place out. And they were just, uh, a food truck at the time. And this chef, but a chef Guillermo Gonzalez from, from Monterrey, which is one of the, he's one of the founding fathers of modern Mexican cuisine. And he was like, oh my God, this is amazing. And he invited Wes to a conference in an, a big chef conference. And everybody, this was the year everyone was there. And Rick Olvera was there. Every single modern, uh, know contemporary chef in Mexico was at this convention. And Wes got to present, uh, you know, in front of all these people. And really, it was the acceptance of, of Mexican American cuisine as a regional style and, and also a viable cuisine unto itself.

 

SM:

Which is fantastic. And I do recommend, uh, you know, I always say that every, every cuisine from around the world kind of needs a champion to help promote it. And we've seen, you know, some of that happening a little bit say with David Chang, do their thing and people go, and I think you've very much been part of that. And certainly Mexican American cuisine. I think you've been at the forefront.

 

But there is a reason you are here and it's been great for you to give that background. But what I like to do is like, with the amazing people we've had come on to Eat My Globe – we've been very fortunate that people have come on to do this – is we like to set a kind of challenge to people in a nice way. I, I want to tap into your food history knowledge and talk about your, I think almost unparalleled knowledge of the kind of Latinx countries and the, and the sort of the Latin American countries rather, and the cuisines there, or their history, which is something I know you're really fascinated about.

 

And to give us some names of people that you think don't get the recognition. Some of them may still be with us, some may have passed.

 

And so I sent you that challenge to give you kind of a top five to put in to what I call the Eat My Globe Culinary Pantheon. And so you came back with some names, which were really, really fascinating for me because a lot of the cases, some of them I knew. . .

 

BE:

Yeah.

 

SM:

. . . even if I didn't know much about, but I knew enough to go. And some I had no idea about at all. So I had to really go and do some research.

 

Before we move on, tell me how you came about putting this list together, because there are literally thousands of people you could have chosen from, and yet you, you came down to this list of five and I'd love to just know some of the thought processes.

 

BE:

Well, I, yeah. I mean, these are people that have honestly have been teachers to me, um, have had a profound influence on my development. And, you know, I obviously in order to really talk about these things, it's, it's, it's not possible without all these conversations we've had, we've had with all these people.

 

 And so these, these five women, were, are people that I spent a lot of time with, um, I really dug into their particular communities. And they've really helped, you know, this is, uh, ongoing, uh, this is an evolving conversation, you know. I, I'm more, I feel like I'm more correct about certain aspects of, of the way I talk about food now than I was a few years ago only because, and, and even though I was as, as sure, a few years ago, um, I, I'm becoming more competent. And I don't know if you can say that I am more confident, but less sure.

 

SM:

Yeah.

 

BE:

And, uh, and it's, and it's constantly evolving and it's because of these conversations I'm having and because of these encounters and of these people and, um, you know, and it's, and it's also become more important than ever for, to really talk about, you know, when we're talking about Mexican cuisine, or if we're talking about Garifuna cuisine, or, or if we're talking about Guatemalan cuisine, that we're talking, that we're going to celebrate the cookbooks, the personalities, the, the traditional cooks from those communities and, and not somebody else coming in.

 

And I think, you know, getting ready for your podcast today kind of made me think about that a little bit more about what's the difference between somebody from the outside, um, doing a cookbook and somebody from the community doing it. And then somebody like myself where I'm from the community, but I did not present my recipes in my book. I presented the recipes of the community.

 

And I just, I just got this cookbook, uh, from a friend that celebrates the, um, indigenous communities of, of Oaxaca and their recipes. And each recipe started off with who this person was before you get into the food. And, you know, I, I would say that like white America is so obsessed with just talking about the food and leaving out the people, leaving out the, and to the point where it's really easy to dis. . ., completely disregard and, and erase the people from the conversation.

 

So these are people that, that like that, uh, for me, it becomes so much a part of this conversation and, and that's where it needs to start. It needs to start with the people that create the food and who they are, who they are, what they represent, um, more than more important than how tasty is their food or what cool ingredients they're using.

 

SM:

Well, the context of food is so important for everything.

BE:

Yes.

 

SM:

I know this. Yeah, when I’m in India and I meet the people and you meet the history. So I do just want to touch on it just simply because it's there, that they are, they are five women, or whether this was an active decision, or is it those communities and the foods from there that actively seems to be filtered through a woman's voice. Or is that even not even worth discussing, because they just happened to be five great cooks.

 

BE:

I mean, I, I'd say that it's all those things. It's, it's all those things. I mean, the, these are five unique communities and the, like I said, I've, I've had personal, uh, experiences with these, these women as far as, uh, being, being a student, a listener, a customer. And, uh, and so, and yeah, I mean, women are the foundation of our traditional cuisines and, uh, and yes, and we. . . . do we need to talk about them more? Yes, we do.

 

SM:

Good. Well, I think that's, uh, that's great. So let's, let's roll into this because I'm really excited having done some research, and I've got some historical questions as well about how we kind of researched this. And so tell us who your, who, your first choices for people to go and check on.

 

BE:

Patricia Quintana. Patricia passed away, um, a couple years ago now. And, um, you know, she, I met her at a dinner at Rivera back in, uh, can't remember what year it was maybe 2009. And she had come here to cook with, uh, chef John Sadler. And I have known, of course I knew about Patricia Quintana as a, as, as her, I knew her cookbooks. I knew of her as the being the culinary ambassador of Mexico. And, and so when she was showing up, I was like, oh my God, I gotta, you know, I, I ran down there. . .

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

BE:

. . . and, uh, chef Sadler introduced me to her and right away, she just latched on to me. And we started talking about, I started telling her about Baja, California, which is one of the places she didn't really know as much about and, and places up in the north.

And so that conversation just, it, it went all night long, you know, and, and then she, and she, and, uh, he did a dinner together. And, and next thing I know I'm on a bus with 90, with two, uh, I'm on one of two buses for a group of 90 people. They went through five states of Mexico with her.

 

SM:

Wow.

 

BE:

And that was just nuts. It was basically piling off a bus eating to you till you burst. . .

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

BE:

. . . with really well curated experiences. I mean, you, you, you probably been on some junkets or things like that, where it's just horrible. And she put together an amazing, like they would bring 30 cooks from the community and they would each showcase a dish that you, you, you know, you'd never seen before. And I'm just like, oh my God. And that was just nonstop. Um, it was like that for three weeks. And I was injured by food after that trip.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

BE:

And you could just see everybody getting up. Everybody was so excited for the next experience, but yeah, we went through Mexico City. We started there, we went to, um, Queretaro and then to, to Nueva Leon. This is 2011 when things were really bad. And, and, uh, with, uh, the, the government going after the cartels and the violence was really high. And we were going through those states with, you know, this, this crazy situation going on. We went to Chihuahua, um, and then we went to Sinaloa. . .

 

SM:

Oh my gosh.

 

BE:

 where we had no military escort to, just to go eat with, with the, with the, the governor of the state. And, and, and then we went to Michoacan and, and that actually, it was really special because she had basically only went on with 10 people. And I was one of the 10. And so I got to do a whole other state with her. And every one of those experiences has shaped me as a, as a writer, as a, as, you know, as a, as a representative and also, you know, trying to get better at helping to represent my communities.

 

SM:

And she was very much an ambassador for what, what I believe you would call ancestral Mexican cuisine.

 

BE:

Yes.

 

SM:

So going really back into the deep history. And I had a question about that because what I've been trying to do, some research I've actually been writing recently about one of the episodes on this season is the history of chilies and hot sauce.

 

BE:

Yes.

 

SM:

Of course, I've been going to look for the history of chilies. And obviously that takes us back to your part of the world, as it were. And one of the things I struggled is trying to find pre-Hispanic codices that give us some information. So, so much of it seems to come with kind of post Hispanic arrival and being written by a missionary or being written. . . . And so there's a bias there to what was written. And I wonder how hard it is for you and for people like her to go back into history, to try and find the origins of what these cuisines word and how you get that.

 

BE:

Well, you know, this, gosh, this is some, this is something that I am, I would say every few months, I'm digging into this myself, because this is, you're right. There's a lot of, uh, white culinary historians that have written these books. And the and they act like Mexico starts with the conquest.

 

SM:

Yeah.

 

BE:

And, and, and yes, the name as a country begins after, uh, you know, being liberate, getting their, their independence from Spain, but the culinary history, you're not going to find it in a white culinary historian’s book. Those books are most of, most of what I've read out there and seen is terrible. We, you know, you have to be able to research. I mean, in order to truly research this, you have to be able to do it in Spanish. You have to be able to go, uh, reach into the, to the written records.

 

There are no codices, but there's something more important. Um, then that is it. We have indigenous communities out there that are preserving their heritage and their lines are unbroken. They've been cooking the way they've been cooking for a long time, you know, and we can see the pre-Hispanic cuisine and these communities. And honestly, even people in Mexico don't know all the, that, that there is out there.

 

We have all these different cuisines that are, that are, as, that are as varied as the European Union. To me, uh, experiencing the experiences I've had, actually, I had one incredible experience, um, doing a show with Andrew Zimmerm where we went to a, uh, an Aztec, you know, the, uh, Mexica kitchen, which is called a smoke kitchen, cocina de humo, and, and this woman cooked with no, uh, she didn't use cooking oil, uh, cause they wouldn't, they wouldn't have had cooking oil and the way she created a meal using all foraged ingredients from her, from her, her surroundings, she didn't use any, any modern, uh, proteins that came with the, the exchange.

 

It was all, it was all that, that, and you can see that cooking is still preserved. It's still around. So as far as to me finding the origins, it's in our community, it's not in books, it's not in a codice, you know, um, it's not in a, in a, in a cookbook author or a culinary historian who, who says the taco was created in the 1800s. We've been eating tacos before there were tacos. You know, the, the tortilla was the utensil and that's all there was, there were there weren't there, there was no silverware, there was tortillas and tamales that were flat, flat tamales. Um, today that we call tamales tontos, stupid tamales, because they don't have any filling. And you eat a whole meal out of that, a meal out of a gourd, uh, with just tortillas. And, and we still eat that way. And not just, not just indigenous communities, but modern Mexican-American communities, we still pick up our food with a tortilla. And there's, you know, there's like 10 different ways to use a tortilla, uh, um, uh, that, that, that we employ, you know, something like that. And, and that's the way. And so as far as like satisfied development, you know, the, the indigenous, the, um, native chiles came from South America and they moved their way up through Central America and, and Mexico and, and people cultivated them. And, and, and, uh, of course, people from Arawaks brought them to the Caribbean and the, the, you know, the chiles spread around and they, uh, and humans, uh, changed them. But Mexican cuisine is the only culture that eats, um, . . . The Mexican cuisines eats chiles as a food, rather than just something to heat up a dish. And, and so there's just this whole culture of eating chiles and they're, and they're all very regional. And to this day, no one even knows all the chiles that exist in Mexico.

 

SM:

So this, it raised another question. I'm going to go in in a moment and ask you to maybe recommend a book that people could look at from chef Patricia, that they could go and find out about.

 

But a couple of other questions that came into my head, or certainly one was, at what point do ingredients that have been brought in that are not indigenous to a cuisine, initially, and you could look at citrus, you could look at other things that have been brought in, become part of the tradition. And I wonder this just from someone who looks at the history of Mexico all the way through, at what point you suddenly go, well, this has been here long enough that it could be part the expression of the cuisine.

 

The reason I asked that is I come from primarily from India.

 

BE:

Yes.

 

SM:

And almost now I can, it's hard to think of me thinking of Indian cuisine without use of chiles.

 

BE:

Right.

 

SM:

Heat. And I just go, well, it is, it's a natural part. But of course it's relatively recent because it's only the Portuguese in the 1600s. So I start thinking about things that people associate with Mexican cuisine almost to the point that they assume it's always been there, like using limes or using something. And I wonder from a historical point of view, when you would go, well, yeah, it's been used since it's become promulgated by “x.” It's now an acceptable part of tradition.

 

BE:

Yeah. Well, I mean, I tend to, I hypothesize. I tend to hypothesize that most cuisines, uh, the, the tastes of people evolve, but they don't, they don't change fundamentally. Um, because there, there were spicy items before chiles came to, to Asia. And so there were peppercorns of course, and, and people would get heat through, through, through those and, and who knows, you know, I don't, I don't know enough to know what other products, but I certainly know about peppercorns and their, their capabilities and other spices as well.

 

SM:

Yeah. Like Melagueta in West Africa, they would use Grains of Paradise to give them the same thing that they got later on from the chilies that were brought there.

 

BE:

Yeah.

 

SM:

The Grains of Paradise.

 

BE:

Right, right, right. And so, you know, th, th, so for me, when I think of the, the cuisines of Chengdu and India, I would say that they probably already had a taste for heat. And when chiles came, it's just a more efficient way and also very tasty way and nutritious way to, to get that, um, same sensation.

 

SM:

But it's a case of just finding a more efficient source really.

 

BE:

I think everyone did that, right?

 

SM:

Yeah. No, I agree.

 

So let's, I know we've got four more to go. So just give people a recommendation of a book by Patricia you've, you're holding it up. The Taste of Mexico.

 

BE:

The Taste of Mexico by Patricia Quintana.

 

SM:

So we will go and get a link for that there, and, uh, I really loved reading about her. She seemed like her an incredible person. So just as we finish on that ancestral Mexican cuisine became, uh, partly I think because of her work. . .

 

BE:

Yeah.

 

SM:

. . . recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, which I think is just, I think for nothing else, she should be in this list because of that.

 

BE:

Absolutely. Uh, uh, bringing to the attention of, of the indigenous cuisines, the creators, that's what we experienced on her, her, her tour. We got to see it. I didn't, I didn't really know about the indigenous communities in Chihuahua and about their cooking. So, you know, we had all that. She, and, and, and yes, she was very active. This was right after the, I want to say this was right after the UNESCO recognition that we, you know, went on this big tour, which is based on what's called the Michoacan paradigm and this idea of the milpa and the simple gastronomy of the tortilla, beans, chiles, squash. Complete nutrition cycle created in the middle ages.

 

SM:

Fantastic. Well, it's definitely a welcome addition to the Culinary Pantheon of Eat My Globe, for whatever that is worth.

 

Let’s to. . . talk about number two for me, your, your, your chef number two.

 

BE:

Okay. So Raquel Torres is an incredible culinary researcher, and she's, you know, she's based in the city of Xalapa and that might sound familiar to you, jalapeno. And, uh, Xalapa in Veracruz and she's got a cooking school there, and she's got a bunch of young cooks, chefs and culinary researchers that are working with her that are, you know, trying to. . . That state is one of those states that just people just don't know. And I only went, I was only in Xalapa with her and with her, um, some of her chefs that took us around. And so I didn't even, you know, I didn't even go to the capital. I didn't even go to the other regions. There is so little known about that cuisine. It's so rich with, with, uh, like 10 different indigenous groups there that are still cooking some of the best cooks in. Um, I, I learned this years ago and in a cantinas and the cantinas in Mexico City, where there was this one, a waiter, he said, almost all the cooks. . . He goes all the cooks in all cantinas, they come from the state of Hidalgo, which shares a border with Veracruz. And they come from the mountains, the cooks. They know so many recipes and they have, so by the time they're 16, 17 years old, they've got advanced culinary training in their homes by cooking, you know, cooking everything on. They have no gas stove, they're cooking everything on fire and, and, you know, amazing cooks. And, and, and so they're working in all these cantinas in Mexico City that, that have to change their menus every day. And, you know, with a really small budget, make incredible delicious items, uh, that people are going to be given for free when they drink. And, and so really, really incredible cooking and, and, you know, they have, they have a lot of the things that, you know, I mean, they have their, their antojitos, but, but you know, what, what Raquel is doing is slowly, um, exposing that. . . those cuisines.

 

SM:

What would be the sort of dishes people might not be able to find, but they could do some research on that do go back into this history?

 

BE:

Well one that does have some, that people do know about is Mole de Xico. Mole de Xico is a type of Mole that does have chocolate in it. And, but it's a, Mole from the town of Xico. Um, and I actually got to try that with, with them.

 

And then they said, well, okay, we're going to go to this other town and they have their own Mole too. Uh, the Naolingo now, Naolinco. And I think it's, yeah, I think it's Naolinco, and, and it's Mole Naolinco. And so I got to try those two Moles and, but some of the food was just, just there, you know, like at the, at the school, we went there for, in the morning, just for some coffee and to talk to talk before we went out and we had these incredible memelas, you know, which are, which are like sopes, and a little bit wider and flatter but different from the memelas from Oaxaca. And, they have. . . . you know, they, they do have their own Antojitos and like, instead of gorditas, they have bocoles and bocoles are very similar looking, but they're stuff with, with local guisados. Um, they have these different chiles that they use. And, um, one of the wonderful things that I saw is that they would take all the, when they, you know, they, they have a lot of stuffed jalapenos there, you know, and, and, uh, because it's the capital of jalapeno.

 

SM:

Of course.

 

BREAK MUSIC

 

SM:

Hi everybody, this is Simon Majumdar, the creator and host of the Eat My Globe food history podcast. Now, those of you have been listening to the podcast since we began over two years ago – nearly 50 episodes so far – will know that we have never sought out sponsorship for the podcast. It’s very much been a labor of love. However, along the way, a large number of people have approached us suggesting they would like to support the podcast. And so, we have opened up a page on Patreon dot com to allow those of you who listen regularly to do just that. Any support we will get will allow us to purchase research materials, buy ingredients for recipes, and maybe, when we can get out and about to bring you some very special in-the-field reporting. But, and this is really important. This is not just a one-way street. For varying levels of membership of our Patreon club, there will be access to fantastic Eat My Globe swag, including that incredible chopping board so many of you have written to me about, recipes based on historical periods about which we can chat each week, video shout outs, signed pictures, and even along the way, some very special episodes just for members. So, if you’ve enjoyed the episodes of Eat My Globe you’ve listened to so far, and would like us to make many more into the future, do head over to www dot Patreon dot com slash Eat My Globe and consider taking out a membership. Any support will be much appreciated. Remember, that’s www dot Patreon dot com slash Eat My Globe. So thank you very much, and keep listening.

 

 

SM:

Now, we're going to go to a country that is very high up on my list of countries to visit and something that I had to do lots of research because I knew almost nothing about the cuisine. So your choice, number three, Bill, tell us who that is.

 

BE:

Chef Mirciny Moliviatis. Um, she's she is the leading culinary ambassador there in Guatemala, and she also is a restaurateur. Um, she's, she's on all their cooking shows and she is amazing. I mean, honestly, if you ever go to Guatemala and you want to see, you know, uh, indigenous cuisine, you want to see, uh, inside cuisines that, that, uh, not a lot of people know about, she is the person to go to. And, um. . .

 

SM:

So tell us, yeah. Tell us about, you know, the, the cuisine from Guatemala, because I know almost nothing about it. Uh, it's not a country I've visited. It's something that when I did the research, I suddenly got terribly hungry because it all looked terrific. But if people don't know that cuisine. Cause a lot of times, I think, sometimes people who haven't done the research will kind of think that it all overlaps in that region and your showing me, yeah, even in Mexico itself, it's so varied. And within that region, it's so varied. I'd just love to know what the kind of, some of the kind of defining. . .

 

BE:

Yeah.

 

SM:

. . . principles and ingredients of that region.

 

BE:

Yeah. Okay. Guatemala is the most Mayan, uh, country, uh, on the planet and, you know, they must have had a great laugh in 2012 that, that whole country.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

BE:

You know, how half of the population is Mayan. And, and so, and it's very different from the Mayans you'll find in Belize, uh, who don't have, you know, they, they have, uh, they don't have as, as much of a, of a, uh, big, uh, cuisine and, and Belize the Mayans of Belize and the Mayans of the Yucatan, which most of us know more, oh, there's my, and people like, and, uh, mostly mo. . . for most people, the most Mayan word they know is Cancun. . .

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

BE:

. . . or Tulum now, right? Tulum. Those are my own words. But, uh, the really, uh, rich richest Mayan cuisine is in Guatemala. And so one of their big dishes is tamales. Now I want to say that probably they have the most wide variety of tamales that I've ever seen. And there are so many tamales that actually it's the only country I've ever been to where at the airport, the sign says, uh, “no guns, bombs or tamales on the plane” . . .

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

BE:

. . . because everybody. . .

 

SM:

Could you explain. . . Can you explain for people, and just assuming that most people who are listening to this have eaten tamales, but for anyone who's listening, who just doesn't know what a tamales is, could you explain what they are?

 

BE:

Yes. What. . . The tamal is the, was the first, um, food ever made with, uh, nixtamalized corn. And what it is, is, is, uh, is, is a, is a Masa that has the filling that's wrapped in either any type of corn husk or banana leaves or all kinds of different leaves. It's wrapped, and it's either steamed or in the case of Guatemala, they are boiled.

 

SM:

Ah, okay.

 

BE:

Mexico really has more steamed tamales than boiled, but in Central America you have boiled and also South America, you have boiled. So this, this culture of tamal, of a masa pouch that's stuffed and steamed, or, or, or boiled stretches from Mexico all the way down to South America. Um, you know, so real, a really big part of the culture of the Americas. But Guatemala has so many different tamales and not just with corn, corn Masa, they also have, um, uh, potato. They're called Paches.

 

So they have a potato tamales and they have all these, they just quite a wide variety. And then there's community ones, you know, special occasion ones. Like there was a, there used to be, uh, a woman I knew, um, whose sister would come, uh, every year. And for Christmas, the way she'd pay for her trip was selling tamales here in Los Angeles. And she would make, it was pork, uh, pig ear, pig snout, um, tamales. And I have to tell you, those are about the richest, the most delicious things I've ever had in my life.

 

SM:

They sound absolutely incredible. Oh my gosh.

 

BE:

Yeah. And, and you know Guatemala doesn't have us, they use chiles, but they, their chiles are very mild and it's using their cuisine more as flavor. And so that, so they're not, they don't eat spicy food. Um, I would say overall, there's a, there's a bitterness to the cuisine, which is also what you'll find in, in El Salvador, uh, bitterness. They use a lot of bitter herbs and bitter flowers, um, that, that are in their dishes.

 

Um, and then like, besides tamales, one of their cultural dishes is pepian, which is not the Mexican pipian. Pepian, um, is a, is a, is a dish, it's very similar to mole in, in it's in that, that it's a very iconic cultural dish, but it's, uh, it's more of a, it's more of a stew the way it's served, but there's variations of pepian, um, street food. They're not taco eaters, they eat tostadas. And they're these wavy tostadas that are either covered in what they call, guacamole, which is very different from our, the Mexican guacamole. But guacamole, or, or they're red beans, um, black beans spread on the, on the tostada with some cheese and onions. So that's like a big street food item.

 

Um, they do have corn there, but instead of. . . Pumpkin seed has a, a big . . .  Pepitoria has a big play, a role in their cuisines. So they actually dress their street corn that, you know, you know, the kids like to say street corn, um, with pepitoria, pumpkin seed powder.

 

SM:

Ooh.

 

BE:

Yeah. Which is amazing. And then like, like there, they have all these different stews and amazing dishes. We actually, you know, if you go out, uh, the street food vendors, you know, are, are making all these incredible stews, um, you can actually, there's a really good spot in LA that, that has a lot of people from the community that are, that are cooking on the streets to get these meals with some beans, some [inaudible], which is like a macaroni salad and one of their very wonderful stews. Um, you know, they have a lot of great. . . they, they would not use the word guisados, but I know we, we use that word a lot in, in, uh, in America now because of the popularity of, of the taco chain, but they have their own rich stews.

 

Um, they have, I mean, and then if you go to a town, you also have different Mayan cultures that have, um, really interesting, uh, cuisine. Like there, we went to, uh, with Chef Mirciny, we went to this camp where the, the, um, the man climb these trees and they're, and they're out in the forest for, for days trying to harvest gum. So think about that when you're sticking gum on the bottom of a, of a seat that they sell.

 

And they cook for themselves out in these camps, and they, they have these, uh, like types of types of palms out there that they'll cut down and they'll, and they'll cook those, the Palm with beans and they make, and their, their tortillas are very thick, you know, the, the Guatemalan tortillas. Um, a lot of the things that you'll find, you know, in, in, uh, I mean, they have their longanisa, they have their own really sweet longanisa where Mexico has, has more chiles in our, in our sausages.

 

They have more, uh, sweet peppers and things like that. Um, I mean, it just goes on and on from, uh, so many regions, uh, so many, uh, different local foods and, uh, anotjitos. You know, really in all the Latin American cuisines Antojitos is really where it separates the cuisines because, um, and all those little snacks, garnachas, which are these little tortillas that are, that are covered in the course. They're what they call an enchilada is the grand tostada of all. And it's a, it's a, one of those tostadas that's covered with pickled, um, pickled beets. And it's dressed with like a, a ground meat, pickled beets, cheese, and onions. And, and that's a wonderful what they, you know, tostada, but what they call an enchilada there.

 

SM:

I, I have to say, first of all, just listen to you describing food that you're obviously passionate about is so powerful. And I get incredibly hungry. Just you describing those right now. And secondly, it really makes me want to go and try Guatemalan cuisine, which I haven't really tried. And I'm very, very honest about that. If people wanted to find out more about this cuisine, presumably they should go and look at some of her books?

 

BE:

Her book is called, Viviendo la Receta Guatemala, um, by Mirciny Moliviatis. Um, she's also on, uh, just about every program and, you know, on, in Guatemala. And she also has a small, uh, chain of restaurants called Siete Caldos. And if you go to her restaurant, you will get the, kind of the, the main stews of the country. Like you can get really good, uh, pepian revolcado is another dish. That's like all like, like all full pig offal, and a really wonderful, uh, rich stew and, um, all kinds of delicious deliciousness.

 

SM:

You've, you've brought . . . I have to say you've brought that country right up into my top lists on my bucket list.

 

BE:

It’s top.

 

SM:

Well, let's, let's move on. You've given us a great one there. And we're going to move up to a cuisine that I'm actually fortunate enough to have tried in the odd circumstance of the Bronx, what I was taken out, uh, to, uh, to, uh, to actually to a household of someone who cooks. So tell us about the person and tell us about the cuisine. And also this community has a really fascinating history.

 

BE:

Yes it does.

 

SM:

So why don't we talk about that as well? So introduce your fourth choice.

 

BE:

Yes. Uh, Cheryl Noralez is a, is a Garifuna person and her community, uh, is not as big out here as it is in, on the East Coast. There's a much bigger Garifuna, uh, uh, population. Well, what would they call Garinu. . . .  Garinagu is the entire, uh, spread of Garifuna, different Garifuna people all over, uh, because they don't have a homeland. They are originally from St. Vincent and they were exiled and they ended up all throughout the, uh, Central America and Belize and, and also Honduras. Uh, they, they do have a community in Guatemala, um, and . . .

 

SM:

I think Honduras was the, the lady who I connected. . .

 

BE:

Yes.

 

SM:

. . . with in the Bronx. Her relatives were from Honduras.

 

BE:

Right. And so, right. So, and, and the different Garinagu, uh, groups, you also, you have traditions that they all share, and then you have the foods of those countries that they do their way. So, you know, when we're talking about Garifuna cuisine, we're also talking about like, if, if the, the Garifuna from Belize, they're gonna, they're gonna cook Belizian dishes, but those dishes are going to have their flavor and their approach. Um, so it's, it's really interesting, um, food, and we don't have a lot of it, uh, out here in Los Angeles. We have one restaurant right now, and we've sort of always had one, um, above ground places. Um, there's the Saraba food truck, and that's the only Garifuna restaurant we have in LA right now.

 

SM:

Tell people a little bit about, taking into account what you said about regional differences, obviously, where they're based, but kind of some of the s. . . the set dishes that you might find, if you go and have Garifuna food. Cause it is very unusual. Certainly when I tried it, I enjoyed it a great deal, but it was quite different.

 

BE:

Yeah. Well, the most iconic dish is hudut. And, and to me hudut tells a great story about their, their journey. Um, so according to the Gari. . . Garinagu, their. . . The . . .  west African explorers landed on the island of Saint Vincent and they mixed with, uh, the local natives who are, who are Arawak. They were, they had, you know, Arawaks had settled the Caribbean, you know, when people always talk about, you know, the Spanish and the Portuguese. I'm like the first explorers where the Arawak and Taino people. They got on canoes, giant canoes and went to the Caribbean and populated those islands. And so, so the Garifuna people are black, um, um, and brown and, but their language is Arawak-based. It's, it's one of the last surviving Arawak languages. Um, and those are the. . .  And Arawak are the people that came from what today would be the Orinoco River Valley in, like, Venezuela that went on canoes. That's, those are the people that Columbus encountered. Uh, the first people he met were, uh, Taino and Arawak speaking people. And so their, their language is Arawak. Their. . . Some, some parts of their culture are, are, uh, West African, uh, they use a giant mortar and pestle like you would see in West Africa. And so they brought some of those artifacts with them and, and then their food products are very Central American. So you've had the, the ball of, of mashed rice that you would find in Africa. And well, they there's this plant. . . there's plantains. So it's a sour plantain that they smash in the, in the, in the shiny mortar and pestle and pound it until it's so that you can make it into a ball. You can form it into a ball. And you use that hudut to eat soup, like, uh, uh, [inaudible], which is, uh, which, uh, uh, coconuts with a king fish in it, if you're in Belize. If you're in, um, Honduras, you might have a different fish. And, and it's really interesting. So yeah, that's, that's their, their big cultural dish that. . . . And eating, uh, cassava bread as well. And of course, cassava is a product that was brought from South America.

 

SM:

So tell me a little bit more about Cheryl, because I, again, I didn't know her at all, to be honest, I had to go do some research and I was fascinated to find out more about her.

 

BE:

Yes. Cheryl's, uh, she's a historian and an educator, and she really has her hands in a lot of the things that are, um, her and her, her husband, um, have, uh, are involved in everything in the Garifuna community here in Los Angeles. I, I've been, you know, going to this community for years, obviously just my own personal curiosity. And I just, I love it.

 

SM:

Fantastic. So if people wanted to find out more about Garifuna cuisine and about Cheryl, particularly, where would they look?

 

BE:

Well, I, you know, there, there's not really an active website right now for, for her, but if you Google just her name, there'll be, there's going to be a lot of sources that come up. Honestly, if it's not easy to, to, you know, there's not a lot, they don't have a lot of resources. Um, so it's really the community. I mean, when I go to these things, there's no one else around, there was no one, you know, no outsiders.

 

So I'd say you have to dig deep into the Google searches and, but just put her name and put Garifuna.

 

SM:

Uh-huh.

 

BE:

And you're, you're liable to find out, uh, some of her past writings and maybe some speaking events that she's involved in. Um, you know, I look at, I follow these pages on, on Twitter, and there's just not a lot of posting. There's not a lot of information. You have to work hard, man, if you want to, if you want to be involved in this stuff. So that's all I got to say about that.

 

SM:

We will put a link for Cheryl onto the transcripts for this episode. [Ed Note: Also here.] So people could go and I do recommend they go check it out. Like you said, it's hard work, but I think good culinary research should be hard work sometimes. It isn't just going to buy a, another book from somewhere. It’s kind of going out and doing that real down on the ground and tasting it. But I do think it's a cuisine that's really, really fascinating.

 

And which brings us to number five in your list, your last chef, which again, is an area of Mexican cuisine that I really don't know terribly much about. And it was fascinating for me to go do some research. And I know you've written quite a lot about it yourself. So perhaps tell us your, your final person and, uh, the cuisine that she kind of really represents.

 

BE:

Yes. Maria Elena Lorenzo of Tamales Elena. Um, is an amazing woman and she's, um, Afro-Mexicana and she's from La Costa Chica and the State of Guerrero. And that is mostly between, you know, I didn't know this ‘til, uh, um, up until recently in recent years, but there are black towns between La Costa Chica and, and, and we're, we're at borders with Oaxaca that have their own cuisine, um, their own dance. And they're also getting, you know, back in touch with African roots, uh, recently, because basically. . .  You know, you have, when you have erasure. . . Erasure, is, is a powerful tool because it, it, it not only takes people out of the conversation, but it, it, it ceases the, the, the knowledge that people have of themselves. And so there are people are just rediscovering this. So, so we've known about Afro Mexican cuisine. We just didn't recognize it. And Mexico didn't even recognize the population until a few years ago. They didn't count them on their census.

 

SM:

Wow.

 

BE:

And there are stories of black Mexicans being deported to Cuba, and they're Mexican citizens, you know, or to Haiti. And they say, well, you're not, you're not Mexican. And, and as, yes, I am, I'm born here. That's, I'm, I'm Mexican. But, so. . . the Mexican government, you know, Mexico is, has been horrible with it's Afro-Mexicanos and its indigenous people. Horrible. And, um, so now they're, they're even counting them. But you know, when you think about pozole. Uh, pozole is something that every, everybody knows about. Everyone knows pozole about Mexican cooking and anybody, you know, white, black, Asian. If you've had pozole before or thought about pozole. But the best pozole is from Guerrero. A lot of people know this too.

 

But what a lot of people don't know is that Afro Mexicans are the people that created these dishes. It comes from their culture. Like the, if you go to. . . Guerrero has like five or more pozoles. They have the green, they have the red, they have the white, um, in other parts of Mexico, you just either have white or you have red.

 

And, and they also have one that's made with, um, unnixtamalized fresh corn called [inaudible] pozole. They have a pozole de mariscos, a seafood pozole and they have one that's made with beans. And, uh, so it's a really, really a pozole culture. And that all comes from that part of, uh, of, uh, Mexico.

 

And, you know, their pre-Hispanic cuisine includes, you know, they were using know mole de iguana. So believe it or not, I've had mole de iguana here in Los Angeles at a private home, of course. Um, yeah, so, um, mole de iguana is very much from the La Costa Chica. Um, they, they used to cook with, and they still do, um, you know, Armadillo, um, all kinds of, of local animals that they cook with down there. And they have mo. . .  they have wonderful moles that are from these Afro Mexican communities.

 

SM:

And were, were the people who are part of this community, if they are tracing their roots back, predominantly we're talking about Aest Africa as the place of origin, are we, or do we know? Or have they been able to do much research kind of going back that far?

 

BE:

Yeah. I mean, when you're talking about the slave trade and the Americas, this is where most people were coming from. The large, the larger black communities are in the states of Veracruz, that's the one that everybody has known about, but more recently people are talking about Guerrero in La Costa Chica and Oaxaca. Um, you know, so th, th, there's just so little discussion of it and there's been erasure, you know, and, and nobody's. . .  when people go to Guerrero, they go to Acapulco and, you know, it was a big tourist destination before things got really bad there. Um, and they know about, again, we tend to just gloss over the indigenous contribution and the, uh, black contributions to all cuisines. Um, and, and in Mexico, it's to the point of not even mentioning.

 

But if you, if you really get into Guerrerense cuisine and the incredible seafood and the pozoles and the moles of La Costa Chica, and the chiles that they use down there, they have their own culture of chile costeno, um, you know. . .  If you go to, to Tamales Elena's restaurant to Tamales Elena y Antojitos, they have this one to me, like a really great cultural dish that she's, she's serving there besides like her pozole, mole verde, but a, um, it's beef tongue with plantains. . .

 

SM:

Oh, that sounds so good.

 

BE:

. . . and with chile costeno in there just, you know, that rich Mexican flavor of a, of a mildly spicy stew, um, all those complexities from, from chiles and oh my God, that to me is like what, what everything, what, what Afro Mexican cuisine is about.

 

SM:

So, uh, that, I guess that that's the best way to find out about it. What is to go to the restaurants?

 

BE:

Oh yes.

 

SM:

Remind me again, what the restaurant is called?

 

BE:

Tamales Elena y Antojitos and it's in the city of Bell Gardens. And for all you, uh, you know, uh, non-Chicano listeners, that's, uh, Bell Gardens.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

And, uh, are there any kind of written works as well that people can find out about this cuisine? Or is it really a case of eating it is the best proof of?

 

BE:

Yeah. There's, there's no, there aren't, you know, there, again, if you look in a Mexican cookbook, a lot of them tend to be national cookbooks. Um, whether you, you know, even Patricia Quintana’s book. But, uh, Patricia will talk about the communities. And, but sometimes we only say Guerrero, or we say Southern, we're not, we're not mentioning the black, uh, uh, cultures of Guerrero. So I think though the best way to start is, is Tamales Elena y Antojotos here in Los Angeles. Um, the other is to, you know, take a, take a chance and go to these non-touristy areas. It's like go to La Costa Chica and you're going to find that cuisine there.

 

SM:

Before we let you go, we always like to ask just a few fun questions of our kind of experts at the end. So do you mind if we do that as well?

 

BE:

Not at all.

 

SM:

And then we'll do a little bit of sharing of how people could get hold of you and they could find out. . .  I'm sure everybody who's listened to this podcast is going to be searching out these communities is going to want to read your work as well, because they're going to feel as hungry as I am now.

 

So finally, let's try some fun questions.

 

BE:

Alright.

 

SM:

So Bill, if you were a meal, what would it be?

 

BE:

If I were a meal, what would I be? I would be a seafood tower.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

Okay. There must be a reason behind this very thoughtful answer.

 

BE:

Well, yes. Because a seafood tower for me represents, I, first of all, I love seafood. I love mariscos. I don't care what culture it comes from. Uh, anytime I, if I'm near a beach, I'm like so excited to try the local seafood from whoever or even, even river cuisine, if I'm at a river, you know? And, uh, and those are the most memorable meals for me. And I feel like it's a, it's also a product meal, right? It's about local products. And, and so yes, if I, if I were a meal, I would be the, I would be the sum of what's going on and what's happening in that community. And, and of course, very briny too.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

Yes, that's a good way of putting it.

 

The next question, if you could select any single meal or any period history in which to experience that meal, what would it be?

 

BE:

I would like to be in Mexico in 15, you know, say, say 1518 and just do a food tour.

So, I can write it down and we can stop all this ridiculousness about, you know, these foods being a fusion. And I could, and I could really talk from a book from, from true. . . having seen it and having documented it. So I would like to do a food tour in, uh, 15, 1518, uh, Mexico. Cause that was the, you know, the last year that it was, well, there were, the Spaniards had two expeditions that had failed before that one, everybody disappeared. So Cortez was actually the third expedition. And so I would have liked to have seen that, that food and, and all those different communities and have traveled through what's today, Mexico City and Oaxaca and, and Veracruz in the Yucatan. I would love to have seen, uh, that, yeah. And have some tacos.

 

SM:

I think I would join you on that one. Definitely have some tacos.

 

And then, okay, so this, maybe I could guess your answer to this one. What would you consider to be the most important food invention in history

 

BE:

At the, at this moment, I'm just feeling this right now, but, uh, tapioca, I'm talking about the Brazilian tapiocas that, are, that are they take the tapioca. . . You mix, um, what's called [inaudible] and water together until it gets sort of, um, a combination of the right moisture and dryness and you toast it, you toast it with, with no oil, anything in it in a, in like a crepe style pan it's really a tapioca pan. Tapioquera. And then you stuff that with, um, depending on the region, it could be sun dried beef, um, uh, or it could be ham and cheese. It could be more of a, you know, the Italian flavors of Sao Paolo. Um, it could be, uh, ingredients you'd find in the Northeast, but tapiocas are amazing.

 

SM:

And finally, Bill, I think so many people are going to have enjoyed this podcast. They're going to want to try and find out about you connect with you. Why don't you give people your, I have to remember them all now, TikToK, clubhouse, or Instagram, but, uh, there's too many now, but why don't you give people the best way that they can find out about you read what you're doing, read what you're writing, uh, because I know they'd love to connect with you.

 

BE:

Okay. Well, uh, yes, I am Street Gourmet LA on everything. You can follow my news on Instagram is that's the place where I put it at the most. There's also a Street Gourmet LA Facebook account and TaqueandoFest.com is my food festival, my taco festival, which hopefully will be back by 2022, I'm guessing. Um, and I'm writing these days mostly. And I'm um, well Eater National, Eater LA. I'm writing about these places, I'm writing about Tamales Elena, I'm writing about Garifuna cuisine. I'm writing about Salvadoran, uh, sandwiches that no one's ever heard of. So watch Eater and Eater LA right now. Um, that's where all, it's where it's all happening.

 

SM:

Fantastic Bill. I can't thank you enough for taking time, but I think people would have found this really fascinating, particularly about some of these cuisines that don't get the coverage that they need to, and about these five women who are really prompting people to go and look at them.

 

BE:

Amazing to be here.

 

OUTRO MUSIC

 

SM:

Do make sure to check out the website associated with this podcast at www dot Eat My Globe dot com where we will be posting the transcripts from each episode, along with all the references and resources we used putting the episodes together, in case you want to delve deeper into each subject. There is also a contact button, so please do let us know if there are any subjects that you would like us to cover.

 

And, if you like what you hear, please don’t forget to subscribe, recommend us to your family and friends and give us a good rating on your favorite podcast provider. That really makes a difference.

 

Thank you and goodbye from me, Simon Majumdar, and we’ll speak to you soon on the next episode of EAT MY GLOBE, a podcast about things you didn’t know you didn’t know about food.

 

CREDITS

The EAT MY GLOBE Podcast is a production of “It’s Not Much But It’s Ours” and “Producer Girl Productions”

 

[pah pah pah pah pah]

 

and is created with the kind co-operation of the UCLA Department of History. We would especially like to thank Professor Carla Pestana, the Department Chair of the Department of History and Doctor Tawny Paul, Public History Initiative Director, for their notes on this episode. Also, a huge thank you to Sybil Villanueva for her help with the research and the preparations of the transcripts for this episode, which can be found on the website.

Published Date: May 24, 2021

For the annotated transcript with references and resources, please click HERE.