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Posts tagged ‘Julia Moskin’

More Than Salsa

In 1992, salsa out-sold ketchup in the United States.  I’ve heard that statistic for years, referenced it a few times, and read it again in Julia Moskin’s “Rediscovering Salsa, the Soul of Mexico in a Bowl” in this week’s Dining & Wine section.  By now, most Latinos in the United States have claimed salsa’s success as our own.  I have friends who’ve worked it into sales pitches and if anyone brings it up around the chip bowl, Mexican or not, we nod knowingly.  Yet I’m not sure what kind of legitimacy we feel this confers on Latino cuisine or the growing market for Latino products.  What does it say about us?  What does it say about them?  What does it say about ketchup?  With so much baggage, it was great to read an article about salsa that was just that.

Just Once More

I’d been burned before.  Last summer I found an old recipe for Brazilian coconut candies called  brasileiras.  I put all the ingredients together as directed – egg yolks, freshly shredded coconut, sugar – but they wanted nothing to do with each other.  I Googled “brasilerias” to find my mistake but the results were (not surprisingly) unhelpful.  A few weeks later, I attempted beijinhos de coco or “coconut kisses”. Similar to the brasileiras, they’re a combination of condensed milk, butter, and grated coconut that are rolled into balls and decorated with a single clove.  This version called for a final dip in chocolate and almonds.  I should have known when I wasn’t able to form the coconut into balls, mounds or anything like it that I’d made a mistake somewhere.  I kept going anyway, making an expensive chocolate almond mess.  I pretended they were edible, but after a day or two, I stopped kidding myself and threw the rest away.  I hadn’t looked a coconut in the eyes since. Read more