Month: April 2015

Cooking Cuscus, But Not the Kind You're Thinking About

I like to read and I like to chase after odd bits of knowledge. For example, when I was in Chiloé, the island off the coast of southern Chile, our guide claimed that curanto, the Chilote version of a pit bake, was brought to the island by ancient Polynesians, to which I replied, ORLY? I […]

H.D. Miller 4 Comments 10 min read Continue reading

Mote con Huesillos on Cerro San Cristobal

Few things are more distressing or funny than watching a fat man labor up a steep hill. And at the end of February of this year, at the height of the Chilean summer, when temperatures in Santiago were in the mid-90s, I was that fat man. I was dragging myself up Cerro San Cristobal, the tall hill with […]

H.D. Miller 0 Comments 12 min read Continue reading

Nixtamalization: Chemistry and Nature in Sweet Hominy

Nixtamalization is the first step in making a tamale, a taco, or hominy. It’s a 3,000-year-old method of removing the pericarp, that thin outer layer, from a kernel of corn. Dried corn is soaked in an alkaline solution, a soup of water and wood ashes, slaked lime, or lye, for a few hours, rinsed in cold water […]

H.D. Miller 8 Comments 11 min read Continue reading

A Bowl of Patasca in the Vega Central

Tuesday nights were taco night in Santiago, a chance for a small group of students to come up to my apartment and watch me eat a prodigious number of chicken tacos, which meant that Tuesday afternoons were spent shopping, a chance for me to wade into the Vega Central and buy a prodigious quantity of […]

H.D. Miller 10 Comments 9 min read Continue reading

Merkén: The Mapuche Spice

Merkén: The Mapuche Spice It’s best to think of colonial Chile, prior to the 19th century, as being on the far side of a distant mountainous moon, isolated and cut off from the rest of the world by the Andes, the Pacific Ocean, and the Atacama Desert. Without the silver mines of Potosi or the […]

H.D. Miller 4 Comments 11 min read Continue reading

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