A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.

amuse bouche

I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:

Americans who have been to France and come home craving a reminder of their magical European experience, love Vermont cheeses.
—Allison Hooper, founder, VT Butter & Cheese Creamery

Practice not cleaning your plate: it will help you eat less in short term and develop self-control in the long term.
—Michael Pollan

Sweet taste buds develop before all others, that’s why small children love sweets.
—Bronwyn Dunne

Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of milk.
—Michael Pollan

My rule of thumb is, when in doubt, cook more than you think you may need.
—Marian Cunningham, from Learning to Cook


The Venerable Shojin Ryori Cuisine of Japan by Hiroko Shimbo

Cookbook author and friend, Hiroshi Shimbo, writes about the special 7th century vegetarian cuisine still practiced in Japan today. 

Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch

A Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch at Shoryakuji Monastery

Bronwyn told me how much she enjoyed the Shojin Ryori on her visit to a Zen temple in Japan this past spring. Shojin Ryori, the venerable Japanese vegetarian cuisine, was introduced by the Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, Dogen. In the 7th century after his studies of Zen Buddhism in China, Dogen banned the slaughter of animals for human consumption. He believed that the act of killing was inhumane and the very act of slaughtering interfered with the training of the monks who meditate in order to attain enlightenment. Shojin means the process of continuous meditation.

Monks practice meditation at the temple throughout the day as part of their daily lives. Even the time for preparing meals and the time for consumption is an important period of meditation. Monks consider that meals are not for satisfying hunger, but are principally for sustaining their health in order that they might continue the proper pursuit of their meditation. Food is not treated as an object of human pleasure.

Shojin Ryori uses grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. To create a Shojin Ryori menu, a monk cook employs these rules: the use of five colors –green, yellow, red, white and black: the use of five cooking techniques –astringent, acid, sweet, salty and spicy. By incorporating all these elements in the prepared dishes, the meal has a balanced nutritional value and, at the same time, can entertain diners’ five senses.

Basic simple Shojin Ryori is Ichi-iuu San-sai.  Ichi-iuu San-sai  literally means one small soup dish and three additional small dishes as one meal. These four dishes are served with two additional indispensable dishes, a small rice bowl and a tiny plate of pickled vegetables.

The meal that Bronwyn had – shown in the above photograph- is an elaborate celebration Shojin Ryori. Tempura dishes include the spring delicacy, butterbur sprout, fuki-no-to. Fuki-no-to, which heralds the early spring, surprises us with pleasant astringent flavor. Fuki, butterbur, which resembles rhubarb in shape, is a popular early spring vegetable in Japan. As is true of many spring vegetables, the astringency of Fuki is one of its prized qualities. At the lunch at the Shoryakuji Monastery, Bronwyn enjoyed simmered Fuki with other spring vegetables –bamboo shoots and shitake mushrooms. She was also served Rape blossom, nano-hana. It resembles young, tender Chinese broccoli and was included in a traditional Shojin Ryori dish called Aemono –firmly cooked vegetables tossed with sesame, miso, vinegar or shoyu-based dressing. Inspired! I will definitely make Shojin Ryori this summer using vegetables available in my local New York area.

See Bronwyn’s post about her trip to Japan and special Shojin Ryori lunch, Food for the Soul as well as the Body: Shojin Ryori.

Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo

Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo

A contributor to Zester Daily, Hiroshi Shimbo is a widely acclaimed chef-consultant and Japanese cooking instructor, and the author of “Hiroko’s American Kitchen,” “The Japanese Kitchen” and “The Sushi Experience.” Read her recent article in Zester Daily on How Japanese Tradition Holds Secrets of Healthy Eating.

 

Posted: 8-1-2014

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[caption id="attachment_3407" align="alignleft" width="500"]Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch A Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch at Shoryakuji Monastery[/caption]

Bronwyn told me how much she enjoyed the Shojin Ryori on her visit to a Zen temple in Japan this past spring. Shojin Ryori, the venerable Japanese vegetarian cuisine, was introduced by the Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, Dogen. In the 7th century after his studies of Zen Buddhism in China, Dogen banned the slaughter of animals for human consumption. He believed that the act of killing was inhumane and the very act of slaughtering interfered with the training of the monks who meditate in order to attain enlightenment. Shojin means the process of continuous meditation.

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Shojin Ryori uses grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. To create a Shojin Ryori menu, a monk cook employs these rules: the use of five colors –green, yellow, red, white and black: the use of five cooking techniques –astringent, acid, sweet, salty and spicy. By incorporating all these elements in the prepared dishes, the meal has a balanced nutritional value and, at the same time, can entertain diners’ five senses.

Basic simple Shojin Ryori is Ichi-iuu San-sai.  Ichi-iuu San-sai  literally means one small soup dish and three additional small dishes as one meal. These four dishes are served with two additional indispensable dishes, a small rice bowl and a tiny plate of pickled vegetables.

The meal that Bronwyn had - shown in the above photograph- is an elaborate celebration Shojin Ryori. Tempura dishes include the spring delicacy, butterbur sprout, fuki-no-to. Fuki-no-to, which heralds the early spring, surprises us with pleasant astringent flavor. Fuki, butterbur, which resembles rhubarb in shape, is a popular early spring vegetable in Japan. As is true of many spring vegetables, the astringency of Fuki is one of its prized qualities. At the lunch at the Shoryakuji Monastery, Bronwyn enjoyed simmered Fuki with other spring vegetables –bamboo shoots and shitake mushrooms. She was also served Rape blossom, nano-hana. It resembles young, tender Chinese broccoli and was included in a traditional Shojin Ryori dish called Aemono –firmly cooked vegetables tossed with sesame, miso, vinegar or shoyu-based dressing. Inspired! I will definitely make Shojin Ryori this summer using vegetables available in my local New York area.

See Bronwyn's post about her trip to Japan and special Shojin Ryori lunch, Food for the Soul as well as the Body: Shojin Ryori.

[caption id="attachment_3410" align="alignleft" width="150"]Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo[/caption]

A contributor to Zester Daily, Hiroshi Shimbo is a widely acclaimed chef-consultant and Japanese cooking instructor, and the author of "Hiroko's American Kitchen," "The Japanese Kitchen" and "The Sushi Experience." Read her recent article in Zester Daily on How Japanese Tradition Holds Secrets of Healthy Eating.

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The Stars of San Sebastian, Spain

By Margo Davis Margo Davis returns to In the Kitchen with Bronwyn with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons. Welcome back, Margo! —Bronwyn  Grey Line And, I do not mean Hollywood stars or rocks stars or even the stars that come out at night in the firmament. I am referring to Michelin-starred restaurants. Imagine the surprise when we learned that, in the entire world, no region has as many starred restaurants per square kilometer as Donostia/San Sebastian! It has become a destination for gastronomes. Delight & Anticipation My husband and I do not travel to eat but we definitely travel with dining in mind! In May this year, we enjoyed a very special schooner journey around the Iberian Peninsula in the Sea Cloud II with a Stanford Alumni group. We were treated to top rate lectures about the history of Iberia, visits to the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcazar in Sevilla, cathedrals in Lisboa and Santiago de Compostela, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Picture our delight and anticipation when we realized that we were ending our journey on the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, Spain, only a few miles from San Sebastian. [caption id="attachment_2755" align="alignnone" width="500"]The Sea Cloud II The Sea Cloud II[/caption] Gilding the Lily The Sea Cloud II is a modern windjammer completed in 2001, modeled on the original 1931 sailing ship, Sea Cloud, which was built for Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress and a founder of General Foods Corporation. The journey on this marvelous elegant ship provided plenty of fine dining for eight days with an excellent German chef and staff. We ate too much and very well. The choice of an extension of our own to San Sebastian after such a voyage was really “gilding the lily”!!! BUT, we were so very close to a foodie nirvana. The Guggenheim Museum We left the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, in northern Spain where the Guggenheim Museum perches around the Nervion River. We drove the 66 miles over to Donostia, the Basque name for San Sebastian, a coastal city on the Bay of Biscay only some 15 miles from the French border. Donostia is a paradise of mountains falling into the horseshoe-shaped bay with lovely beaches for swimming and surfing. [caption id="attachment_2753" align="alignnone" width="499"]guggenheim museum The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain[/caption] 116–Year Old Restaurant Our interest however, was less in the sporting life (maybe we should be indulging in some of this!) and more in the gastronomic fare around us. As I said before, San Sebastian and the region has forged an identity in gastronomy. The artist/chefs are starred and world famous. If you did not know this previously, you will now know that Juan Mari Arzak, the father of Basque Cuisine, is responsible for birthing chefs like El Bulli’s Ferran Adria, now considered one of the most brilliant in the culinary world. Arzak and his daughter, Elena, have their family’s 116-year old restaurant right here in the city. They shop at the amazing La Bretxa market in the old town (Parte Vieja). They are deeply rooted in their Basque country. Multi-Starred Night On The Town Because we had eaten at Arzak many years before, we chose a new venue for our multi-starred night on the town. And a night out it was! I felt like I could have just stopped the search for the ultimate dining experience after the tasting menu at Martin Berasategui. Many guests were snapping photos of their plates, but I just felt that was an invasion of privacy. So, you can find many pictures on Martin’s web site. Chef Berasategui’s dishes capture the absolute essence of flavor of whatever he features, be it fois-gras, lobster, pigeon, oyster… you name it. I now dream of a return to Donostia for another meal chez Martin and also to return to Zuberoa, a memorable meal in a 15th century farmhouse in the ancient town of Oiartzun near San Sebastian. Too Many Restaurants, Too Little Time For fine dining there are too many restaurants and too little time! Add Akelare, Mugaritz, Mirador de Ulia, Kokotxa, and Alameda and many many more. There are also some great alternatives to all of this formal fine dining: the tapas bars… San Sebastian style. In fact, this is where one should begin a culinary tour…  to get an idea of the local ingredients and the local resident’s way of eating. This way you can walk from one small bite to another, working off the calories as you bar hop. You will be arm to arm and cheek to jowl, believe me, with all the locals as well as tourists. Head For The Old Town [caption id="attachment_2758" align="alignleft" width="233"]market in San Sebastian A Street Scene in The Food-lovers Town of San Sebastian[/caption] Head for the Old Town (Parte Vieja). The entire parte vieja is filled with small bars with their signature ‘pintxos’ (the Basque word for tapas), delectable bocadillos, a la plancha with seafood, estafadoes, stews, fritos and more goodies…all different combinations. Cepes (mushrooms), asparagus, roasted peppers and garlic on top of crispy bread, potato salad with tuna, squid, grilled octopus, prawns, etcetera, and so it rolls… on and on and on! Wash this down with a cerveza corto (short beer) or a txakoli, a light bubbly local white wine. Heaven is just around the corner in your B&B for a Basque-style siesta. Or just wash it down a second time in the salty sea with a swim in the Bay of Biscay. On egin!  Buen apetito!  Buen Provecho! " ["post_title"]=> string(46) "From the Sea Cloud to the Cloud Nine of Dining" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(208) "Guest blogger Margo Davis returns with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons!" 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I think it’s having homemade mozzarella cheese to accompany this special summer flavor. Please enjoy my friend Lisa Farrell’s "Spoon Fed Story" about our experience making mozzarella. —Bronwyn In summer I could exist solely on fresh mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, and plucked-from-the-bush basil. I can't get enough of that exquisite combo. So when a class about making fresh mozzarella was offered through City Market in South Burlington, Vermont, Bronwyn and I quickly signed up. Thanks to Lindsay Harris from Family Cow Farmstand in Hinesburg, the class was both informative and fun. She taught us how to make mozzarella from raw milk using the fresh, golden liquid from her own Guernseys. Lindsay made the steps look simple and foolproof: her mozzarella was beautiful and delicious. A few weeks later, Bronwyn and I made our own batch using milk from Lindsay's cows. Mozzarella ingredients are pretty basic: milk, citric acid, rennet, salt, and water. You'll also need a good thermometer that measures between 90 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the steps are simple, temperature and timing may vary based on a dozen factors. Therein lies the challenge —and magic—of seeing milk become mozzarella. Ours didn't look or taste quite like Lindsay's, but it was good nevertheless. I'm hooked on making fresh mozzarella. If only I could make those tomatoes ripen quicker... See the fresh mozzarella recipe here > " ["post_title"]=> string(23) "Making Fresh Mozzarella" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(154) "My good friend, Lisa Farrell, and I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon making mozzarella cheese in my kitchen, after having attended a workshop at City Market." 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IMG_3341a

Sometimes my interest in the environment and my interest in food coincide so perfectly I have to just sit back and enjoy the experience. In this case, good friends, Lisa Farrell and Gary Harrison decided to spend three years in Peru so that Gary, who writes about international agriculture and development, could work with the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru.

When I asked Gary to send me a list of the internationally best-known potatoes —I was looking for a list similar to the one I’d posted about tomatoes last summer— he replied that there were thousands of potato varieties, too many to list. But, our conversation led to my interest in an article Gary sent to me about the return of dehydrating potato process that was a common way of preserving potatoes in the cold, dry weather of the Peruvian winter. It creates a preserved potato that is chalky white but firm and easy to cook. Nouvelle Peruvian cuisine now uses this style of preserved potato called chuño to make soups, stews and side dishes that are delicious and retain the same nutrition that allowed the ancient Peruvians to dominate a large part of South America and create a thriving civilization hundreds of years ago. 

I hope you enjoy Gary’s story of chuño (below) and find useful the lists of potatoes culled from the thousands available.

One last thought about chuño: In a world concerned about the sourcing of food, chuno could be one answer.  Perhaps the food entrepreneurs of Vermont, whose enthusiasm for what is new and local is infectious, could take a look at the process. What is old is new, again!

A Source of Chuno: LatinMerchant.com in Seattle, Washington

Potato Varieties:

Grey Line

churo potato photos

Cold Comfort – Chuño
By Gary Harrison

In this part of the agricultural world, the exchange rate of toil and tillage is rarely equitable. A bumper crop of anxiety grows unchecked from one year to the next, and food security is the worry that sits always at the dinner table. For the thousands of farmers scattered high in the Peruvian Andes, the humble potato has always been the crop that’s fed their family. No surprise: the potato as we know it started here, and hundreds of wild and cultivated varieties are still at the core of rural livelihoods and diets.

Like the farmers who grow them, there are a few hundred varieties that thrive in the harsh, chilly altitudes of up to 4,300 meters above sea level—about as high as Mt. Shasta. In villages from central to southern Peru, these small, powerhouse potatoes undergo a traditional process known as chuño, a form of freeze drying that allows them to be stored and eaten for up to 10 years. To produce chuño, farmers harvest the potatoes by hand in June and July and spread them out in batches. The potatoes are exposed to an extreme combination of severe nighttime frosts and prolonged sunny days and the thin air’s low humidity. Once the potatoes are “soft,” farmers walk on them to squeeze out the remaining moisture and the natural, bitter-tasting glycolalkaloids. The tubers are finally washed in fresh stream or river water to dilute remaining unwanted solutes, dried, and then rubbed against each other to remove the remaining bits of skin. After about a month, you have a powdery white—that’s the starchy residue now brought to the surface—potato roughly the size and shape as our “chef’s potato” variety. 

Chuño is typically boiled or served in soups and stews. It is easy to digest and provides important calcium and iron that Andean families may not otherwise get from their limited diets. Like quinoa, another traditional Andean food that has found a receptive global palate, chuño is starting to make its way to urban markets discovering inventive Peruvian cuisine. Think of chuño as a new twist on the classic mashed potato. 

“White Gold”

White chuño, also called tunta, was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Sometimes referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helped extend the limited seasonality of the usual potato supply and became the most important financial resource of the time to supply investments and make payments in all of the Inca Empire. Centuries later, the tunta turned into the main “fuel” that every day fed the thousands of hungry miners working across the entire Andean region.

Chuño continues to be a basic part of the everyday diet of the entire Peruvian Andes, from north to south, where it forms part of the regional culinary culture. The cities of Arequipa, Cuzco, and Puno have developed typical regional dishes in which white chuño contributes a spongy texture and special taste that blends deliciously with other Andean vegetables, fruit, meat, and spices.

Gary Harrison thanks Stef De Haan, the global science leader for genetic resources at the International Potato Center, for source material and photographs about chuño.

 Grey Line

The Story of Potatoes Continues…. 

The story of potatoes continues next week when I will include a new video that my friend Janet Biehl made, of my stepmother, Judith Jones and me making potato salad at the end of last summer up in the Northeast Kingdom, here in Vermont. Two recipes for the salads will be posted as well: the French version made with warm potatoes and served at room temperature, and the American version with lots of mayonnaise, cucumber and radishes. Who knows, maybe we will have a heat wave Easter Weekend!

A Bientot,

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I can’t think of a better way to begin the New Year! Please see her sister’s Roasted Root Vegetable recipe, the best recipe I’ve seen yet for roasting vegetables! — Bronwyn My Life in France by Julia Child bookcover My husband, Dan, and I both like to cook, so when we saw a course offered by Bronwyn Dunne through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Vermont in Burlington, we jumped at the chance to participate in Cooking with the Masters. Based on the research, knowledge and recipes of Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, we learned more about the benefits of using fresh produce, meats, fish and poultry, making our own salad dressings, pastry for pies and quiches, and much more. We participated along with a curious and delightful group of adult learners. 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There was always a sense of sharing a meal for nourishment, physical and spiritual, and then enough physical activity to keep one fit and the body maintained and moving. My husband and I keep this in mind as we prepare food and enjoy it together. So far this mantra has had positive results for each of us, and we intend to continue this focus as we enter the New Year." ["post_title"]=> string(49) "An Adventure in Cooking, Food & Healthy Living…" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(235) "My husband, Dan, and I both like to cook, so when we saw a course offered by Bronwyn Dunne through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Vermont, we jumped at the chance to participate in Cooking with the Masters. " ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(43) "an-adventure-in-cooking-food-healthy-living" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(140) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/recipes/happy-new-year-resolutions-roasted-root-vegetables http://learn.uvm.edu/osher-life-long-learning/" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2014-08-01 19:34:51" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-08-01 19:34:51" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/?p=1752" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "1" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#237 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(3403) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2014-08-01 19:30:14" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-08-01 19:30:14" ["post_content"]=> string(5411) "Cookbook author and friend, Hiroshi Shimbo, writes about the special 7th century vegetarian cuisine still practiced in Japan today.  [caption id="attachment_3407" align="alignleft" width="500"]Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch A Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch at Shoryakuji Monastery[/caption] Bronwyn told me how much she enjoyed the Shojin Ryori on her visit to a Zen temple in Japan this past spring. Shojin Ryori, the venerable Japanese vegetarian cuisine, was introduced by the Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, Dogen. In the 7th century after his studies of Zen Buddhism in China, Dogen banned the slaughter of animals for human consumption. He believed that the act of killing was inhumane and the very act of slaughtering interfered with the training of the monks who meditate in order to attain enlightenment. Shojin means the process of continuous meditation. Monks practice meditation at the temple throughout the day as part of their daily lives. Even the time for preparing meals and the time for consumption is an important period of meditation. Monks consider that meals are not for satisfying hunger, but are principally for sustaining their health in order that they might continue the proper pursuit of their meditation. Food is not treated as an object of human pleasure. Shojin Ryori uses grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. To create a Shojin Ryori menu, a monk cook employs these rules: the use of five colors –green, yellow, red, white and black: the use of five cooking techniques –astringent, acid, sweet, salty and spicy. By incorporating all these elements in the prepared dishes, the meal has a balanced nutritional value and, at the same time, can entertain diners’ five senses. Basic simple Shojin Ryori is Ichi-iuu San-sai.  Ichi-iuu San-sai  literally means one small soup dish and three additional small dishes as one meal. These four dishes are served with two additional indispensable dishes, a small rice bowl and a tiny plate of pickled vegetables. The meal that Bronwyn had - shown in the above photograph- is an elaborate celebration Shojin Ryori. Tempura dishes include the spring delicacy, butterbur sprout, fuki-no-to. Fuki-no-to, which heralds the early spring, surprises us with pleasant astringent flavor. Fuki, butterbur, which resembles rhubarb in shape, is a popular early spring vegetable in Japan. As is true of many spring vegetables, the astringency of Fuki is one of its prized qualities. At the lunch at the Shoryakuji Monastery, Bronwyn enjoyed simmered Fuki with other spring vegetables –bamboo shoots and shitake mushrooms. She was also served Rape blossom, nano-hana. It resembles young, tender Chinese broccoli and was included in a traditional Shojin Ryori dish called Aemono –firmly cooked vegetables tossed with sesame, miso, vinegar or shoyu-based dressing. Inspired! I will definitely make Shojin Ryori this summer using vegetables available in my local New York area. See Bronwyn's post about her trip to Japan and special Shojin Ryori lunch, Food for the Soul as well as the Body: Shojin Ryori. [caption id="attachment_3410" align="alignleft" width="150"]Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo[/caption] A contributor to Zester Daily, Hiroshi Shimbo is a widely acclaimed chef-consultant and Japanese cooking instructor, and the author of "Hiroko's American Kitchen," "The Japanese Kitchen" and "The Sushi Experience." Read her recent article in Zester Daily on How Japanese Tradition Holds Secrets of Healthy Eating.  " ["post_title"]=> string(60) "The Venerable Shojin Ryori Cuisine of Japan by Hiroko Shimbo" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(202) "Cookbook author and friend, Hiroshi Shimbo, writes about the special 7th century vegetarian cuisine still practiced today, Shojin Ryori, which I enjoyed on my visit to a Zen temple in Japan this spring." 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3 Responses to “The Venerable Shojin Ryori Cuisine of Japan by Hiroko Shimbo”

  1. […] of Shojin Ryori so interesting, I asked her to share it with my blog readers. Take a look at Hiroko’s description of this 7th century vegetarian cooking style still practiced in Japan. It’s her contribution to the Spoon Fed Stories section of my […]

  2. Mary des Jardins says:

    Just returned from another amazing journey through Japan with Upaya visiting sacred Zen temples and shrines. More amazing dining experiences in the zen temple tradition. Thought of you. You were missed!!!

  3. Bronwyn says:

    If I life were perfect, I would have been there, Mary! I’d love to see photos. I hope to join everyone, again, next year. Hope you are well!

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From the Sea Cloud to the Cloud Nine of Dining

The Stars of San Sebastian, Spain

By Margo Davis

Margo Davis returns to In the Kitchen with Bronwyn with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons. Welcome back, Margo!
—Bronwyn 

Grey Line

And, I do not mean Hollywood stars or rocks stars or even the stars that come out at night in the firmament. I am referring to Michelin-starred restaurants. Imagine the surprise when we learned that, in the entire world, no region has as many starred restaurants per square kilometer as Donostia/San Sebastian! It has become a destination for gastronomes.

Delight & Anticipation
My husband and I do not travel to eat but we definitely travel with dining in mind! In May this year, we enjoyed a very special schooner journey around the Iberian Peninsula in the Sea Cloud II with a Stanford Alumni group. We were treated to top rate lectures about the history of Iberia, visits to the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcazar in Sevilla, cathedrals in Lisboa and Santiago de Compostela, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Picture our delight and anticipation when we realized that we were ending our journey on the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, Spain, only a few miles from San Sebastian.

The Sea Cloud II

The Sea Cloud II

Gilding the Lily
The Sea Cloud II is a modern windjammer completed in 2001, modeled on the original 1931 sailing ship, Sea Cloud, which was built for Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress and a founder of General Foods Corporation. The journey on this marvelous elegant ship provided plenty of fine dining for eight days with an excellent German chef and staff. We ate too much and very well. The choice of an extension of our own to San Sebastian after such a voyage was really “gilding the lily”!!! BUT, we were so very close to a foodie nirvana.

The Guggenheim Museum
We left the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, in northern Spain where the Guggenheim Museum perches around the Nervion River. We drove the 66 miles over to Donostia, the Basque name for San Sebastian, a coastal city on the Bay of Biscay only some 15 miles from the French border. Donostia is a paradise of mountains falling into the horseshoe-shaped bay with lovely beaches for swimming and surfing.

guggenheim museum

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

116–Year Old Restaurant
Our interest however, was less in the sporting life (maybe we should be indulging in some of this!) and more in the gastronomic fare around us. As I said before, San Sebastian and the region has forged an identity in gastronomy. The artist/chefs are starred and world famous. If you did not know this previously, you will now know that Juan Mari Arzak, the father of Basque Cuisine, is responsible for birthing chefs like El Bulli’s Ferran Adria, now considered one of the most brilliant in the culinary world. Arzak and his daughter, Elena, have their family’s 116-year old restaurant right here in the city. They shop at the amazing La Bretxa market in the old town (Parte Vieja). They are deeply rooted in their Basque country.

Multi-Starred Night On The Town
Because we had eaten at Arzak many years before, we chose a new venue for our multi-starred night on the town. And a night out it was! I felt like I could have just stopped the search for the ultimate dining experience after the tasting menu at Martin Berasategui. Many guests were snapping photos of their plates, but I just felt that was an invasion of privacy. So, you can find many pictures on Martin’s web site.

Chef Berasategui’s dishes capture the absolute essence of flavor of whatever he features, be it fois-gras, lobster, pigeon, oyster… you name it. I now dream of a return to Donostia for another meal chez Martin and also to return to Zuberoa, a memorable meal in a 15th century farmhouse in the ancient town of Oiartzun near San Sebastian.

Too Many Restaurants, Too Little Time
For fine dining there are too many restaurants and too little time! Add Akelare, Mugaritz, Mirador de Ulia, Kokotxa, and Alameda and many many more.

There are also some great alternatives to all of this formal fine dining: the tapas bars… San Sebastian style. In fact, this is where one should begin a culinary tour…  to get an idea of the local ingredients and the local resident’s way of eating. This way you can walk from one small bite to another, working off the calories as you bar hop. You will be arm to arm and cheek to jowl, believe me, with all the locals as well as tourists.

Head For The Old Town

market in San Sebastian

A Street Scene in The Food-lovers Town of San Sebastian

Head for the Old Town (Parte Vieja). The entire parte vieja is filled with small bars with their signature ‘pintxos’ (the Basque word for tapas), delectable bocadillos, a la plancha with seafood, estafadoes, stews, fritos and more goodies…all different combinations. Cepes (mushrooms), asparagus, roasted peppers and garlic on top of crispy bread, potato salad with tuna, squid, grilled octopus, prawns, etcetera, and so it rolls… on and on and on!

Wash this down with a cerveza corto (short beer) or a txakoli, a light bubbly local white wine. Heaven is just around the corner in your B&B for a Basque-style siesta. Or just wash it down a second time in the salty sea with a swim in the Bay of Biscay.

On egin!  Buen apetito!  Buen Provecho! 

Posted: 8-17-2013

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[caption id="attachment_3407" align="alignleft" width="500"]Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch A Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch at Shoryakuji Monastery[/caption]

Bronwyn told me how much she enjoyed the Shojin Ryori on her visit to a Zen temple in Japan this past spring. Shojin Ryori, the venerable Japanese vegetarian cuisine, was introduced by the Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, Dogen. In the 7th century after his studies of Zen Buddhism in China, Dogen banned the slaughter of animals for human consumption. He believed that the act of killing was inhumane and the very act of slaughtering interfered with the training of the monks who meditate in order to attain enlightenment. Shojin means the process of continuous meditation.

Monks practice meditation at the temple throughout the day as part of their daily lives. Even the time for preparing meals and the time for consumption is an important period of meditation. Monks consider that meals are not for satisfying hunger, but are principally for sustaining their health in order that they might continue the proper pursuit of their meditation. Food is not treated as an object of human pleasure.

Shojin Ryori uses grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. To create a Shojin Ryori menu, a monk cook employs these rules: the use of five colors –green, yellow, red, white and black: the use of five cooking techniques –astringent, acid, sweet, salty and spicy. By incorporating all these elements in the prepared dishes, the meal has a balanced nutritional value and, at the same time, can entertain diners’ five senses.

Basic simple Shojin Ryori is Ichi-iuu San-sai.  Ichi-iuu San-sai  literally means one small soup dish and three additional small dishes as one meal. These four dishes are served with two additional indispensable dishes, a small rice bowl and a tiny plate of pickled vegetables.

The meal that Bronwyn had - shown in the above photograph- is an elaborate celebration Shojin Ryori. Tempura dishes include the spring delicacy, butterbur sprout, fuki-no-to. Fuki-no-to, which heralds the early spring, surprises us with pleasant astringent flavor. Fuki, butterbur, which resembles rhubarb in shape, is a popular early spring vegetable in Japan. As is true of many spring vegetables, the astringency of Fuki is one of its prized qualities. At the lunch at the Shoryakuji Monastery, Bronwyn enjoyed simmered Fuki with other spring vegetables –bamboo shoots and shitake mushrooms. She was also served Rape blossom, nano-hana. It resembles young, tender Chinese broccoli and was included in a traditional Shojin Ryori dish called Aemono –firmly cooked vegetables tossed with sesame, miso, vinegar or shoyu-based dressing. Inspired! I will definitely make Shojin Ryori this summer using vegetables available in my local New York area.

See Bronwyn's post about her trip to Japan and special Shojin Ryori lunch, Food for the Soul as well as the Body: Shojin Ryori.

[caption id="attachment_3410" align="alignleft" width="150"]Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo[/caption]

A contributor to Zester Daily, Hiroshi Shimbo is a widely acclaimed chef-consultant and Japanese cooking instructor, and the author of "Hiroko's American Kitchen," "The Japanese Kitchen" and "The Sushi Experience." Read her recent article in Zester Daily on How Japanese Tradition Holds Secrets of Healthy Eating.

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The Stars of San Sebastian, Spain

By Margo Davis Margo Davis returns to In the Kitchen with Bronwyn with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons. Welcome back, Margo! —Bronwyn  Grey Line And, I do not mean Hollywood stars or rocks stars or even the stars that come out at night in the firmament. I am referring to Michelin-starred restaurants. Imagine the surprise when we learned that, in the entire world, no region has as many starred restaurants per square kilometer as Donostia/San Sebastian! It has become a destination for gastronomes. Delight & Anticipation My husband and I do not travel to eat but we definitely travel with dining in mind! In May this year, we enjoyed a very special schooner journey around the Iberian Peninsula in the Sea Cloud II with a Stanford Alumni group. We were treated to top rate lectures about the history of Iberia, visits to the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcazar in Sevilla, cathedrals in Lisboa and Santiago de Compostela, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Picture our delight and anticipation when we realized that we were ending our journey on the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, Spain, only a few miles from San Sebastian. [caption id="attachment_2755" align="alignnone" width="500"]The Sea Cloud II The Sea Cloud II[/caption] Gilding the Lily The Sea Cloud II is a modern windjammer completed in 2001, modeled on the original 1931 sailing ship, Sea Cloud, which was built for Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress and a founder of General Foods Corporation. The journey on this marvelous elegant ship provided plenty of fine dining for eight days with an excellent German chef and staff. We ate too much and very well. The choice of an extension of our own to San Sebastian after such a voyage was really “gilding the lily”!!! BUT, we were so very close to a foodie nirvana. The Guggenheim Museum We left the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, in northern Spain where the Guggenheim Museum perches around the Nervion River. We drove the 66 miles over to Donostia, the Basque name for San Sebastian, a coastal city on the Bay of Biscay only some 15 miles from the French border. Donostia is a paradise of mountains falling into the horseshoe-shaped bay with lovely beaches for swimming and surfing. [caption id="attachment_2753" align="alignnone" width="499"]guggenheim museum The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain[/caption] 116–Year Old Restaurant Our interest however, was less in the sporting life (maybe we should be indulging in some of this!) and more in the gastronomic fare around us. As I said before, San Sebastian and the region has forged an identity in gastronomy. The artist/chefs are starred and world famous. If you did not know this previously, you will now know that Juan Mari Arzak, the father of Basque Cuisine, is responsible for birthing chefs like El Bulli’s Ferran Adria, now considered one of the most brilliant in the culinary world. Arzak and his daughter, Elena, have their family’s 116-year old restaurant right here in the city. They shop at the amazing La Bretxa market in the old town (Parte Vieja). They are deeply rooted in their Basque country. Multi-Starred Night On The Town Because we had eaten at Arzak many years before, we chose a new venue for our multi-starred night on the town. And a night out it was! I felt like I could have just stopped the search for the ultimate dining experience after the tasting menu at Martin Berasategui. Many guests were snapping photos of their plates, but I just felt that was an invasion of privacy. So, you can find many pictures on Martin’s web site. Chef Berasategui’s dishes capture the absolute essence of flavor of whatever he features, be it fois-gras, lobster, pigeon, oyster… you name it. I now dream of a return to Donostia for another meal chez Martin and also to return to Zuberoa, a memorable meal in a 15th century farmhouse in the ancient town of Oiartzun near San Sebastian. Too Many Restaurants, Too Little Time For fine dining there are too many restaurants and too little time! Add Akelare, Mugaritz, Mirador de Ulia, Kokotxa, and Alameda and many many more. There are also some great alternatives to all of this formal fine dining: the tapas bars… San Sebastian style. In fact, this is where one should begin a culinary tour…  to get an idea of the local ingredients and the local resident’s way of eating. This way you can walk from one small bite to another, working off the calories as you bar hop. You will be arm to arm and cheek to jowl, believe me, with all the locals as well as tourists. Head For The Old Town [caption id="attachment_2758" align="alignleft" width="233"]market in San Sebastian A Street Scene in The Food-lovers Town of San Sebastian[/caption] Head for the Old Town (Parte Vieja). The entire parte vieja is filled with small bars with their signature ‘pintxos’ (the Basque word for tapas), delectable bocadillos, a la plancha with seafood, estafadoes, stews, fritos and more goodies…all different combinations. Cepes (mushrooms), asparagus, roasted peppers and garlic on top of crispy bread, potato salad with tuna, squid, grilled octopus, prawns, etcetera, and so it rolls… on and on and on! Wash this down with a cerveza corto (short beer) or a txakoli, a light bubbly local white wine. Heaven is just around the corner in your B&B for a Basque-style siesta. Or just wash it down a second time in the salty sea with a swim in the Bay of Biscay. On egin!  Buen apetito!  Buen Provecho! " ["post_title"]=> string(46) "From the Sea Cloud to the Cloud Nine of Dining" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(208) "Guest blogger Margo Davis returns with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons!" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(46) "from-the-sea-cloud-to-the-cloud-nine-of-dining" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2014-08-01 19:32:19" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-08-01 19:32:19" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/?p=2750" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "3" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#235 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2665) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 02:50:48" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 02:50:48" ["post_content"]=> string(2208) "By Lisa Farrell Collage w caption What is better than eating a homegrown tomato in the middle of August? 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You'll also need a good thermometer that measures between 90 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the steps are simple, temperature and timing may vary based on a dozen factors. Therein lies the challenge —and magic—of seeing milk become mozzarella. Ours didn't look or taste quite like Lindsay's, but it was good nevertheless. I'm hooked on making fresh mozzarella. If only I could make those tomatoes ripen quicker... See the fresh mozzarella recipe here > " ["post_title"]=> string(23) "Making Fresh Mozzarella" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(154) "My good friend, Lisa Farrell, and I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon making mozzarella cheese in my kitchen, after having attended a workshop at City Market." 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IMG_3341a

Sometimes my interest in the environment and my interest in food coincide so perfectly I have to just sit back and enjoy the experience. In this case, good friends, Lisa Farrell and Gary Harrison decided to spend three years in Peru so that Gary, who writes about international agriculture and development, could work with the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru.

When I asked Gary to send me a list of the internationally best-known potatoes —I was looking for a list similar to the one I’d posted about tomatoes last summer— he replied that there were thousands of potato varieties, too many to list. But, our conversation led to my interest in an article Gary sent to me about the return of dehydrating potato process that was a common way of preserving potatoes in the cold, dry weather of the Peruvian winter. It creates a preserved potato that is chalky white but firm and easy to cook. Nouvelle Peruvian cuisine now uses this style of preserved potato called chuño to make soups, stews and side dishes that are delicious and retain the same nutrition that allowed the ancient Peruvians to dominate a large part of South America and create a thriving civilization hundreds of years ago. 

I hope you enjoy Gary’s story of chuño (below) and find useful the lists of potatoes culled from the thousands available.

One last thought about chuño: In a world concerned about the sourcing of food, chuno could be one answer.  Perhaps the food entrepreneurs of Vermont, whose enthusiasm for what is new and local is infectious, could take a look at the process. What is old is new, again!

A Source of Chuno: LatinMerchant.com in Seattle, Washington

Potato Varieties:

Grey Line

churo potato photos

Cold Comfort – Chuño
By Gary Harrison

In this part of the agricultural world, the exchange rate of toil and tillage is rarely equitable. A bumper crop of anxiety grows unchecked from one year to the next, and food security is the worry that sits always at the dinner table. For the thousands of farmers scattered high in the Peruvian Andes, the humble potato has always been the crop that’s fed their family. No surprise: the potato as we know it started here, and hundreds of wild and cultivated varieties are still at the core of rural livelihoods and diets.

Like the farmers who grow them, there are a few hundred varieties that thrive in the harsh, chilly altitudes of up to 4,300 meters above sea level—about as high as Mt. Shasta. In villages from central to southern Peru, these small, powerhouse potatoes undergo a traditional process known as chuño, a form of freeze drying that allows them to be stored and eaten for up to 10 years. To produce chuño, farmers harvest the potatoes by hand in June and July and spread them out in batches. The potatoes are exposed to an extreme combination of severe nighttime frosts and prolonged sunny days and the thin air’s low humidity. Once the potatoes are “soft,” farmers walk on them to squeeze out the remaining moisture and the natural, bitter-tasting glycolalkaloids. The tubers are finally washed in fresh stream or river water to dilute remaining unwanted solutes, dried, and then rubbed against each other to remove the remaining bits of skin. After about a month, you have a powdery white—that’s the starchy residue now brought to the surface—potato roughly the size and shape as our “chef’s potato” variety. 

Chuño is typically boiled or served in soups and stews. It is easy to digest and provides important calcium and iron that Andean families may not otherwise get from their limited diets. Like quinoa, another traditional Andean food that has found a receptive global palate, chuño is starting to make its way to urban markets discovering inventive Peruvian cuisine. Think of chuño as a new twist on the classic mashed potato. 

“White Gold”

White chuño, also called tunta, was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Sometimes referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helped extend the limited seasonality of the usual potato supply and became the most important financial resource of the time to supply investments and make payments in all of the Inca Empire. Centuries later, the tunta turned into the main “fuel” that every day fed the thousands of hungry miners working across the entire Andean region.

Chuño continues to be a basic part of the everyday diet of the entire Peruvian Andes, from north to south, where it forms part of the regional culinary culture. The cities of Arequipa, Cuzco, and Puno have developed typical regional dishes in which white chuño contributes a spongy texture and special taste that blends deliciously with other Andean vegetables, fruit, meat, and spices.

Gary Harrison thanks Stef De Haan, the global science leader for genetic resources at the International Potato Center, for source material and photographs about chuño.

 Grey Line

The Story of Potatoes Continues…. 

The story of potatoes continues next week when I will include a new video that my friend Janet Biehl made, of my stepmother, Judith Jones and me making potato salad at the end of last summer up in the Northeast Kingdom, here in Vermont. Two recipes for the salads will be posted as well: the French version made with warm potatoes and served at room temperature, and the American version with lots of mayonnaise, cucumber and radishes. Who knows, maybe we will have a heat wave Easter Weekend!

A Bientot,

" ["post_title"]=> string(49) "Potatoes from Peru: An Ancestral Flavor Reclaimed" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(273) "White chuño was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helps extend the limited seasonality of the potato supply and is an important source of vitamin C and iron for rural Andean families." 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I can’t think of a better way to begin the New Year! Please see her sister’s Roasted Root Vegetable recipe, the best recipe I’ve seen yet for roasting vegetables! — Bronwyn My Life in France by Julia Child bookcover My husband, Dan, and I both like to cook, so when we saw a course offered by Bronwyn Dunne through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Vermont in Burlington, we jumped at the chance to participate in Cooking with the Masters. Based on the research, knowledge and recipes of Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, we learned more about the benefits of using fresh produce, meats, fish and poultry, making our own salad dressings, pastry for pies and quiches, and much more. We participated along with a curious and delightful group of adult learners. 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The Stars of San Sebastian, Spain

By Margo Davis Margo Davis returns to In the Kitchen with Bronwyn with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons. Welcome back, Margo! —Bronwyn  Grey Line And, I do not mean Hollywood stars or rocks stars or even the stars that come out at night in the firmament. I am referring to Michelin-starred restaurants. Imagine the surprise when we learned that, in the entire world, no region has as many starred restaurants per square kilometer as Donostia/San Sebastian! It has become a destination for gastronomes. Delight & Anticipation My husband and I do not travel to eat but we definitely travel with dining in mind! In May this year, we enjoyed a very special schooner journey around the Iberian Peninsula in the Sea Cloud II with a Stanford Alumni group. We were treated to top rate lectures about the history of Iberia, visits to the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcazar in Sevilla, cathedrals in Lisboa and Santiago de Compostela, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Picture our delight and anticipation when we realized that we were ending our journey on the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, Spain, only a few miles from San Sebastian. [caption id="attachment_2755" align="alignnone" width="500"]The Sea Cloud II The Sea Cloud II[/caption] Gilding the Lily The Sea Cloud II is a modern windjammer completed in 2001, modeled on the original 1931 sailing ship, Sea Cloud, which was built for Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress and a founder of General Foods Corporation. The journey on this marvelous elegant ship provided plenty of fine dining for eight days with an excellent German chef and staff. We ate too much and very well. The choice of an extension of our own to San Sebastian after such a voyage was really “gilding the lily”!!! BUT, we were so very close to a foodie nirvana. The Guggenheim Museum We left the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, in northern Spain where the Guggenheim Museum perches around the Nervion River. We drove the 66 miles over to Donostia, the Basque name for San Sebastian, a coastal city on the Bay of Biscay only some 15 miles from the French border. Donostia is a paradise of mountains falling into the horseshoe-shaped bay with lovely beaches for swimming and surfing. [caption id="attachment_2753" align="alignnone" width="499"]guggenheim museum The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain[/caption] 116–Year Old Restaurant Our interest however, was less in the sporting life (maybe we should be indulging in some of this!) and more in the gastronomic fare around us. As I said before, San Sebastian and the region has forged an identity in gastronomy. The artist/chefs are starred and world famous. If you did not know this previously, you will now know that Juan Mari Arzak, the father of Basque Cuisine, is responsible for birthing chefs like El Bulli’s Ferran Adria, now considered one of the most brilliant in the culinary world. Arzak and his daughter, Elena, have their family’s 116-year old restaurant right here in the city. They shop at the amazing La Bretxa market in the old town (Parte Vieja). They are deeply rooted in their Basque country. Multi-Starred Night On The Town Because we had eaten at Arzak many years before, we chose a new venue for our multi-starred night on the town. And a night out it was! I felt like I could have just stopped the search for the ultimate dining experience after the tasting menu at Martin Berasategui. Many guests were snapping photos of their plates, but I just felt that was an invasion of privacy. So, you can find many pictures on Martin’s web site. Chef Berasategui’s dishes capture the absolute essence of flavor of whatever he features, be it fois-gras, lobster, pigeon, oyster… you name it. I now dream of a return to Donostia for another meal chez Martin and also to return to Zuberoa, a memorable meal in a 15th century farmhouse in the ancient town of Oiartzun near San Sebastian. Too Many Restaurants, Too Little Time For fine dining there are too many restaurants and too little time! Add Akelare, Mugaritz, Mirador de Ulia, Kokotxa, and Alameda and many many more. There are also some great alternatives to all of this formal fine dining: the tapas bars… San Sebastian style. In fact, this is where one should begin a culinary tour…  to get an idea of the local ingredients and the local resident’s way of eating. This way you can walk from one small bite to another, working off the calories as you bar hop. You will be arm to arm and cheek to jowl, believe me, with all the locals as well as tourists. Head For The Old Town [caption id="attachment_2758" align="alignleft" width="233"]market in San Sebastian A Street Scene in The Food-lovers Town of San Sebastian[/caption] Head for the Old Town (Parte Vieja). The entire parte vieja is filled with small bars with their signature ‘pintxos’ (the Basque word for tapas), delectable bocadillos, a la plancha with seafood, estafadoes, stews, fritos and more goodies…all different combinations. Cepes (mushrooms), asparagus, roasted peppers and garlic on top of crispy bread, potato salad with tuna, squid, grilled octopus, prawns, etcetera, and so it rolls… on and on and on! Wash this down with a cerveza corto (short beer) or a txakoli, a light bubbly local white wine. Heaven is just around the corner in your B&B for a Basque-style siesta. Or just wash it down a second time in the salty sea with a swim in the Bay of Biscay. 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3 Responses to “From the Sea Cloud to the Cloud Nine of Dining”

  1. Will Bailey says:

    If you had only one or two nights to spend in this region, what a challenge deciding which dining (place) experience to have. And I thought New York had too many to choose from.

  2. Laurie Baumgarten says:

    Brings back my 3 weeks in San Sebastian in 2006 and our many walks along the water to Old Town to eat in the yummy tapas bars. One evening we chose to eat in a very local little basque restaurant with a menu only in the Basque language. We did not know what we were ordering. What came to our table was a plate of octopus suckers floating in black liquid. Jesse and Michael were brave souls and dug in…I’m afraid I was too squeamish.
    By the way, the fabulous, large food markets throughout Basque country are all owned and operated by Mondragon Enterprises, the largest worker-owned and controlled cooperative system in the world.

  3. “I discovered your blog web site on google and test just a few of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the superb operate. I simply further up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Reader. Searching for forward to reading more from you afterward!…”

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Making Fresh Mozzarella

By Lisa Farrell

Collage w caption

What is better than eating a homegrown tomato in the middle of August? I think it’s having homemade mozzarella cheese to accompany this special summer flavor. Please enjoy my friend Lisa Farrell’s “Spoon Fed Story” about our experience making mozzarella. —Bronwyn

In summer I could exist solely on fresh mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, and plucked-from-the-bush basil. I can’t get enough of that exquisite combo.

So when a class about making fresh mozzarella was offered through City Market in South Burlington, Vermont, Bronwyn and I quickly signed up. Thanks to Lindsay Harris from Family Cow Farmstand in Hinesburg, the class was both informative and fun. She taught us how to make mozzarella from raw milk using the fresh, golden liquid from her own Guernseys. Lindsay made the steps look simple and foolproof: her mozzarella was beautiful and delicious.

A few weeks later, Bronwyn and I made our own batch using milk from Lindsay’s cows. Mozzarella ingredients are pretty basic: milk, citric acid, rennet, salt, and water. You’ll also need a good thermometer that measures between 90 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the steps are simple, temperature and timing may vary based on a dozen factors. Therein lies the challenge —and magic—of seeing milk become mozzarella. Ours didn’t look or taste quite like Lindsay’s, but it was good nevertheless.

I’m hooked on making fresh mozzarella. If only I could make those tomatoes ripen quicker…

See the fresh mozzarella recipe here >

Posted: 7-27-2013

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      string(5411) "Cookbook author and friend, Hiroshi Shimbo, writes about the special 7th century vegetarian cuisine still practiced in Japan today. 

[caption id="attachment_3407" align="alignleft" width="500"]Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch A Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch at Shoryakuji Monastery[/caption]

Bronwyn told me how much she enjoyed the Shojin Ryori on her visit to a Zen temple in Japan this past spring. Shojin Ryori, the venerable Japanese vegetarian cuisine, was introduced by the Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, Dogen. In the 7th century after his studies of Zen Buddhism in China, Dogen banned the slaughter of animals for human consumption. He believed that the act of killing was inhumane and the very act of slaughtering interfered with the training of the monks who meditate in order to attain enlightenment. Shojin means the process of continuous meditation.

Monks practice meditation at the temple throughout the day as part of their daily lives. Even the time for preparing meals and the time for consumption is an important period of meditation. Monks consider that meals are not for satisfying hunger, but are principally for sustaining their health in order that they might continue the proper pursuit of their meditation. Food is not treated as an object of human pleasure.

Shojin Ryori uses grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. To create a Shojin Ryori menu, a monk cook employs these rules: the use of five colors –green, yellow, red, white and black: the use of five cooking techniques –astringent, acid, sweet, salty and spicy. By incorporating all these elements in the prepared dishes, the meal has a balanced nutritional value and, at the same time, can entertain diners’ five senses.

Basic simple Shojin Ryori is Ichi-iuu San-sai.  Ichi-iuu San-sai  literally means one small soup dish and three additional small dishes as one meal. These four dishes are served with two additional indispensable dishes, a small rice bowl and a tiny plate of pickled vegetables.

The meal that Bronwyn had - shown in the above photograph- is an elaborate celebration Shojin Ryori. Tempura dishes include the spring delicacy, butterbur sprout, fuki-no-to. Fuki-no-to, which heralds the early spring, surprises us with pleasant astringent flavor. Fuki, butterbur, which resembles rhubarb in shape, is a popular early spring vegetable in Japan. As is true of many spring vegetables, the astringency of Fuki is one of its prized qualities. At the lunch at the Shoryakuji Monastery, Bronwyn enjoyed simmered Fuki with other spring vegetables –bamboo shoots and shitake mushrooms. She was also served Rape blossom, nano-hana. It resembles young, tender Chinese broccoli and was included in a traditional Shojin Ryori dish called Aemono –firmly cooked vegetables tossed with sesame, miso, vinegar or shoyu-based dressing. Inspired! I will definitely make Shojin Ryori this summer using vegetables available in my local New York area.

See Bronwyn's post about her trip to Japan and special Shojin Ryori lunch, Food for the Soul as well as the Body: Shojin Ryori.

[caption id="attachment_3410" align="alignleft" width="150"]Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo[/caption]

A contributor to Zester Daily, Hiroshi Shimbo is a widely acclaimed chef-consultant and Japanese cooking instructor, and the author of "Hiroko's American Kitchen," "The Japanese Kitchen" and "The Sushi Experience." Read her recent article in Zester Daily on How Japanese Tradition Holds Secrets of Healthy Eating.

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The Stars of San Sebastian, Spain

By Margo Davis Margo Davis returns to In the Kitchen with Bronwyn with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons. Welcome back, Margo! —Bronwyn  Grey Line And, I do not mean Hollywood stars or rocks stars or even the stars that come out at night in the firmament. I am referring to Michelin-starred restaurants. Imagine the surprise when we learned that, in the entire world, no region has as many starred restaurants per square kilometer as Donostia/San Sebastian! It has become a destination for gastronomes. Delight & Anticipation My husband and I do not travel to eat but we definitely travel with dining in mind! In May this year, we enjoyed a very special schooner journey around the Iberian Peninsula in the Sea Cloud II with a Stanford Alumni group. We were treated to top rate lectures about the history of Iberia, visits to the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcazar in Sevilla, cathedrals in Lisboa and Santiago de Compostela, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Picture our delight and anticipation when we realized that we were ending our journey on the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, Spain, only a few miles from San Sebastian. [caption id="attachment_2755" align="alignnone" width="500"]The Sea Cloud II The Sea Cloud II[/caption] Gilding the Lily The Sea Cloud II is a modern windjammer completed in 2001, modeled on the original 1931 sailing ship, Sea Cloud, which was built for Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress and a founder of General Foods Corporation. The journey on this marvelous elegant ship provided plenty of fine dining for eight days with an excellent German chef and staff. We ate too much and very well. The choice of an extension of our own to San Sebastian after such a voyage was really “gilding the lily”!!! BUT, we were so very close to a foodie nirvana. The Guggenheim Museum We left the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, in northern Spain where the Guggenheim Museum perches around the Nervion River. We drove the 66 miles over to Donostia, the Basque name for San Sebastian, a coastal city on the Bay of Biscay only some 15 miles from the French border. Donostia is a paradise of mountains falling into the horseshoe-shaped bay with lovely beaches for swimming and surfing. [caption id="attachment_2753" align="alignnone" width="499"]guggenheim museum The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain[/caption] 116–Year Old Restaurant Our interest however, was less in the sporting life (maybe we should be indulging in some of this!) and more in the gastronomic fare around us. As I said before, San Sebastian and the region has forged an identity in gastronomy. The artist/chefs are starred and world famous. If you did not know this previously, you will now know that Juan Mari Arzak, the father of Basque Cuisine, is responsible for birthing chefs like El Bulli’s Ferran Adria, now considered one of the most brilliant in the culinary world. Arzak and his daughter, Elena, have their family’s 116-year old restaurant right here in the city. They shop at the amazing La Bretxa market in the old town (Parte Vieja). They are deeply rooted in their Basque country. Multi-Starred Night On The Town Because we had eaten at Arzak many years before, we chose a new venue for our multi-starred night on the town. And a night out it was! I felt like I could have just stopped the search for the ultimate dining experience after the tasting menu at Martin Berasategui. Many guests were snapping photos of their plates, but I just felt that was an invasion of privacy. So, you can find many pictures on Martin’s web site. Chef Berasategui’s dishes capture the absolute essence of flavor of whatever he features, be it fois-gras, lobster, pigeon, oyster… you name it. I now dream of a return to Donostia for another meal chez Martin and also to return to Zuberoa, a memorable meal in a 15th century farmhouse in the ancient town of Oiartzun near San Sebastian. Too Many Restaurants, Too Little Time For fine dining there are too many restaurants and too little time! Add Akelare, Mugaritz, Mirador de Ulia, Kokotxa, and Alameda and many many more. There are also some great alternatives to all of this formal fine dining: the tapas bars… San Sebastian style. In fact, this is where one should begin a culinary tour…  to get an idea of the local ingredients and the local resident’s way of eating. This way you can walk from one small bite to another, working off the calories as you bar hop. You will be arm to arm and cheek to jowl, believe me, with all the locals as well as tourists. Head For The Old Town [caption id="attachment_2758" align="alignleft" width="233"]market in San Sebastian A Street Scene in The Food-lovers Town of San Sebastian[/caption] Head for the Old Town (Parte Vieja). The entire parte vieja is filled with small bars with their signature ‘pintxos’ (the Basque word for tapas), delectable bocadillos, a la plancha with seafood, estafadoes, stews, fritos and more goodies…all different combinations. Cepes (mushrooms), asparagus, roasted peppers and garlic on top of crispy bread, potato salad with tuna, squid, grilled octopus, prawns, etcetera, and so it rolls… on and on and on! Wash this down with a cerveza corto (short beer) or a txakoli, a light bubbly local white wine. Heaven is just around the corner in your B&B for a Basque-style siesta. Or just wash it down a second time in the salty sea with a swim in the Bay of Biscay. On egin!  Buen apetito!  Buen Provecho! " ["post_title"]=> string(46) "From the Sea Cloud to the Cloud Nine of Dining" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(208) "Guest blogger Margo Davis returns with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons!" 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IMG_3341a

Sometimes my interest in the environment and my interest in food coincide so perfectly I have to just sit back and enjoy the experience. In this case, good friends, Lisa Farrell and Gary Harrison decided to spend three years in Peru so that Gary, who writes about international agriculture and development, could work with the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru.

When I asked Gary to send me a list of the internationally best-known potatoes —I was looking for a list similar to the one I’d posted about tomatoes last summer— he replied that there were thousands of potato varieties, too many to list. But, our conversation led to my interest in an article Gary sent to me about the return of dehydrating potato process that was a common way of preserving potatoes in the cold, dry weather of the Peruvian winter. It creates a preserved potato that is chalky white but firm and easy to cook. Nouvelle Peruvian cuisine now uses this style of preserved potato called chuño to make soups, stews and side dishes that are delicious and retain the same nutrition that allowed the ancient Peruvians to dominate a large part of South America and create a thriving civilization hundreds of years ago. 

I hope you enjoy Gary’s story of chuño (below) and find useful the lists of potatoes culled from the thousands available.

One last thought about chuño: In a world concerned about the sourcing of food, chuno could be one answer.  Perhaps the food entrepreneurs of Vermont, whose enthusiasm for what is new and local is infectious, could take a look at the process. What is old is new, again!

A Source of Chuno: LatinMerchant.com in Seattle, Washington

Potato Varieties:

Grey Line

churo potato photos

Cold Comfort – Chuño
By Gary Harrison

In this part of the agricultural world, the exchange rate of toil and tillage is rarely equitable. A bumper crop of anxiety grows unchecked from one year to the next, and food security is the worry that sits always at the dinner table. For the thousands of farmers scattered high in the Peruvian Andes, the humble potato has always been the crop that’s fed their family. No surprise: the potato as we know it started here, and hundreds of wild and cultivated varieties are still at the core of rural livelihoods and diets.

Like the farmers who grow them, there are a few hundred varieties that thrive in the harsh, chilly altitudes of up to 4,300 meters above sea level—about as high as Mt. Shasta. In villages from central to southern Peru, these small, powerhouse potatoes undergo a traditional process known as chuño, a form of freeze drying that allows them to be stored and eaten for up to 10 years. To produce chuño, farmers harvest the potatoes by hand in June and July and spread them out in batches. The potatoes are exposed to an extreme combination of severe nighttime frosts and prolonged sunny days and the thin air’s low humidity. Once the potatoes are “soft,” farmers walk on them to squeeze out the remaining moisture and the natural, bitter-tasting glycolalkaloids. The tubers are finally washed in fresh stream or river water to dilute remaining unwanted solutes, dried, and then rubbed against each other to remove the remaining bits of skin. After about a month, you have a powdery white—that’s the starchy residue now brought to the surface—potato roughly the size and shape as our “chef’s potato” variety. 

Chuño is typically boiled or served in soups and stews. It is easy to digest and provides important calcium and iron that Andean families may not otherwise get from their limited diets. Like quinoa, another traditional Andean food that has found a receptive global palate, chuño is starting to make its way to urban markets discovering inventive Peruvian cuisine. Think of chuño as a new twist on the classic mashed potato. 

“White Gold”

White chuño, also called tunta, was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Sometimes referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helped extend the limited seasonality of the usual potato supply and became the most important financial resource of the time to supply investments and make payments in all of the Inca Empire. Centuries later, the tunta turned into the main “fuel” that every day fed the thousands of hungry miners working across the entire Andean region.

Chuño continues to be a basic part of the everyday diet of the entire Peruvian Andes, from north to south, where it forms part of the regional culinary culture. The cities of Arequipa, Cuzco, and Puno have developed typical regional dishes in which white chuño contributes a spongy texture and special taste that blends deliciously with other Andean vegetables, fruit, meat, and spices.

Gary Harrison thanks Stef De Haan, the global science leader for genetic resources at the International Potato Center, for source material and photographs about chuño.

 Grey Line

The Story of Potatoes Continues…. 

The story of potatoes continues next week when I will include a new video that my friend Janet Biehl made, of my stepmother, Judith Jones and me making potato salad at the end of last summer up in the Northeast Kingdom, here in Vermont. Two recipes for the salads will be posted as well: the French version made with warm potatoes and served at room temperature, and the American version with lots of mayonnaise, cucumber and radishes. Who knows, maybe we will have a heat wave Easter Weekend!

A Bientot,

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I can’t think of a better way to begin the New Year! Please see her sister’s Roasted Root Vegetable recipe, the best recipe I’ve seen yet for roasting vegetables! — Bronwyn My Life in France by Julia Child bookcover My husband, Dan, and I both like to cook, so when we saw a course offered by Bronwyn Dunne through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Vermont in Burlington, we jumped at the chance to participate in Cooking with the Masters. Based on the research, knowledge and recipes of Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, we learned more about the benefits of using fresh produce, meats, fish and poultry, making our own salad dressings, pastry for pies and quiches, and much more. We participated along with a curious and delightful group of adult learners. 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We did not know what we were ordering. What came to our table was a plate of octopus suckers floating in black liquid. Jesse and Michael were brave souls and dug in...I'm afraid I was too squeamish. By the way, the fabulous, large food markets throughout Basque country are all owned and operated by Mondragon Enterprises, the largest worker-owned and controlled cooperative system in the world." 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Searching for forward to reading more from you afterward!..."" ["comment_karma"]=> string(1) "0" ["comment_approved"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment_agent"]=> string(62) "Opera/9.80 (Windows NT 5.1; U; sk) Presto/2.5.22 Version/10.50" ["comment_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_parent"]=> string(1) "0" ["user_id"]=> string(1) "0" } } ["comments_by_type"]=> array(4) { ["comment"]=> array(3) { [0]=> &object(stdClass)#672 (15) { ["comment_ID"]=> string(5) "12128" ["comment_post_ID"]=> string(4) "2750" ["comment_author"]=> string(11) "Will Bailey" ["comment_author_email"]=> string(17) "Rhobbs9@yahoo.com" ["comment_author_url"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_author_IP"]=> string(14) "172.254.74.161" ["comment_date"]=> string(19) "2013-08-17 16:43:42" ["comment_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-08-17 16:43:42" ["comment_content"]=> string(177) "If you had only one or two nights to spend in this region, what a challenge deciding which dining (place) experience to have. And I thought New York had too many to choose from." ["comment_karma"]=> string(1) "0" ["comment_approved"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment_agent"]=> string(71) "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/6.0)" ["comment_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_parent"]=> string(1) "0" ["user_id"]=> string(1) "0" } [1]=> &object(stdClass)#29 (15) { ["comment_ID"]=> string(5) "12130" ["comment_post_ID"]=> string(4) "2750" ["comment_author"]=> string(17) "Laurie Baumgarten" ["comment_author_email"]=> string(26) "lauriebaumgarten@gmail.com" ["comment_author_url"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_author_IP"]=> string(13) "50.148.163.54" ["comment_date"]=> string(19) "2013-08-17 17:44:54" ["comment_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-08-17 17:44:54" ["comment_content"]=> string(638) "Brings back my 3 weeks in San Sebastian in 2006 and our many walks along the water to Old Town to eat in the yummy tapas bars. One evening we chose to eat in a very local little basque restaurant with a menu only in the Basque language. We did not know what we were ordering. What came to our table was a plate of octopus suckers floating in black liquid. Jesse and Michael were brave souls and dug in...I'm afraid I was too squeamish. By the way, the fabulous, large food markets throughout Basque country are all owned and operated by Mondragon Enterprises, the largest worker-owned and controlled cooperative system in the world." 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Searching for forward to reading more from you afterward!..."" ["comment_karma"]=> string(1) "0" ["comment_approved"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment_agent"]=> string(62) "Opera/9.80 (Windows NT 5.1; U; sk) Presto/2.5.22 Version/10.50" ["comment_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_parent"]=> string(1) "0" ["user_id"]=> string(1) "0" } } ["trackback"]=> array(0) { } ["pingback"]=> array(0) { } ["pings"]=> array(0) { } } }
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4 Responses to “Making Fresh Mozzarella”

  1. […] My good friend, Lisa Farrell, and I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon making mozzarella cheese in my kitchen, using raw milk from Family Cow Farmstand, after having attended a workshop led by Lindsay. We felt confident that we could master the technique. To our surprise, it was even easier than it looked! Read Lisa’s Spoon Fed Story here. […]

  2. EM says:

    I love mozzarella and even though I live in Paris and can buy great cheese here, I’m going to try to make my own. I’m an artist and even if it doesn’t taste Italian or Vermontian, I’m sure it’ll be interesting. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Will Bailey says:

    I enjoyed reading this for several reasons:
    1. I see how being in Vermont opens a person up to people that have mastered the art of living off the land. The milk farm, and doing your own cheese.
    2. This way of living is not a hobby or after thought it’s a way of looking at living that is fresh and grounded.
    3. It always seems that you are eating food that looks fun to make, looks good to eat and I know tastes better than any restaurant or store bought food in the lower 48.

  4. Bronwyn says:

    These are more than kind words about Vermont. I feel so lucky to live here. Thank you, Will!

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Potatoes from Peru: An Ancestral Flavor Reclaimed

IMG_3341a

Sometimes my interest in the environment and my interest in food coincide so perfectly I have to just sit back and enjoy the experience. In this case, good friends, Lisa Farrell and Gary Harrison decided to spend three years in Peru so that Gary, who writes about international agriculture and development, could work with the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru.

When I asked Gary to send me a list of the internationally best-known potatoes —I was looking for a list similar to the one I’d posted about tomatoes last summer— he replied that there were thousands of potato varieties, too many to list. But, our conversation led to my interest in an article Gary sent to me about the return of dehydrating potato process that was a common way of preserving potatoes in the cold, dry weather of the Peruvian winter. It creates a preserved potato that is chalky white but firm and easy to cook. Nouvelle Peruvian cuisine now uses this style of preserved potato called chuño to make soups, stews and side dishes that are delicious and retain the same nutrition that allowed the ancient Peruvians to dominate a large part of South America and create a thriving civilization hundreds of years ago. 

I hope you enjoy Gary’s story of chuño (below) and find useful the lists of potatoes culled from the thousands available.

One last thought about chuño: In a world concerned about the sourcing of food, chuno could be one answer.  Perhaps the food entrepreneurs of Vermont, whose enthusiasm for what is new and local is infectious, could take a look at the process. What is old is new, again!

A Source of Chuno: LatinMerchant.com in Seattle, Washington

Potato Varieties:

Grey Line

churo potato photos

Cold Comfort – Chuño
By Gary Harrison

In this part of the agricultural world, the exchange rate of toil and tillage is rarely equitable. A bumper crop of anxiety grows unchecked from one year to the next, and food security is the worry that sits always at the dinner table. For the thousands of farmers scattered high in the Peruvian Andes, the humble potato has always been the crop that’s fed their family. No surprise: the potato as we know it started here, and hundreds of wild and cultivated varieties are still at the core of rural livelihoods and diets.

Like the farmers who grow them, there are a few hundred varieties that thrive in the harsh, chilly altitudes of up to 4,300 meters above sea level—about as high as Mt. Shasta. In villages from central to southern Peru, these small, powerhouse potatoes undergo a traditional process known as chuño, a form of freeze drying that allows them to be stored and eaten for up to 10 years. To produce chuño, farmers harvest the potatoes by hand in June and July and spread them out in batches. The potatoes are exposed to an extreme combination of severe nighttime frosts and prolonged sunny days and the thin air’s low humidity. Once the potatoes are “soft,” farmers walk on them to squeeze out the remaining moisture and the natural, bitter-tasting glycolalkaloids. The tubers are finally washed in fresh stream or river water to dilute remaining unwanted solutes, dried, and then rubbed against each other to remove the remaining bits of skin. After about a month, you have a powdery white—that’s the starchy residue now brought to the surface—potato roughly the size and shape as our “chef’s potato” variety. 

Chuño is typically boiled or served in soups and stews. It is easy to digest and provides important calcium and iron that Andean families may not otherwise get from their limited diets. Like quinoa, another traditional Andean food that has found a receptive global palate, chuño is starting to make its way to urban markets discovering inventive Peruvian cuisine. Think of chuño as a new twist on the classic mashed potato. 

“White Gold”

White chuño, also called tunta, was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Sometimes referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helped extend the limited seasonality of the usual potato supply and became the most important financial resource of the time to supply investments and make payments in all of the Inca Empire. Centuries later, the tunta turned into the main “fuel” that every day fed the thousands of hungry miners working across the entire Andean region.

Chuño continues to be a basic part of the everyday diet of the entire Peruvian Andes, from north to south, where it forms part of the regional culinary culture. The cities of Arequipa, Cuzco, and Puno have developed typical regional dishes in which white chuño contributes a spongy texture and special taste that blends deliciously with other Andean vegetables, fruit, meat, and spices.

Gary Harrison thanks Stef De Haan, the global science leader for genetic resources at the International Potato Center, for source material and photographs about chuño.

 Grey Line

The Story of Potatoes Continues…. 

The story of potatoes continues next week when I will include a new video that my friend Janet Biehl made, of my stepmother, Judith Jones and me making potato salad at the end of last summer up in the Northeast Kingdom, here in Vermont. Two recipes for the salads will be posted as well: the French version made with warm potatoes and served at room temperature, and the American version with lots of mayonnaise, cucumber and radishes. Who knows, maybe we will have a heat wave Easter Weekend!

A Bientot,

Posted: 3-16-2013

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[caption id="attachment_3407" align="alignleft" width="500"]Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch A Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch at Shoryakuji Monastery[/caption]

Bronwyn told me how much she enjoyed the Shojin Ryori on her visit to a Zen temple in Japan this past spring. Shojin Ryori, the venerable Japanese vegetarian cuisine, was introduced by the Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, Dogen. In the 7th century after his studies of Zen Buddhism in China, Dogen banned the slaughter of animals for human consumption. He believed that the act of killing was inhumane and the very act of slaughtering interfered with the training of the monks who meditate in order to attain enlightenment. Shojin means the process of continuous meditation.

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Shojin Ryori uses grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. To create a Shojin Ryori menu, a monk cook employs these rules: the use of five colors –green, yellow, red, white and black: the use of five cooking techniques –astringent, acid, sweet, salty and spicy. By incorporating all these elements in the prepared dishes, the meal has a balanced nutritional value and, at the same time, can entertain diners’ five senses.

Basic simple Shojin Ryori is Ichi-iuu San-sai.  Ichi-iuu San-sai  literally means one small soup dish and three additional small dishes as one meal. These four dishes are served with two additional indispensable dishes, a small rice bowl and a tiny plate of pickled vegetables.

The meal that Bronwyn had - shown in the above photograph- is an elaborate celebration Shojin Ryori. Tempura dishes include the spring delicacy, butterbur sprout, fuki-no-to. Fuki-no-to, which heralds the early spring, surprises us with pleasant astringent flavor. Fuki, butterbur, which resembles rhubarb in shape, is a popular early spring vegetable in Japan. As is true of many spring vegetables, the astringency of Fuki is one of its prized qualities. At the lunch at the Shoryakuji Monastery, Bronwyn enjoyed simmered Fuki with other spring vegetables –bamboo shoots and shitake mushrooms. She was also served Rape blossom, nano-hana. It resembles young, tender Chinese broccoli and was included in a traditional Shojin Ryori dish called Aemono –firmly cooked vegetables tossed with sesame, miso, vinegar or shoyu-based dressing. Inspired! I will definitely make Shojin Ryori this summer using vegetables available in my local New York area.

See Bronwyn's post about her trip to Japan and special Shojin Ryori lunch, Food for the Soul as well as the Body: Shojin Ryori.

[caption id="attachment_3410" align="alignleft" width="150"]Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo[/caption]

A contributor to Zester Daily, Hiroshi Shimbo is a widely acclaimed chef-consultant and Japanese cooking instructor, and the author of "Hiroko's American Kitchen," "The Japanese Kitchen" and "The Sushi Experience." Read her recent article in Zester Daily on How Japanese Tradition Holds Secrets of Healthy Eating.

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The Stars of San Sebastian, Spain

By Margo Davis Margo Davis returns to In the Kitchen with Bronwyn with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons. Welcome back, Margo! —Bronwyn  Grey Line And, I do not mean Hollywood stars or rocks stars or even the stars that come out at night in the firmament. I am referring to Michelin-starred restaurants. Imagine the surprise when we learned that, in the entire world, no region has as many starred restaurants per square kilometer as Donostia/San Sebastian! It has become a destination for gastronomes. Delight & Anticipation My husband and I do not travel to eat but we definitely travel with dining in mind! In May this year, we enjoyed a very special schooner journey around the Iberian Peninsula in the Sea Cloud II with a Stanford Alumni group. We were treated to top rate lectures about the history of Iberia, visits to the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcazar in Sevilla, cathedrals in Lisboa and Santiago de Compostela, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Picture our delight and anticipation when we realized that we were ending our journey on the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, Spain, only a few miles from San Sebastian. [caption id="attachment_2755" align="alignnone" width="500"]The Sea Cloud II The Sea Cloud II[/caption] Gilding the Lily The Sea Cloud II is a modern windjammer completed in 2001, modeled on the original 1931 sailing ship, Sea Cloud, which was built for Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress and a founder of General Foods Corporation. The journey on this marvelous elegant ship provided plenty of fine dining for eight days with an excellent German chef and staff. We ate too much and very well. The choice of an extension of our own to San Sebastian after such a voyage was really “gilding the lily”!!! BUT, we were so very close to a foodie nirvana. The Guggenheim Museum We left the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, in northern Spain where the Guggenheim Museum perches around the Nervion River. We drove the 66 miles over to Donostia, the Basque name for San Sebastian, a coastal city on the Bay of Biscay only some 15 miles from the French border. Donostia is a paradise of mountains falling into the horseshoe-shaped bay with lovely beaches for swimming and surfing. [caption id="attachment_2753" align="alignnone" width="499"]guggenheim museum The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain[/caption] 116–Year Old Restaurant Our interest however, was less in the sporting life (maybe we should be indulging in some of this!) and more in the gastronomic fare around us. As I said before, San Sebastian and the region has forged an identity in gastronomy. The artist/chefs are starred and world famous. If you did not know this previously, you will now know that Juan Mari Arzak, the father of Basque Cuisine, is responsible for birthing chefs like El Bulli’s Ferran Adria, now considered one of the most brilliant in the culinary world. Arzak and his daughter, Elena, have their family’s 116-year old restaurant right here in the city. They shop at the amazing La Bretxa market in the old town (Parte Vieja). They are deeply rooted in their Basque country. Multi-Starred Night On The Town Because we had eaten at Arzak many years before, we chose a new venue for our multi-starred night on the town. And a night out it was! I felt like I could have just stopped the search for the ultimate dining experience after the tasting menu at Martin Berasategui. Many guests were snapping photos of their plates, but I just felt that was an invasion of privacy. So, you can find many pictures on Martin’s web site. Chef Berasategui’s dishes capture the absolute essence of flavor of whatever he features, be it fois-gras, lobster, pigeon, oyster… you name it. I now dream of a return to Donostia for another meal chez Martin and also to return to Zuberoa, a memorable meal in a 15th century farmhouse in the ancient town of Oiartzun near San Sebastian. Too Many Restaurants, Too Little Time For fine dining there are too many restaurants and too little time! Add Akelare, Mugaritz, Mirador de Ulia, Kokotxa, and Alameda and many many more. There are also some great alternatives to all of this formal fine dining: the tapas bars… San Sebastian style. In fact, this is where one should begin a culinary tour…  to get an idea of the local ingredients and the local resident’s way of eating. This way you can walk from one small bite to another, working off the calories as you bar hop. You will be arm to arm and cheek to jowl, believe me, with all the locals as well as tourists. Head For The Old Town [caption id="attachment_2758" align="alignleft" width="233"]market in San Sebastian A Street Scene in The Food-lovers Town of San Sebastian[/caption] Head for the Old Town (Parte Vieja). The entire parte vieja is filled with small bars with their signature ‘pintxos’ (the Basque word for tapas), delectable bocadillos, a la plancha with seafood, estafadoes, stews, fritos and more goodies…all different combinations. Cepes (mushrooms), asparagus, roasted peppers and garlic on top of crispy bread, potato salad with tuna, squid, grilled octopus, prawns, etcetera, and so it rolls… on and on and on! Wash this down with a cerveza corto (short beer) or a txakoli, a light bubbly local white wine. Heaven is just around the corner in your B&B for a Basque-style siesta. Or just wash it down a second time in the salty sea with a swim in the Bay of Biscay. On egin!  Buen apetito!  Buen Provecho! " ["post_title"]=> string(46) "From the Sea Cloud to the Cloud Nine of Dining" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(208) "Guest blogger Margo Davis returns with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons!" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(46) "from-the-sea-cloud-to-the-cloud-nine-of-dining" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2014-08-01 19:32:19" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-08-01 19:32:19" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/?p=2750" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "3" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#235 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2665) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 02:50:48" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 02:50:48" ["post_content"]=> string(2208) "By Lisa Farrell Collage w caption What is better than eating a homegrown tomato in the middle of August? I think it’s having homemade mozzarella cheese to accompany this special summer flavor. Please enjoy my friend Lisa Farrell’s "Spoon Fed Story" about our experience making mozzarella. —Bronwyn In summer I could exist solely on fresh mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, and plucked-from-the-bush basil. I can't get enough of that exquisite combo. So when a class about making fresh mozzarella was offered through City Market in South Burlington, Vermont, Bronwyn and I quickly signed up. Thanks to Lindsay Harris from Family Cow Farmstand in Hinesburg, the class was both informative and fun. She taught us how to make mozzarella from raw milk using the fresh, golden liquid from her own Guernseys. Lindsay made the steps look simple and foolproof: her mozzarella was beautiful and delicious. A few weeks later, Bronwyn and I made our own batch using milk from Lindsay's cows. Mozzarella ingredients are pretty basic: milk, citric acid, rennet, salt, and water. You'll also need a good thermometer that measures between 90 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the steps are simple, temperature and timing may vary based on a dozen factors. Therein lies the challenge —and magic—of seeing milk become mozzarella. Ours didn't look or taste quite like Lindsay's, but it was good nevertheless. I'm hooked on making fresh mozzarella. If only I could make those tomatoes ripen quicker... See the fresh mozzarella recipe here > " ["post_title"]=> string(23) "Making Fresh Mozzarella" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(154) "My good friend, Lisa Farrell, and I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon making mozzarella cheese in my kitchen, after having attended a workshop at City Market." 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IMG_3341a

Sometimes my interest in the environment and my interest in food coincide so perfectly I have to just sit back and enjoy the experience. In this case, good friends, Lisa Farrell and Gary Harrison decided to spend three years in Peru so that Gary, who writes about international agriculture and development, could work with the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru.

When I asked Gary to send me a list of the internationally best-known potatoes —I was looking for a list similar to the one I’d posted about tomatoes last summer— he replied that there were thousands of potato varieties, too many to list. But, our conversation led to my interest in an article Gary sent to me about the return of dehydrating potato process that was a common way of preserving potatoes in the cold, dry weather of the Peruvian winter. It creates a preserved potato that is chalky white but firm and easy to cook. Nouvelle Peruvian cuisine now uses this style of preserved potato called chuño to make soups, stews and side dishes that are delicious and retain the same nutrition that allowed the ancient Peruvians to dominate a large part of South America and create a thriving civilization hundreds of years ago. 

I hope you enjoy Gary’s story of chuño (below) and find useful the lists of potatoes culled from the thousands available.

One last thought about chuño: In a world concerned about the sourcing of food, chuno could be one answer.  Perhaps the food entrepreneurs of Vermont, whose enthusiasm for what is new and local is infectious, could take a look at the process. What is old is new, again!

A Source of Chuno: LatinMerchant.com in Seattle, Washington

Potato Varieties:

Grey Line

churo potato photos

Cold Comfort – Chuño
By Gary Harrison

In this part of the agricultural world, the exchange rate of toil and tillage is rarely equitable. A bumper crop of anxiety grows unchecked from one year to the next, and food security is the worry that sits always at the dinner table. For the thousands of farmers scattered high in the Peruvian Andes, the humble potato has always been the crop that’s fed their family. No surprise: the potato as we know it started here, and hundreds of wild and cultivated varieties are still at the core of rural livelihoods and diets.

Like the farmers who grow them, there are a few hundred varieties that thrive in the harsh, chilly altitudes of up to 4,300 meters above sea level—about as high as Mt. Shasta. In villages from central to southern Peru, these small, powerhouse potatoes undergo a traditional process known as chuño, a form of freeze drying that allows them to be stored and eaten for up to 10 years. To produce chuño, farmers harvest the potatoes by hand in June and July and spread them out in batches. The potatoes are exposed to an extreme combination of severe nighttime frosts and prolonged sunny days and the thin air’s low humidity. Once the potatoes are “soft,” farmers walk on them to squeeze out the remaining moisture and the natural, bitter-tasting glycolalkaloids. The tubers are finally washed in fresh stream or river water to dilute remaining unwanted solutes, dried, and then rubbed against each other to remove the remaining bits of skin. After about a month, you have a powdery white—that’s the starchy residue now brought to the surface—potato roughly the size and shape as our “chef’s potato” variety. 

Chuño is typically boiled or served in soups and stews. It is easy to digest and provides important calcium and iron that Andean families may not otherwise get from their limited diets. Like quinoa, another traditional Andean food that has found a receptive global palate, chuño is starting to make its way to urban markets discovering inventive Peruvian cuisine. Think of chuño as a new twist on the classic mashed potato. 

“White Gold”

White chuño, also called tunta, was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Sometimes referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helped extend the limited seasonality of the usual potato supply and became the most important financial resource of the time to supply investments and make payments in all of the Inca Empire. Centuries later, the tunta turned into the main “fuel” that every day fed the thousands of hungry miners working across the entire Andean region.

Chuño continues to be a basic part of the everyday diet of the entire Peruvian Andes, from north to south, where it forms part of the regional culinary culture. The cities of Arequipa, Cuzco, and Puno have developed typical regional dishes in which white chuño contributes a spongy texture and special taste that blends deliciously with other Andean vegetables, fruit, meat, and spices.

Gary Harrison thanks Stef De Haan, the global science leader for genetic resources at the International Potato Center, for source material and photographs about chuño.

 Grey Line

The Story of Potatoes Continues…. 

The story of potatoes continues next week when I will include a new video that my friend Janet Biehl made, of my stepmother, Judith Jones and me making potato salad at the end of last summer up in the Northeast Kingdom, here in Vermont. Two recipes for the salads will be posted as well: the French version made with warm potatoes and served at room temperature, and the American version with lots of mayonnaise, cucumber and radishes. Who knows, maybe we will have a heat wave Easter Weekend!

A Bientot,

" ["post_title"]=> string(49) "Potatoes from Peru: An Ancestral Flavor Reclaimed" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(273) "White chuño was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helps extend the limited seasonality of the potato supply and is an important source of vitamin C and iron for rural Andean families." ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(48) "potatoes-from-peru-an-ancestral-flavor-reclaimed" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2013-07-13 03:23:54" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-13 03:23:54" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/?p=2164" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#81 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1752) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-01-05 04:08:55" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-01-05 04:08:55" ["post_content"]=> string(3162) "By Cheryl Hooper-Feeney Just as I was sitting down to write a new blog post for a new year, Cheryl Hooper-Feeney, a friend and former student from South Burlington, Vermont, surprised me with the following story about her own resolution to lose weight using the sound philosophy of Julia Child —healthy eating is also delicious if you follow the classic recipes and forget “convenience” foods. I can’t think of a better way to begin the New Year! Please see her sister’s Roasted Root Vegetable recipe, the best recipe I’ve seen yet for roasting vegetables! — Bronwyn My Life in France by Julia Child bookcover My husband, Dan, and I both like to cook, so when we saw a course offered by Bronwyn Dunne through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Vermont in Burlington, we jumped at the chance to participate in Cooking with the Masters. Based on the research, knowledge and recipes of Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, we learned more about the benefits of using fresh produce, meats, fish and poultry, making our own salad dressings, pastry for pies and quiches, and much more. We participated along with a curious and delightful group of adult learners. As interesting and engaging as that the course was, I had an over-riding personal concern: how to maintain my love of cooking and baking and keep a focus on my goal of reducing my weight and increasing my physical stamina, strength and balance. A closer read and reflection upon the life and writings of Julia Child and her associates, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, revealed several interesting and illuminating ideas and realities to me. For Julia, cooking and dining were true acts of communing and communion with her beloved husband, Paul, and her many friends, including Judith Jones, across Europe and the USA. That being said, I noticed a close interrelatedness among many aspects of cooking and dining together. Preparing food and serving each other, or our friends, we keep a joyful eye on portion control, dietary balance, and presentation that is appealing to the sense of sight, as well as aroma and taste. Julia and company were gourmets; never gluttons. There was always a sense of sharing a meal for nourishment, physical and spiritual, and then enough physical activity to keep one fit and the body maintained and moving. My husband and I keep this in mind as we prepare food and enjoy it together. So far this mantra has had positive results for each of us, and we intend to continue this focus as we enter the New Year." ["post_title"]=> string(49) "An Adventure in Cooking, Food & Healthy Living…" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(235) "My husband, Dan, and I both like to cook, so when we saw a course offered by Bronwyn Dunne through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Vermont, we jumped at the chance to participate in Cooking with the Masters. 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IMG_3341a

Sometimes my interest in the environment and my interest in food coincide so perfectly I have to just sit back and enjoy the experience. In this case, good friends, Lisa Farrell and Gary Harrison decided to spend three years in Peru so that Gary, who writes about international agriculture and development, could work with the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru.

When I asked Gary to send me a list of the internationally best-known potatoes —I was looking for a list similar to the one I’d posted about tomatoes last summer— he replied that there were thousands of potato varieties, too many to list. But, our conversation led to my interest in an article Gary sent to me about the return of dehydrating potato process that was a common way of preserving potatoes in the cold, dry weather of the Peruvian winter. It creates a preserved potato that is chalky white but firm and easy to cook. Nouvelle Peruvian cuisine now uses this style of preserved potato called chuño to make soups, stews and side dishes that are delicious and retain the same nutrition that allowed the ancient Peruvians to dominate a large part of South America and create a thriving civilization hundreds of years ago. 

I hope you enjoy Gary’s story of chuño (below) and find useful the lists of potatoes culled from the thousands available.

One last thought about chuño: In a world concerned about the sourcing of food, chuno could be one answer.  Perhaps the food entrepreneurs of Vermont, whose enthusiasm for what is new and local is infectious, could take a look at the process. What is old is new, again!

A Source of Chuno: LatinMerchant.com in Seattle, Washington

Potato Varieties:

Grey Line

churo potato photos

Cold Comfort – Chuño
By Gary Harrison

In this part of the agricultural world, the exchange rate of toil and tillage is rarely equitable. A bumper crop of anxiety grows unchecked from one year to the next, and food security is the worry that sits always at the dinner table. For the thousands of farmers scattered high in the Peruvian Andes, the humble potato has always been the crop that’s fed their family. No surprise: the potato as we know it started here, and hundreds of wild and cultivated varieties are still at the core of rural livelihoods and diets.

Like the farmers who grow them, there are a few hundred varieties that thrive in the harsh, chilly altitudes of up to 4,300 meters above sea level—about as high as Mt. Shasta. In villages from central to southern Peru, these small, powerhouse potatoes undergo a traditional process known as chuño, a form of freeze drying that allows them to be stored and eaten for up to 10 years. To produce chuño, farmers harvest the potatoes by hand in June and July and spread them out in batches. The potatoes are exposed to an extreme combination of severe nighttime frosts and prolonged sunny days and the thin air’s low humidity. Once the potatoes are “soft,” farmers walk on them to squeeze out the remaining moisture and the natural, bitter-tasting glycolalkaloids. The tubers are finally washed in fresh stream or river water to dilute remaining unwanted solutes, dried, and then rubbed against each other to remove the remaining bits of skin. After about a month, you have a powdery white—that’s the starchy residue now brought to the surface—potato roughly the size and shape as our “chef’s potato” variety. 

Chuño is typically boiled or served in soups and stews. It is easy to digest and provides important calcium and iron that Andean families may not otherwise get from their limited diets. Like quinoa, another traditional Andean food that has found a receptive global palate, chuño is starting to make its way to urban markets discovering inventive Peruvian cuisine. Think of chuño as a new twist on the classic mashed potato. 

“White Gold”

White chuño, also called tunta, was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Sometimes referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helped extend the limited seasonality of the usual potato supply and became the most important financial resource of the time to supply investments and make payments in all of the Inca Empire. Centuries later, the tunta turned into the main “fuel” that every day fed the thousands of hungry miners working across the entire Andean region.

Chuño continues to be a basic part of the everyday diet of the entire Peruvian Andes, from north to south, where it forms part of the regional culinary culture. The cities of Arequipa, Cuzco, and Puno have developed typical regional dishes in which white chuño contributes a spongy texture and special taste that blends deliciously with other Andean vegetables, fruit, meat, and spices.

Gary Harrison thanks Stef De Haan, the global science leader for genetic resources at the International Potato Center, for source material and photographs about chuño.

 Grey Line

The Story of Potatoes Continues…. 

The story of potatoes continues next week when I will include a new video that my friend Janet Biehl made, of my stepmother, Judith Jones and me making potato salad at the end of last summer up in the Northeast Kingdom, here in Vermont. Two recipes for the salads will be posted as well: the French version made with warm potatoes and served at room temperature, and the American version with lots of mayonnaise, cucumber and radishes. Who knows, maybe we will have a heat wave Easter Weekend!

A Bientot,

" ["post_title"]=> string(49) "Potatoes from Peru: An Ancestral Flavor Reclaimed" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(273) "White chuño was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helps extend the limited seasonality of the potato supply and is an important source of vitamin C and iron for rural Andean families." 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Spoon Fed Stories are our stories, the stories of family and friends. Think of this as the kitchen table where we share the fun and the adventures we’ve had with food." ["parent"]=> &int(0) ["count"]=> &int(9) ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["cat_ID"]=> &int(15) ["category_count"]=> &int(9) ["category_description"]=> &string(319) "Some of us, home cooks—and I include myself in this group—love food so much we find our lives structured and embellished by our food experiences. Spoon Fed Stories are our stories, the stories of family and friends. Think of this as the kitchen table where we share the fun and the adventures we’ve had with food." ["cat_name"]=> &string(17) "Spoon Fed Stories" ["category_nicename"]=> &string(17) "spoon-fed-stories" ["category_parent"]=> &int(0) } ["queried_object_id"]=> int(15) ["comments"]=> array(4) { [0]=> &object(stdClass)#13 (15) { ["comment_ID"]=> string(5) "11543" ["comment_post_ID"]=> string(4) "2665" ["comment_author"]=> string(40) "» Homemade Fresh Mozzarella Recipe" ["comment_author_email"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_author_url"]=> string(76) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/recipes/homemade-fresh-mozzarella-recipe/" ["comment_author_IP"]=> string(14) "208.117.46.107" ["comment_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 02:54:28" ["comment_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 02:54:28" ["comment_content"]=> string(354) "[...] My good friend, Lisa Farrell, and I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon making mozzarella cheese in my kitchen, using raw milk from Family Cow Farmstand, after having attended a workshop led by Lindsay. We felt confident that we could master the technique. To our surprise, it was even easier than it looked! Read Lisa’s Spoon Fed Story here. [...]" ["comment_karma"]=> string(1) "0" ["comment_approved"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment_agent"]=> string(50) "The Incutio XML-RPC PHP Library -- WordPress/3.5.2" ["comment_type"]=> string(8) "pingback" ["comment_parent"]=> string(1) "0" ["user_id"]=> string(1) "0" } [1]=> &object(stdClass)#17 (15) { ["comment_ID"]=> string(5) "11547" ["comment_post_ID"]=> string(4) "2665" ["comment_author"]=> string(2) "EM" ["comment_author_email"]=> string(20) "mistahrose@yahoo.com" ["comment_author_url"]=> string(38) "http://matthewrosestudio.blogspot.com/" ["comment_author_IP"]=> string(12) "87.231.0.211" ["comment_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 08:13:51" ["comment_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 08:13:51" ["comment_content"]=> string(234) "I love mozzarella and even though I live in Paris and can buy great cheese here, I'm going to try to make my own. I'm an artist and even if it doesn't taste Italian or Vermontian, I'm sure it'll be interesting. Thanks for the recipe!" ["comment_karma"]=> string(1) "0" ["comment_approved"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment_agent"]=> string(81) "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; rv:22.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/22.0" ["comment_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_parent"]=> string(1) "0" ["user_id"]=> string(1) "0" } [2]=> &object(stdClass)#18 (15) { ["comment_ID"]=> string(5) "11562" ["comment_post_ID"]=> string(4) "2665" ["comment_author"]=> string(11) "Will Bailey" ["comment_author_email"]=> string(17) "Rhobbs9@yahoo.com" ["comment_author_url"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_author_IP"]=> string(14) "68.111.164.159" ["comment_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 23:33:58" ["comment_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 23:33:58" ["comment_content"]=> string(481) "I enjoyed reading this for several reasons: 1. I see how being in Vermont opens a person up to people that have mastered the art of living off the land. The milk farm, and doing your own cheese. 2. This way of living is not a hobby or after thought it's a way of looking at living that is fresh and grounded. 3. It always seems that you are eating food that looks fun to make, looks good to eat and I know tastes better than any restaurant or store bought food in the lower 48." ["comment_karma"]=> string(1) "0" ["comment_approved"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment_agent"]=> string(71) "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/6.0)" ["comment_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_parent"]=> string(1) "0" ["user_id"]=> string(1) "0" } [3]=> &object(stdClass)#12 (15) { ["comment_ID"]=> string(5) "11568" ["comment_post_ID"]=> string(4) "2665" ["comment_author"]=> string(7) "Bronwyn" ["comment_author_email"]=> string(35) "bronwyn@inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com" ["comment_author_url"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_author_IP"]=> string(10) "71.87.4.67" ["comment_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-28 03:55:19" ["comment_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-28 03:55:19" ["comment_content"]=> string(92) "These are more than kind words about Vermont. I feel so lucky to live here. Thank you, Will!" ["comment_karma"]=> string(1) "0" ["comment_approved"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment_agent"]=> string(135) "Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_1_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10B329 Safari/8536.25" ["comment_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_parent"]=> string(1) "0" ["user_id"]=> string(1) "1" } } ["comments_by_type"]=> array(4) { ["comment"]=> array(3) { [0]=> &object(stdClass)#17 (15) { ["comment_ID"]=> string(5) "11547" ["comment_post_ID"]=> string(4) "2665" ["comment_author"]=> string(2) "EM" ["comment_author_email"]=> string(20) "mistahrose@yahoo.com" ["comment_author_url"]=> string(38) "http://matthewrosestudio.blogspot.com/" ["comment_author_IP"]=> string(12) "87.231.0.211" ["comment_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 08:13:51" ["comment_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 08:13:51" ["comment_content"]=> string(234) "I love mozzarella and even though I live in Paris and can buy great cheese here, I'm going to try to make my own. I'm an artist and even if it doesn't taste Italian or Vermontian, I'm sure it'll be interesting. Thanks for the recipe!" ["comment_karma"]=> string(1) "0" ["comment_approved"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment_agent"]=> string(81) "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; rv:22.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/22.0" ["comment_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_parent"]=> string(1) "0" ["user_id"]=> string(1) "0" } [1]=> &object(stdClass)#18 (15) { ["comment_ID"]=> string(5) "11562" ["comment_post_ID"]=> string(4) "2665" ["comment_author"]=> string(11) "Will Bailey" ["comment_author_email"]=> string(17) "Rhobbs9@yahoo.com" ["comment_author_url"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_author_IP"]=> string(14) "68.111.164.159" ["comment_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 23:33:58" ["comment_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 23:33:58" ["comment_content"]=> string(481) "I enjoyed reading this for several reasons: 1. I see how being in Vermont opens a person up to people that have mastered the art of living off the land. The milk farm, and doing your own cheese. 2. This way of living is not a hobby or after thought it's a way of looking at living that is fresh and grounded. 3. It always seems that you are eating food that looks fun to make, looks good to eat and I know tastes better than any restaurant or store bought food in the lower 48." ["comment_karma"]=> string(1) "0" ["comment_approved"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment_agent"]=> string(71) "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/6.0)" ["comment_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_parent"]=> string(1) "0" ["user_id"]=> string(1) "0" } [2]=> &object(stdClass)#12 (15) { ["comment_ID"]=> string(5) "11568" ["comment_post_ID"]=> string(4) "2665" ["comment_author"]=> string(7) "Bronwyn" ["comment_author_email"]=> string(35) "bronwyn@inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com" ["comment_author_url"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_author_IP"]=> string(10) "71.87.4.67" ["comment_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-28 03:55:19" ["comment_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-28 03:55:19" ["comment_content"]=> string(92) "These are more than kind words about Vermont. I feel so lucky to live here. Thank you, Will!" ["comment_karma"]=> string(1) "0" ["comment_approved"]=> string(1) "1" ["comment_agent"]=> string(135) "Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 6_1_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10B329 Safari/8536.25" ["comment_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_parent"]=> string(1) "0" ["user_id"]=> string(1) "1" } } ["trackback"]=> array(0) { } ["pingback"]=> array(1) { [0]=> &object(stdClass)#13 (15) { ["comment_ID"]=> string(5) "11543" ["comment_post_ID"]=> string(4) "2665" ["comment_author"]=> string(40) "» Homemade Fresh Mozzarella Recipe" ["comment_author_email"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_author_url"]=> string(76) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/recipes/homemade-fresh-mozzarella-recipe/" ["comment_author_IP"]=> string(14) "208.117.46.107" ["comment_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 02:54:28" ["comment_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 02:54:28" ["comment_content"]=> string(354) "[...] My good friend, Lisa Farrell, and I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon making mozzarella cheese in my kitchen, using raw milk from Family Cow Farmstand, after having attended a workshop led by Lindsay. We felt confident that we could master the technique. To our surprise, it was even easier than it looked! Read Lisa’s Spoon Fed Story here. 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An Adventure in Cooking, Food & Healthy Living…

By Cheryl Hooper-Feeney

Just as I was sitting down to write a new blog post for a new year, Cheryl Hooper-Feeney, a friend and former student from South Burlington, Vermont, surprised me with the following story about her own resolution to lose weight using the sound philosophy of Julia Child —healthy eating is also delicious if you follow the classic recipes and forget “convenience” foods. I can’t think of a better way to begin the New Year! Please see her sister’s Roasted Root Vegetable recipe, the best recipe I’ve seen yet for roasting vegetables! — Bronwyn

My Life in France by Julia Child bookcover

My husband, Dan, and I both like to cook, so when we saw a course offered by Bronwyn Dunne through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Vermont in Burlington, we jumped at the chance to participate in Cooking with the Masters. Based on the research, knowledge and recipes of Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, we learned more about the benefits of using fresh produce, meats, fish and poultry, making our own salad dressings, pastry for pies and quiches, and much more. We participated along with a curious and delightful group of adult learners.

As interesting and engaging as that the course was, I had an over-riding personal concern: how to maintain my love of cooking and baking and keep a focus on my goal of reducing my weight and increasing my physical stamina, strength and balance. A closer read and reflection upon the life and writings of Julia Child and her associates, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, revealed several interesting and illuminating ideas and realities to me.

For Julia, cooking and dining were true acts of communing and communion with her beloved husband, Paul, and her many friends, including Judith Jones, across Europe and the USA. That being said, I noticed a close interrelatedness among many aspects of cooking and dining together. Preparing food and serving each other, or our friends, we keep a joyful eye on portion control, dietary balance, and presentation that is appealing to the sense of sight, as well as aroma and taste. Julia and company were gourmets; never gluttons. There was always a sense of sharing a meal for nourishment, physical and spiritual, and then enough physical activity to keep one fit and the body maintained and moving.

My husband and I keep this in mind as we prepare food and enjoy it together. So far this mantra has had positive results for each of us, and we intend to continue this focus as we enter the New Year.

Posted: 1-5-2013

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[caption id="attachment_3407" align="alignleft" width="500"]Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch A Japanese Shojin Ryori lunch at Shoryakuji Monastery[/caption]

Bronwyn told me how much she enjoyed the Shojin Ryori on her visit to a Zen temple in Japan this past spring. Shojin Ryori, the venerable Japanese vegetarian cuisine, was introduced by the Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, Dogen. In the 7th century after his studies of Zen Buddhism in China, Dogen banned the slaughter of animals for human consumption. He believed that the act of killing was inhumane and the very act of slaughtering interfered with the training of the monks who meditate in order to attain enlightenment. Shojin means the process of continuous meditation.

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Shojin Ryori uses grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. To create a Shojin Ryori menu, a monk cook employs these rules: the use of five colors –green, yellow, red, white and black: the use of five cooking techniques –astringent, acid, sweet, salty and spicy. By incorporating all these elements in the prepared dishes, the meal has a balanced nutritional value and, at the same time, can entertain diners’ five senses.

Basic simple Shojin Ryori is Ichi-iuu San-sai.  Ichi-iuu San-sai  literally means one small soup dish and three additional small dishes as one meal. These four dishes are served with two additional indispensable dishes, a small rice bowl and a tiny plate of pickled vegetables.

The meal that Bronwyn had - shown in the above photograph- is an elaborate celebration Shojin Ryori. Tempura dishes include the spring delicacy, butterbur sprout, fuki-no-to. Fuki-no-to, which heralds the early spring, surprises us with pleasant astringent flavor. Fuki, butterbur, which resembles rhubarb in shape, is a popular early spring vegetable in Japan. As is true of many spring vegetables, the astringency of Fuki is one of its prized qualities. At the lunch at the Shoryakuji Monastery, Bronwyn enjoyed simmered Fuki with other spring vegetables –bamboo shoots and shitake mushrooms. She was also served Rape blossom, nano-hana. It resembles young, tender Chinese broccoli and was included in a traditional Shojin Ryori dish called Aemono –firmly cooked vegetables tossed with sesame, miso, vinegar or shoyu-based dressing. Inspired! I will definitely make Shojin Ryori this summer using vegetables available in my local New York area.

See Bronwyn's post about her trip to Japan and special Shojin Ryori lunch, Food for the Soul as well as the Body: Shojin Ryori.

[caption id="attachment_3410" align="alignleft" width="150"]Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo[/caption]

A contributor to Zester Daily, Hiroshi Shimbo is a widely acclaimed chef-consultant and Japanese cooking instructor, and the author of "Hiroko's American Kitchen," "The Japanese Kitchen" and "The Sushi Experience." Read her recent article in Zester Daily on How Japanese Tradition Holds Secrets of Healthy Eating.

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The Stars of San Sebastian, Spain

By Margo Davis Margo Davis returns to In the Kitchen with Bronwyn with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons. Welcome back, Margo! —Bronwyn  Grey Line And, I do not mean Hollywood stars or rocks stars or even the stars that come out at night in the firmament. I am referring to Michelin-starred restaurants. Imagine the surprise when we learned that, in the entire world, no region has as many starred restaurants per square kilometer as Donostia/San Sebastian! It has become a destination for gastronomes. Delight & Anticipation My husband and I do not travel to eat but we definitely travel with dining in mind! In May this year, we enjoyed a very special schooner journey around the Iberian Peninsula in the Sea Cloud II with a Stanford Alumni group. We were treated to top rate lectures about the history of Iberia, visits to the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcazar in Sevilla, cathedrals in Lisboa and Santiago de Compostela, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Picture our delight and anticipation when we realized that we were ending our journey on the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, Spain, only a few miles from San Sebastian. [caption id="attachment_2755" align="alignnone" width="500"]The Sea Cloud II The Sea Cloud II[/caption] Gilding the Lily The Sea Cloud II is a modern windjammer completed in 2001, modeled on the original 1931 sailing ship, Sea Cloud, which was built for Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress and a founder of General Foods Corporation. The journey on this marvelous elegant ship provided plenty of fine dining for eight days with an excellent German chef and staff. We ate too much and very well. The choice of an extension of our own to San Sebastian after such a voyage was really “gilding the lily”!!! BUT, we were so very close to a foodie nirvana. The Guggenheim Museum We left the Sea Cloud II in Bilbao, in northern Spain where the Guggenheim Museum perches around the Nervion River. We drove the 66 miles over to Donostia, the Basque name for San Sebastian, a coastal city on the Bay of Biscay only some 15 miles from the French border. Donostia is a paradise of mountains falling into the horseshoe-shaped bay with lovely beaches for swimming and surfing. [caption id="attachment_2753" align="alignnone" width="499"]guggenheim museum The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain[/caption] 116–Year Old Restaurant Our interest however, was less in the sporting life (maybe we should be indulging in some of this!) and more in the gastronomic fare around us. As I said before, San Sebastian and the region has forged an identity in gastronomy. The artist/chefs are starred and world famous. If you did not know this previously, you will now know that Juan Mari Arzak, the father of Basque Cuisine, is responsible for birthing chefs like El Bulli’s Ferran Adria, now considered one of the most brilliant in the culinary world. Arzak and his daughter, Elena, have their family’s 116-year old restaurant right here in the city. They shop at the amazing La Bretxa market in the old town (Parte Vieja). They are deeply rooted in their Basque country. Multi-Starred Night On The Town Because we had eaten at Arzak many years before, we chose a new venue for our multi-starred night on the town. And a night out it was! I felt like I could have just stopped the search for the ultimate dining experience after the tasting menu at Martin Berasategui. Many guests were snapping photos of their plates, but I just felt that was an invasion of privacy. So, you can find many pictures on Martin’s web site. Chef Berasategui’s dishes capture the absolute essence of flavor of whatever he features, be it fois-gras, lobster, pigeon, oyster… you name it. I now dream of a return to Donostia for another meal chez Martin and also to return to Zuberoa, a memorable meal in a 15th century farmhouse in the ancient town of Oiartzun near San Sebastian. Too Many Restaurants, Too Little Time For fine dining there are too many restaurants and too little time! Add Akelare, Mugaritz, Mirador de Ulia, Kokotxa, and Alameda and many many more. There are also some great alternatives to all of this formal fine dining: the tapas bars… San Sebastian style. In fact, this is where one should begin a culinary tour…  to get an idea of the local ingredients and the local resident’s way of eating. This way you can walk from one small bite to another, working off the calories as you bar hop. You will be arm to arm and cheek to jowl, believe me, with all the locals as well as tourists. Head For The Old Town [caption id="attachment_2758" align="alignleft" width="233"]market in San Sebastian A Street Scene in The Food-lovers Town of San Sebastian[/caption] Head for the Old Town (Parte Vieja). The entire parte vieja is filled with small bars with their signature ‘pintxos’ (the Basque word for tapas), delectable bocadillos, a la plancha with seafood, estafadoes, stews, fritos and more goodies…all different combinations. Cepes (mushrooms), asparagus, roasted peppers and garlic on top of crispy bread, potato salad with tuna, squid, grilled octopus, prawns, etcetera, and so it rolls… on and on and on! Wash this down with a cerveza corto (short beer) or a txakoli, a light bubbly local white wine. Heaven is just around the corner in your B&B for a Basque-style siesta. Or just wash it down a second time in the salty sea with a swim in the Bay of Biscay. On egin!  Buen apetito!  Buen Provecho! " ["post_title"]=> string(46) "From the Sea Cloud to the Cloud Nine of Dining" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(208) "Guest blogger Margo Davis returns with a story about her recent trip to one of the best places to eat in the world, San Sebastian, Spain. Enjoy her story of Michelin three-star restaurants and cultural icons!" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(46) "from-the-sea-cloud-to-the-cloud-nine-of-dining" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2014-08-01 19:32:19" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-08-01 19:32:19" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(42) "http://inthekitchenwithbronwyn.com/?p=2750" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "3" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#235 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2665) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 02:50:48" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-07-27 02:50:48" ["post_content"]=> string(2208) "By Lisa Farrell Collage w caption What is better than eating a homegrown tomato in the middle of August? I think it’s having homemade mozzarella cheese to accompany this special summer flavor. Please enjoy my friend Lisa Farrell’s "Spoon Fed Story" about our experience making mozzarella. —Bronwyn In summer I could exist solely on fresh mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes, and plucked-from-the-bush basil. I can't get enough of that exquisite combo. So when a class about making fresh mozzarella was offered through City Market in South Burlington, Vermont, Bronwyn and I quickly signed up. Thanks to Lindsay Harris from Family Cow Farmstand in Hinesburg, the class was both informative and fun. She taught us how to make mozzarella from raw milk using the fresh, golden liquid from her own Guernseys. Lindsay made the steps look simple and foolproof: her mozzarella was beautiful and delicious. A few weeks later, Bronwyn and I made our own batch using milk from Lindsay's cows. Mozzarella ingredients are pretty basic: milk, citric acid, rennet, salt, and water. You'll also need a good thermometer that measures between 90 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the steps are simple, temperature and timing may vary based on a dozen factors. Therein lies the challenge —and magic—of seeing milk become mozzarella. Ours didn't look or taste quite like Lindsay's, but it was good nevertheless. I'm hooked on making fresh mozzarella. If only I could make those tomatoes ripen quicker... See the fresh mozzarella recipe here > " ["post_title"]=> string(23) "Making Fresh Mozzarella" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(154) "My good friend, Lisa Farrell, and I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon making mozzarella cheese in my kitchen, after having attended a workshop at City Market." 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IMG_3341a

Sometimes my interest in the environment and my interest in food coincide so perfectly I have to just sit back and enjoy the experience. In this case, good friends, Lisa Farrell and Gary Harrison decided to spend three years in Peru so that Gary, who writes about international agriculture and development, could work with the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru.

When I asked Gary to send me a list of the internationally best-known potatoes —I was looking for a list similar to the one I’d posted about tomatoes last summer— he replied that there were thousands of potato varieties, too many to list. But, our conversation led to my interest in an article Gary sent to me about the return of dehydrating potato process that was a common way of preserving potatoes in the cold, dry weather of the Peruvian winter. It creates a preserved potato that is chalky white but firm and easy to cook. Nouvelle Peruvian cuisine now uses this style of preserved potato called chuño to make soups, stews and side dishes that are delicious and retain the same nutrition that allowed the ancient Peruvians to dominate a large part of South America and create a thriving civilization hundreds of years ago. 

I hope you enjoy Gary’s story of chuño (below) and find useful the lists of potatoes culled from the thousands available.

One last thought about chuño: In a world concerned about the sourcing of food, chuno could be one answer.  Perhaps the food entrepreneurs of Vermont, whose enthusiasm for what is new and local is infectious, could take a look at the process. What is old is new, again!

A Source of Chuno: LatinMerchant.com in Seattle, Washington

Potato Varieties:

Grey Line

churo potato photos

Cold Comfort – Chuño
By Gary Harrison

In this part of the agricultural world, the exchange rate of toil and tillage is rarely equitable. A bumper crop of anxiety grows unchecked from one year to the next, and food security is the worry that sits always at the dinner table. For the thousands of farmers scattered high in the Peruvian Andes, the humble potato has always been the crop that’s fed their family. No surprise: the potato as we know it started here, and hundreds of wild and cultivated varieties are still at the core of rural livelihoods and diets.

Like the farmers who grow them, there are a few hundred varieties that thrive in the harsh, chilly altitudes of up to 4,300 meters above sea level—about as high as Mt. Shasta. In villages from central to southern Peru, these small, powerhouse potatoes undergo a traditional process known as chuño, a form of freeze drying that allows them to be stored and eaten for up to 10 years. To produce chuño, farmers harvest the potatoes by hand in June and July and spread them out in batches. The potatoes are exposed to an extreme combination of severe nighttime frosts and prolonged sunny days and the thin air’s low humidity. Once the potatoes are “soft,” farmers walk on them to squeeze out the remaining moisture and the natural, bitter-tasting glycolalkaloids. The tubers are finally washed in fresh stream or river water to dilute remaining unwanted solutes, dried, and then rubbed against each other to remove the remaining bits of skin. After about a month, you have a powdery white—that’s the starchy residue now brought to the surface—potato roughly the size and shape as our “chef’s potato” variety. 

Chuño is typically boiled or served in soups and stews. It is easy to digest and provides important calcium and iron that Andean families may not otherwise get from their limited diets. Like quinoa, another traditional Andean food that has found a receptive global palate, chuño is starting to make its way to urban markets discovering inventive Peruvian cuisine. Think of chuño as a new twist on the classic mashed potato. 

“White Gold”

White chuño, also called tunta, was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Sometimes referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helped extend the limited seasonality of the usual potato supply and became the most important financial resource of the time to supply investments and make payments in all of the Inca Empire. Centuries later, the tunta turned into the main “fuel” that every day fed the thousands of hungry miners working across the entire Andean region.

Chuño continues to be a basic part of the everyday diet of the entire Peruvian Andes, from north to south, where it forms part of the regional culinary culture. The cities of Arequipa, Cuzco, and Puno have developed typical regional dishes in which white chuño contributes a spongy texture and special taste that blends deliciously with other Andean vegetables, fruit, meat, and spices.

Gary Harrison thanks Stef De Haan, the global science leader for genetic resources at the International Potato Center, for source material and photographs about chuño.

 Grey Line

The Story of Potatoes Continues…. 

The story of potatoes continues next week when I will include a new video that my friend Janet Biehl made, of my stepmother, Judith Jones and me making potato salad at the end of last summer up in the Northeast Kingdom, here in Vermont. Two recipes for the salads will be posted as well: the French version made with warm potatoes and served at room temperature, and the American version with lots of mayonnaise, cucumber and radishes. Who knows, maybe we will have a heat wave Easter Weekend!

A Bientot,

" ["post_title"]=> string(49) "Potatoes from Peru: An Ancestral Flavor Reclaimed" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(273) "White chuño was first processed in the Andes by the Aymaras hundreds of years ago. Referred to as “white gold,” the dehydrated potato helps extend the limited seasonality of the potato supply and is an important source of vitamin C and iron for rural Andean families." 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I can’t think of a better way to begin the New Year! Please see her sister’s Roasted Root Vegetable recipe, the best recipe I’ve seen yet for roasting vegetables! — Bronwyn My Life in France by Julia Child bookcover My husband, Dan, and I both like to cook, so when we saw a course offered by Bronwyn Dunne through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Vermont in Burlington, we jumped at the chance to participate in Cooking with the Masters. Based on the research, knowledge and recipes of Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, we learned more about the benefits of using fresh produce, meats, fish and poultry, making our own salad dressings, pastry for pies and quiches, and much more. We participated along with a curious and delightful group of adult learners. 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I can’t think of a better way to begin the New Year! Please see her sister’s Roasted Root Vegetable recipe, the best recipe I’ve seen yet for roasting vegetables! — Bronwyn My Life in France by Julia Child bookcover My husband, Dan, and I both like to cook, so when we saw a course offered by Bronwyn Dunne through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Vermont in Burlington, we jumped at the chance to participate in Cooking with the Masters. Based on the research, knowledge and recipes of Julia Child in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, we learned more about the benefits of using fresh produce, meats, fish and poultry, making our own salad dressings, pastry for pies and quiches, and much more. We participated along with a curious and delightful group of adult learners. 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  1. […] Just as I was sitting down to write a new blog post for a new year, Cheryl Hooper-Feeney, a friend and former student from South Burlington, Vermont, surprised me with a story about her own resolution to lose weight using the sound philosophy of Julia Child–healthy eating is also delicious if you follow the classic recipes and forget “convenience” foods. See Cheryl’s story > […]

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