Latin Flavors Influence Macho Football Parties – by Design?

February 6, 2011

I write about things that catch my attention. Generally centered on the world of design- which is actually everything around us – therefore, I have a broad reach of subjects that are constantly popping up and seem pertinent. Today, Super Bowl Sunday having just returned last night from south of our border, I am still in my Latin mode – perfect for this day’s celebrations.  And also on this the 100th anniversary of President Ronald Regan’s birth we are reminded that he campaigned on the North American Common Market and that was the impetus for NAFTA back in the mid eighties. He had the vision that we are so closely connected and should celebrate that connectivity with more open and shared economic and cultural exchange. Foodies unite with the flow of firey foods that seep up from the chile fields into our markets, kitchens and ultimately party platters!
From Bill Geist teaching his grandson this morning on CBS Sunday Morning the fine art of being a man honoring the game with the party fare on the cocktail table to my husband making his favorite Firehouse chili recipe, the culinary influences from our own southwest and points even farther south are abundantly apparent.
Not everyone is want to incorporate Mexican textiles, Talavera tiles, brilliantly bright pottery or the like into their home decor…but come football season and you’ll find colonial homes on the historic registrar all over the east coast armed with their obligatory bags of Tostitos and Doritos! I heard yesterday that the avocado sales in the United States goes off the charts this week in preparation for the bazillion pounds of guacamole dip being prepared for the Super Bowl parties!
So all the recent cooking shows and guest spots have been featuring basic to outrageously creative versions of salsas, quesadillas, queso and chips, tacos of every variety and even Mexico’s royal crowned cerveza, Corona challenging the King of Beers…how did this happen? When and how did this particular sports scene morph into an unconscious celebration of Latin American culinary interpretations? Was this by design?
It does beg that question, the answer to which is undeniably true – it began with the macho image – no silly, not nacho, macho – that somehow translated into spicy (look what habaneros in Tabasco have done for our very own Buffalo wings), which means the hotter you can take it, the more manly you are…and thus the tradition was born. Starting back with bowls of that “Texas” chile, tomato based stew of red kidney beans and hamburger meat which by personal preference (remember the manly man likes it hot) is identified by how much red chile powder one adds to the brew to Velvetta becoming synonymous with queso dip it became a theme of hot punctuations of flavor. Chile con queso to be exact – with a can of Rotelle or your own version from scratch with melted cheese and cream and roasted and peeled chiles, onions and tomotoes all chopped into the blend it’s all about flavor and HEAT! Do you use jalapenos or serranos? Do you stuff jalapenos with gooey queso and deep fry for tantalizing poppers? Do you buy salsa in a jar or make your own from the freshest ingredients diced into a fresco pico de gallo? Simple recipe to follow:
5 ripe Roma tomatoes diced 1 med. onion diced (white is traditional – but go crazy with a red one – porque no?) 5 serrano chiles seeded and diced (keep your hands away from your nose and eyes for the next several hours – or use gloves when you chop – like a wimp) 1 large lime or 3 small ones juiced (also nice to have a bowl cut-up for the beer – in which case you will need MANY more) 1/3 c. fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
Mix it all together and dive into it with fresh tortilla chips – or bagged from the store if you must!
Whether a purist or packaged party planner, let’s pull out our sombrero chip and dip platters, and celebrate our adopted Latin flavors, colors and heat that raise the temperatures on these chilly football afternoons – Ole!

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