Monday, May 25, 2009

A Different Local

I've been in Santa Fe for the past week. Not much fresh local fruit here, I'm afraid.

However, I've been eating a lot of New Mexican food. I especially like trying blue corn enchiladas with an egg, over easy, on top. Blue corn has been a Native American staple for a long, long time. In Hopi lore, Blue Corn Maiden was the most beautiful of the corn maiden sisters. She was well loved by her people as was the delicious blue corn she gave them all year long. The tale continues recounting a war between the Winter and Summer Katsinas and the resulting limit of blue corn given to Pueblo People in summer. Luckily, the Pueblo People learned to dry and grind their blue corn into meal so I can eat blue corn tortillas in New Mexico. Well, everyone can, really.

Coupled perfectly with the blue corn tortillas is the dark purplish red of the local chile. Dried, ground and then reconstituted into a thick, spicy sauce, there's nothing better. Chimayo chile has almost become extinct. As a result, the Native Hispanic Institute started a project to revive and save the Chimayo chile.

"The Chimayo Chile Project works with local farmers, and artists in order to preserve the native strain of chile and to keep the cultural assets alive in the community. In 2006, the institute assisted the village farmers by providing them legal and technical assistance so they could incorporate and apply for the trade name “Chimayo.”


Soon, I'll be back in California and longing for blue corn enchiladas.

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