El Cinco de Mayo with a Oaxacan Flavor

FOTO FRIDAY this week comes with a story as these FRIDAY photos come with sabor(flavor) Sabores mexicanos, Mexican flavors. You see last night we started our Cinco de Mayo celebration early considering it was only May 2nd. We were finally frequenting The Rooted Spoon in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Chef Dani shares the culture of the meals she prepares which indeed creates meaning in the food one is putting into one’s mouth.

Many of our citizens enjoy Margaritas/ Mexican beers and taco specials when they have no clue what the holiday even is. You see, Mexico actually has 2 independence days: September 16, 1810 from Spain in northern Mexico and the second May 5th 1862 in southern Mexico from France .

Chef Dani’s love of Mexican food and cooking was enhanced by spending time in Oaxaca during her college days near where the Battle of Puebla the Franco-American began. Mexico like our country is divided into states and each has its regional cuisine just like we do. Even villages have their own variations of sauces called moles made from different chiles (peppers). Did you realize there are hundreds of different chiles? With differing degrees of heat from mild to 4 alarm fires.

Making a mole as Dani informed us is a “painstaking process that involves seeding/stemming/toasting/hydrating/pureeing/straining piles of many kinds of dried chiles; toasting & grinding countless spices, seeds, & nuts; roasting aromatic vegetables… not to mention making lard & chicken or turkey stock from scratch to fry & to thin the sauce.” Our dinner would include different moles and also a corn sampling from the 100’s of different indigenous corns also grown in Oaxaca.

So here’s our menus . First we pleased our palates with delicious appetizers while enjoying the art and their artists at the Viva Gallery followed by a sit down family style dinner next door at the Rooted Spoon. We enjoyed the company of strangers and our Chef’s labor of love.

Feast your eyes and always appreciate from your food comes from especially if it’s local and fresh.

Beginning with appetizers at the Artist Reception…

Then onto dinner accompanied by Natureman’s addition of an IPA and I ordered a specialty drink by the Mixologist, a Paloma with different mezcals a little smoky flavor and a little punch with the pretty chile salted rim…

Onto dinner:
TO START-Tetelas Mixtecas: Mixtec black bean-filled masa triangles served with watercress/ sorrel salsa, cultured crema, & local greens        
DINNER –Guajolote con Mole Rojo:  Organic Prairie turkey simmered in rich & spicy celebration red mole sauce; corn tortillasRice, Black Beans, & Chileajo Vegetables:  Mexican rice, Driftless Organics black beans, & chile/garlic marinated vegetables
OR                                      
Verduras con Mole Amarillo:  local potatoes & greens in a vegetarian yellow mole sauce;  Mexican rice, Driftless Organics black beans, & chile/garlic marinated vegetables   (VEGETARIAN main by advance request)                                     
DESSERT – Tamales Dulces de Elote:  sweet corn & coconut tamales served w/ 
cultured crema & lime wedges;  Kickapoo Coffee or chamomile tea

If you’re wondering what happened to my dessert photo, I hate to admit I gobbled the sweet coconut corn tamale before I had a chance to take a photo. The lime crema was sabroso (delicious)!

At our table was good conversation with 3 folks, a couple from Madison and their Birmingham, Alabama friend who will be joining other buds and spending 2 weeks fishing and morel hunting in our area. ‘Told you we live in a very special place…

Have any gastronomic adventures you want to share? Send them my way.

In case you missed last week’s FOTO FRIDAY just click on the link below: https://lifeintheendoftherainbowvalley.home.blog/2019/04/26/foto-fridayfamily-to-family/

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