Blood Sausage, Head Cheese, Klobasa and Mangalitsa Pig Meat

Tom Ratoni-Nagy tells about traditional Mangalitsa Pigs and Hungarian meats – Hungarian Pork, Blood Sausage, Head Cheese, Klobasa – at the annual Goulash-Gulyas Cookoff for the Hungarian Cultural Garden.


Did you know…  The word gulya means ‘herd’ in Hungarian, and gulyás means ‘herdsman’?

Hungarian Gulyas (Goulash) – all you wanted to know

Tom Ratoni-Nagy tells about traditional Hungarian Gulyas (Goulash) at the annual Goulash-Gulyas Cook-off.


Masa from the Cradle of Corn where Guatemala and Mexico meet

Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio explained the history of Masa.  Masa is Spanish for dough but this particular masa from Central America and Mexico is often short for masa de maíz, a maize (corn) dough made from freshly prepared hominy. It originated in the Cradle of Corn, where Guatemala meets Mexico.  The chef used it to make corn tortillas, tamales other Latin American dishes.


Making Corn a Super Food

Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio explained the history of Corn.  Corn started in Mesoamerica about 10,000 years ago in the Cradle of Corn, where Guatemala meets Mexico.  Through selective breeding it grew larger and by a process called Nixtamalization (soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution) you make corn a healthier, tastier super food.


 

Masa is the base of Mesoamerican food

Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio explained Masa as the base of Mesoamerican food, not just tamales and tortillas.  Thousands of things can be added to it that is why it is a cornerstone of Mexico and Guatemala


Different tamale wrappers and fillings

Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio explained the different wrappers that can be used for tamales such as avocado and banana leaves and even fresh corn husks.   Different regions of Mexico and Central America will have different wrappers and also different fillings such as pork, chicken or fish.  Even dessert fillings.


Southern and Cleveland style tamales

Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio explained the different styles of tamales. He said that tamales have become an American institution and told how the meetings of GIs from various cultures led to variations of the tamales in the South, Japan and Cleveland for example.

 


How is lye used in cooking?

You may think of lye AKA Sodium Hydroxide as a caustic ingredient used in making soap.  And it is.  But Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio explained that cal or sodium hydroxide or lye is used in cooking such as with corn for making tamales.  The ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations developed nixtamalization using slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) and ash (potassium hydroxide) to create alkaline solutions. The Chibcha people to the north of the ancient Inca also used calcium hydroxide (also known as “cal”), while the tribes of North America used naturally occurring sodium carbonate or ash.


When would people make tamales?

Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio explained that, for Mesoamericans, making tamales usually happened on a day with other big events such as the slaughtering of animals.  The tamales themselves only take about 45 minutes but the whole day was spent with family and friends in preparing the food and sauces and snacks and so on.


First steps in making traditional tortillas and tamales

Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio showed how Mesoamericans begin making their tamales and tortillas.  They may use a flat granite metate or mortar mealing stone to grind the corn or a more modern mill or food processor.  They will add lye or potash, let it sit and rinse.  The resulting product can be used for hominy, tortillas, tamales and thousands of other products.


Next steps in making traditional tortillas and tamales

Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio showed how Mesoamericans make their tamales and tortillas. They add lard or some fat to their masa. Chef Tino says “don’t fight the leaf” when putting the masa in the leaf. He also showed some basic fillings for the tamales.


Grinding masa – the batter for tamales

Kevin from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio showed different ingredients and techniques for grinding the masa that will be used to make tamales.  Kevin likes to use old VitaMix machines. Chef Tino Enriquez added some Mesoamerican techniques.


Masa lasts a long time and is good for many things

Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio said that masa keeps for a long time because it has no gluten.  He said that tamale masa can be used for many other dishes.


Mexican food – every day and holidays

Chef Tino Enriquez from the Coit Road Farmer’s Market in East Cleveland Ohio showed the final stage – retrieving the cooked tamales – and then explained what a holiday dinner in Mexico would consist of as well as an everyday Mexican meal.