Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

As I type this I have carnitas bubblin’ away on the stove as well as some beans, and in a few hours, probably about the time I put the carnitas in the oven, I’ll get some yellow rice started. My house already smells fabulous, and I am so happy to have an excuse to try new recipes, and explore culinary tradition other than my own. 

I am a big fan of pairing food and wines regionally – who am I to refute years of evolving culinary tradition to suit the wines from that region? Tonight, I will be sticking with regional pairing, but rather than searching the Bay Area for one of the grape wines now made in Mexico (yup, even Mexico is making wine), I’m going with Tequila, although I did contemplate good Mexican beer as well. While not traditionally Mexican, I plan to mix up a batch of really delicious margaritas – silver tequila, lots of fresh lime juice, and a scant splash of Cointreau. Now that’s what I call cultural appreciation!

I do love holidays like Cinco de Mayo & St. Patrick’s day. For me they are an excuse to have a celebration (not like I really need an excuse), and investigate culinary traditions. Rather than ‘Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are,’ I think the Brillat-Savarin quote would ring more true, if phrased ‘tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.’ To know a people’s food is to know a people. Why else would food be the one cultural institution that immigrants cling to for generations? While international travel may not be in the cards for us right now, we’ll have a little mini-break as we sit down to dinner tonight. Mmm….Carnitas!