Chris is allergic to MSG which is very prominent in the ingredient list of most prepared sofritos and recaitos, and all over many of our favorite packaged "sazon", especially in the Saffron flavored one from Goya, that I used religiously in my Puerto Rican dishes. Since we realized that Chris was reacting to MSG, we have ditched all our sazon packets and I have been stripped of many of my convenient meals. As a result I am in the middle of reinventing the way I cook Puerto Rican food. In essence I am going back to more authentic from scratch methods, which is very hard to when far from Puerto Rico. I can't tell you how excited I am to go to Rochester, with is large Puerto Rican population and how I am looking forward to visiting some Latin Bodegas, and coming home with Ahis Peppers and recaito. I will soon have easy access to Pink Beans and it was so liberating to give away my remaining cans to a good friend last week, since I knew I will easily and cheaply (cooperatively) replace them when we get to Rochester.
So in that frame of mind, thinking of new cooking possiblities, looking for new recipes free of preservatives and flavor enchancers, I was cleaning in the kitchen wearing my ipod listening to some of my backlog of podcasts. I was listening to NPR's Food Podcast, a weekly compilation of NPR's food related stories, one of the stories from last week was a interview from a newer show called "Tell Me More" with Michelle Martin. I have been listening to the daily podcasts, but somehow missed one from Aug 21, where they talked about the September issue of Gourmet magazine which will showcase Latin American cooking. One of the chef's that it will feature Maricel Presilla,who Michelle then interviewed and they talked mostly about the Latin American cooking tradition of Sofrito's and Recaos.
The interview was great, and made my mouth water, and my heart encouraged about solutions to my over-dependence on prepared Sofritos and Sazon. I am know looking forward to finding this issue of Gourmet, and to Presilla's upcoming cookbook. Hopefully this fall we will find a house with great kitchen, where I can experiment till I find just the right flavor for our Rice and Beans again.