We continue our exploration of the foods of the Columbian Exchange with a look at corn, which has become a staple of modern agriculture. Betty Fussell, author of The Story of Corn, explains how the grain has changed the way the world eats. We'll also look at how corn is used in a variety of Mexican dishes with Zarela Martinez, author of numerous cookbooks including Zarela's Veracruz
Share your corn recipes below!
Mexican chef and restaurateur Zarela Martinez talks about authentic Mexican food. Her restaurant Zarela opened in New York in 1981, and she remains committed to bringing regional Mexican food to New York. She discusses organizing an ongoing series of weekly gastronomic festivals featuring foods from different states in Mexico. She’s the author of Zarela’s Veracruz, Food from my Heart, and The Food and Life of Oaxaca.
Lard was once the most common fat for baking, but came to be seen as dirty and unhealthful. Now, food scientists have shown that home-rendered lard isn't as bad for your health as, say, margarine. And it tastes wonderful! Our guest, discussing the benefits of lard, is food writer Regina Schrambling. Also on the show is chef Zarela Martinez, a self-proclaimed lard crusader. She has been preaching the gospel of lard for over fifteen years and is glad that people are finally listening.
For pie crust and chocolate cupcake recipes, click here. Those recipes come from Southern cooks (and lard fans) Matt and Ted Lee.
Watch Zarela Martinez demonstrate how easy it is to render lard at home: