We had attended a one man performance by actor comedian John Leguizamo at the Adrienne Arscht Theater titled, “Latin History for Morons”. It was excellent and even though certain nuances of some of the dialog that was both in classic and slang Español. I can handle a lot of ‘kitchen Spanish’. Yo soy un concinero’. But not a whole lot more. After the show we walked to a restaurant that I’d been wanting us to try. It was too early for dinner but some snacks and a post theater glass of wine, possibly two … beckoned. One of the small plates offerings were blue corn tortilla chips and guacamole. We began by ordering that. Though the dish was simplicity itself it revealed that the kitchen was confident in doing simple things well. I admire that. My wife, Janet, has become an eater of very small portions. To her the near demitasse cup amount of guacamole would often be plenty for her normally. But this was good so I asked if she might consider one more small plate. She said, “Sure! Let’s get the chicharonnes!” Which just goes to prove, one never can predict what one’s spouse will do or say. The barman refreshed our wine and moments later a bowl of crispy, fried pork skin arrived. For that is what chicharonnes are to the uninitiated. If you are a Southerner this dish is called pork ‘cracklings’. This is one of the places that the foods of Mexico and the American South, dare I say it? … make out. These pig parts cooked this way is part ‘low rider’ and part pick-up truck. And either way it is a trip. It is the edible version of necking while listening to either Los Lobos or Lucinda Williams. You choose.
Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show!