This week in Food, Ari LeVaux visits decades-old Chicharroneria Orozco’s new digs on Bridge and samples a golden-fried plate of turkey tails (aka colitas de pavo), one of the few non-pork meats in the place.
In other chicharrón news, that’s the name of the porcine sidekick carried around by Lynette ("Shit Burqueños Say") in a new series of New Mexico State Fair commercials. Felicidades to Blackout Theatre and Expo New Mexico for a local marketing campaign that’s actually, and awesomely, local.
The 23 year-old Chicharroneria Orozco has for years inhabited a drafty adobe on Isleta. But this summer it set up shop in new digs on the north side of Bridge, just west of the river, in the same building that the underwhelming Siete Mares used to occupy.
The “farm to table” movement—or “field to fork,” or “farm to plate,” and so on—has been gaining traction in every corner of the country, and Albuquerque’s newest member of this growing club didn’t mince words when deciding on its name. After a long winter of teasing us via its Facebook page, Farm & Table finally opened on Fourth Street between Paseo and Alameda. The setting is gorgeous, inside and out. The food walks the walk and is reasonably priced for what you get. And the chef, Ka’ainoa Ravey, is a freaking genius.
Occitania is a cultural region centered on the narrowest part of the Iberian Peninsula. It includes Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, rugged mountains, fertile valleys, and grape terrace-filled hills. This land of figs and fish is mostly French but includes parts of Spain and Italy. The Northern Italian restaurant Torinos’ @ Home, off Jefferson in the Journal Center, is the next best thing to a plane ticket to Occitania’s northeast corner.
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It came as a surprise to me that Cuban food isn’t spicy, especially since residents of the Cuban capital La Habana bear the name of the famously hot habanero chile pepper. I carried my ignorance all the way to Cuba, where I once lead a group of students to study Cuban agriculture. My expectation for spicy food, coupled with a poor grasp of Spanish, raised eyebrows at a farm when I asked about their pepinos picantes. One of my students explained to me that pepino means cucumber (but c'mon, doesn't pepino kind of sound like "little pepper?").
I'm no stranger to pumpkin pie. I owned and operated a small pumpkin pie business after college, where I experimented widely, trying countless permutations on the basic theme, and tweaked my way to some fantastic pie. I thought I knew most everything there is to know about pumpkin pie. But walking around a night-market in Bangkok, Thailand, I had an experience that turned my concept of pumpkin pie inside-out.