Show 34, July 6, 2013: Gustavo Arellano, Editor of OC Weekly and author of Taco USA: How Mexican Foods Conquered America

Gustavo Arellano of Ask a MexicanOur favorite all-star, “Ask a Mexican,” Gustavo Arellano, returned to give us more practical insight on Mexican ingredients and their history. He’s also the editor of OC Weekly.

Today we talked tortillas. Why is a burrito made with flour tortillas?  On the other hand why are enchiladas prepared with corn tortillas. What is right for a hard or soft-shelled taco?

Gustavo explained that flour tortillas are popular in the Northern states of Mexico. They arrived from Spain in the 1500s.

Gustavo also shared the history of tortilla chips which traces its origin to San Antonio in 1912.

It’s summer so it’s time to quench your thirst. Gustavo suggests a flavorful agua fresca. This translates as “fresh water.” The base for this refreshing Mexican beverage is water and sugar. Cucumber and Tamarind are particularly refreshing versions.

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Show 13, January 12, 2013: Josef Centeno, owner/executive chef of baco mercat and Bar Ama in Downtown Los Angeles.

Josef Centeno

Josef Centeno is a classic example of the independent young breed of pioneering chef who wants to do his own thing with total control and then makes it happen!

He now has two busy restaurants in the Old Bank District of Downtown Los Angeles making him something of an urban pioneer, too, because he also lives there.

His latest is Bar Ama which is his tribute to the maternal side of his Family and their San Antonio-style of Tex-Mex cooking. All tortillas and salsas are made in-house and are fresh daily.

He’s particularly proud of the Puffy Tacos and his Wood Grill. This is one of the few spots locally where you can get young goat properly prepared.

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