Translated by Laura Cohen
In Ensenada people is aware of food treasures that surround them...
Tomatoes, Ensenada´s farmer´s market.
Ensenada, during the grape harvest (vendimia) is wine, feast and food; it’s talking about celebrating the arrival of the grape crop (from August until October in this hemisphere); it‘s expecting for work, the beginning of a new cycle; it is waiting for the Paella or Lobster Feasts, the Wine Showcase, the feast of each winery; all of these are common, but, as I’m living in this privileged area, I think I should share something even more important, an ongoing fact which happens every day, every season: the gastronomic conscience.
Ensenada is impressive not for being in a “gourmet fashion” or for having excellent fish tacos, burritos, lobster with beans, or conos de frijol, but because its dwellers are really attentive to freshness provided by the ingredients in their dishes. I’m not saying that everyone does, but one can find this ideal element from the most modest homelike restaurant (fonda) to the fanciest place.
What’s usual around here is to think about the delight that comes within freshness, because people are aware of food treasures which surround them (sea and soil). Every day I’m surprised about seeing someone who has decided to use flowers from the thousands rosemary growing in the area, as an innovative ingredient; watching that people prefer to buy lamb from a neighbor rather than buying some frozen rack from New Zealand; feeling the patience of some who wait and wait for time to say when a product has reached its best; knowing that most know and consume local wine before any other; restaurants, more often, deciding to consume products organically grown in small plots; many buying and promoting cheese and bread produced in the region. Ensenada is rich because of those who make and offer authentic seasonal cuisine.
When living in Ensenada you clearly know you're eating food which you could have seen alive. Each of these could have been walking, growing, swimming or flying right before it became part of your meal.
This is what makes Ensenada, at least for me, a paradise of grastronomic conscience; something which must be shared, taught and promoted.
Chef with fresh giant clam.