That the United Nations declared 2013 to be the International Year of Quinoa came as news to Rene Chila Mamani. To reach him, you must first fly to La Paz, then drive a full day along dirt roads up, up, up, up the Altiplano, “a high Andean plateau that is basically a desert,” says Fair Trade USA’s Sarah Connolly, just back from a visit. “It’s 12 or 13 thousand feet in altitude and the climate is incredibly harsh.
Crackerman, aka Stefan Uch, is an artisanal baker, a Michelin-starred chef and my friend. When we get together — never as often as we’d like — we talk less about business than we do books and Buddhism. Neither of us is particularly Zen, but hey, it’s about the journey. And it’s about the food. Over the years, I like think I’ve brought a little Persian to Stefan’s table, he’s brought a little more Indian-Asian to mine. We both go for dark humor, bold flavors and building community through real food.
Break out the basil, party with your parsley. If you want to ramp up flavor without adding a scrap of fat, salt or sugar, herbs are the answer. They’re nature’s green goodness, enhancing our food and our lives. Green is key. That’s how herbs start out – they’re the fresh, leafy parts of plants. Spices, the pods or seeds, are brown. For maximum pleasure and flavor, green is how herbs should stay. And when the herbs are fresh and in season, you don’t have to stick to just basil in your pesto.