MEXICOONE PLATE AT A TIME WITH RICK BAYLESS
Episode 10: Archaeology for Breakfast
We find Rick somewhere in the jungles of Mexico, pondering the great questions of the ancient worldlike, “what was for breakfast?” Back in Chicago, he whips up a plate of Huevos Motuleños
Eggs Motul-Style, a heady, layered “short-stack” of Mexican breakfast favorites piled on a tortilla, including fried eggs, chorizo, cheese, peas, beans, plantains, cilantro and salsa. But instead of digging in, he decides to dig down a few layers, like a culinary archaeologist, and investigate just how Mexicanand just how ancientthese beloved ingredients are. That investigation takes him to a dairy stall in Mexico City’s cosmopolitan San Juan Market, a down-and-dirty pulqueria
(a bar that serves pulque,
a locally brewed “agave beer”), La Tequila restaurant (where we get a lesson in the ancient art of making salsa in a lava mortar called a molcajete
), and a market stall that sells, among other delicacies of antiquity, edible bugs. Working his way down to progressively more ancient foods, Rick ends up showing us how to make homemade Corn Tortillas
, the pre-Columbian “breakfast of the ages.” It’s all surprisingly inter-connected, and it all comes together in an edible history of the Old and New World cultural influences that make Mexican cuisine so deliciously complex.