MEXICOONE PLATE AT A TIME WITH RICK BAYLESS
Episode 5: Welcome to Tequila
Tequila has come aroundfrom “lick the salt and suck the lime” firewater, to chic drink of connoisseurs and hipsters alike. What exactly is
this quintessential Mexican spirit, and what makes one tequila so-so and another sublime. Rick’s on a mission to find out, and he takes us straight to the source, to the town of Tequila in Jalisco, where the first families of tequila still brew the stuff the old-fashioned way, from the slow-roasted heart of the blue agave
plant. It’s a crash course in tequila that takes us through every step, from the fields to the historic Herradura family hacienda, where the beautiful copper-clad stills of the original tequila works can still be seen alongside a state-of-the-art production facility. Along the way, we stop for tacos and a lesson in tequila drinking at a local restaurant, and Rick shows us another side of tequilait’s great for cooking, too. Back in Chicago, he shares his recipe for Tequila-Infused Queso Fundido
, a classic warm cheese dip that’s Mexico’s answer to fondue, and Crêpes with Tequila-Infused Cajeta
(goat milk caramel), a rich “adult” dessert. It all adds up to one tasty conclusion: A good tequila is right up there with brandya national treasure that’s literally and figuratively the spirit of Mexico.