Notebook on Cities and Culture
(Formerly The Marketplace of Ideas.) Colin Marshall sits down for in-depth conversations with cultural creators, internationalists, and observers of the urban scene all around Los Angeles and beyond.
S3E18: First-Rate "Second World" Eating with Nicholas Gilman

Colin Marshall sits down in Mexico City's Colonia Roma with Nicholas Gilman, author of the book and blog Good Food in Mexico City: Fondas, Food Stalls, and Fine Dining. They discuss the culinary importance of places like Mercado Medellín; how Mexico City's art, not its food, first brought him here (make a beeline though he did to the handmade tortillas when he first arrived at 18); all the warnings about "what you shouldn't do" in Mexico City — or, for that matter, the New York City of the seventies and eighties in which he grew up; the strides Mexico City has made in the past fifteen years, especially as regards cleaning up pollution and opening up small business and culinary opportunities; his career switch from painter to food writer, and his discovery that you simply "don't have to suffer so much" in Mexico City; his realization that no useful English-language food guides to the area existed, how that prompted him to publish his own, and the great deal of attention it soon drew; what people get wrong when they first go eating in Mexico City, such as understanding the "timing" of the food; the dismantling of the car culture, the institution of bicycle programs, and the conversion of Mexico into at least a new "second-world" country; his eating strategies in a new city, including looking for their markets; the importance of tapping into a city's social knowledge, especially that possessed by taxi drivers; how to convince people you want to eat "the real thing," i.e., the food they themselves eat; bringing a necessary outsider's perspective to another culture; the various misconceptions that linger about Mexican food; the usually unhappy experiences of foreign cuisines that make it to Mexico; and when best to eat huitlacoche.

Direct download: NCC_S3E18_Nicholas_Gilman.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:57pm UTC