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58 • Vacations


Fall 2017

Worldly Delights



From Colombian coconut concentrate to Mexican mole pastes,

we've got warm-weather pantry favourites sure to make any kitchen sunny,

even in the dead of a Canadian winter.

By Mary Luz Mejia

Vacations® •

Fall 2017 • 59


If you've ever had the slightly sweet, nutty and delicious coconut

rice in Colombia's Caribbean coast (Cartagena, Barranquilla or

Santa Marta, for example) and fallen in love with it, you'll want

to head to a local grocery shop and pick up a jar of titote. It's

a coconut paste concentrate that's all-natural and incredibly

delicious in said rice dish, which is usually eaten with a filet of

fried white fish. And if you feel like quaffing back a local spirit

in Colombia, go for a bottle of clear-as-water Aguardiente. The

translation of this is fire water, so don't let the initial, innocent

aroma of anise fool you!


Few people realize that some of the world's finest chocolate comes

from Grenada. At the small Grenada Chocolate Factory, three

visionaries founded an organic cocoa farmers and chocolate-maker’s

cooperative that would change the world of chocolate for the better.

Their award-winning bars are a sensory surprise, especially if you like

the rich boldness of a good dark chocolate, one of their strong suits.

Described as robust with the deep, dark fruit flavours of figs, the

balanced "tree-to-bar" result is always a sweet ending.

All that fresh, sea-salt tinged air! All of that Vitamin D!

It's enough to make you want to pack it up in your

suitcases and bring it home with you. Since that's not

readily do-able, we humbly suggest you pack the next

best thing: some sun-kissed, edible souvenirs. Here are

some of our favoritos!





When in the colonial splendour that is Oaxaca, make

haste to Susana Trilling's Seasons of My Heart cooking

school, where she sells her special mole pastes.

Mole, or sauce in the ancient Nahuatl language, is a

hand-made, multi-hour labour of love that can take

upwards of 30 ingredients to make. Trilling's mole

sauces (she offers the complex mole negro and mole

coloradito in a paste) make preparing one of the many

mole-accompanied traditional dishes a breeze, so that

you too can look like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen

once you get home. And you'd be wise to pick up a

bottle of small-batch-produced mezcal, tequila's

whisky-like, smoky cousin, produced in the surrounding

region by proud mezcaleros.



Once considered Brazilian "rum”, cachaça has

evolved from "poor man's moonshine" to a more

refined, barrel-aged, hand-crafted affair. The

sugar cane-based spirit's artisanal producers use

fine oak or indigenous wooden casks to give it

colour and flavour during an aging process that

can last from one to 12 years. Ninety-nine per

cent of cachaça stays in Brazil, and given that

more than a billion litres of the stuff is produced

yearly, that's a clear indication of how much

Brazilians love it! If you're in Rio, head to an

upscale Zona Sul market for a top notch bottle,

including Leblon Prata, Magnífica Reserva

Soleira, or top-ranked and 12-year-aged Vale

Verde if you feel like a splurge.