Showing posts from July, 2011

Official Under 20 World Cup Song

The Colombian duo (from Cartagena) Dragón & Caballero have created the official song for the Under 20 World Cup. Check it out:

Wednesday's Wonders: Sopa de Patacones

Here is a typical dish that you will find in Risaralda. It is called Fried Green Plantain Soup in English or, in Spanish: Sopa de Patacones Ingredients 2 green plantains, made into patacones -- see a former recipe I posted here 1 quart (or a liter) of broth 1 medium onion 3 cloves garlic -- mashed or blended in food processor 2 large potatoes peeled and chopped into cubes 1/2 cup green peas (optional and not included in all recipes) 1 chopped carrot (optional and not included in all recipes 1/2 pound of beef (preferably flank steak) Cilantro (finely chopped) to taste Salt and Pepper to taste Different recipes use different spices including -- oregano, thyme, or bay leaf or a combination of two or three of the above. I recommend trying the soup first without the spices and then adding in what you like and giving it a try. INSTRUCTIONS: Cook the meat, peas (if fresh and not frozen), onion and garlic i

TUNES FOR TUESDAY -- Los Sabanales

I was preparing to make the connection between Fania , Fuentes and Colombian Salsa , and to finally make sense of all the stuff we have been discussing, when I received a request for this song. It is also by the Corraleros de Majagual . Colombians in their forties (and older) will remember it as a perennial classic in our collective Christmas Music playlist. This genre exhausted its coolness a while ago, so younger Colombians will deny recognizing this song. The truth is: not only do they recognize it, but have danced to it at more than one party, most likely around 3 am when everyone was taking a break from dancing to the faster rhythms. Los Sabanales by Los Corraleros de Majagual

Myths for Monday -- El Espanto de la Calle del Miadero

In the department of Risaralda, in the city of Pereira, there is a story of a Ghost that forms the basis for today's Myth for Monday. It is called El Espanto de la Calle del Miadero. According to this Legend, a ghost walks the streets of the Calle (street) called el Miadero also known as the Calle Real in Pereira. This ghost appears to be a long black shadow. With it's long ghostly arms, he beckons you to come closer. As you approach, you will see that he has an unusual face -- a white mask that looks like a skull. As soon as the ghost scares you, he will disappear. So, if you are heading for Pereira, beware.

Wednesday's Wonders (On Thursday): Bananos Calados

Today's recipe comes from the department of Quindio. It is a great dessert: Toasted Bananas Ingredients 8 Tablespoons Butter, melted 1 Tablespoon Lime Zest 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice 3 Tablespoons Sugar 8 Bananas Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 2. Mix the first 4 ingredients and poor half of it on the bottom of a sprayed, Pyrex pan. 3. Peel the bananas and cover them with the other half of the sugar mixture -- you may want to use a brush. 4. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the Bananas turn a light brown. 5. Serve them hot with cold milk or ice cream. I found an alternative recipe for Bananas Calados here:

Happy Día De La Independencia

The 20th of July is a Colombian national holiday in celebration of the first movement for Independence from Spain which began on the 20th of July 1810. On this day, a group of citizens known as Criollos (those of Spanish descent born in the Americas rather than in Spain), went to Don José González Llorente´s home (a Spaniard) on the pretext of borrowing a flower vase for a dinner that was to honor the Royal Commissioner Antonio Villavicencio. This event, without any apparent significance, unleashed a confrontation between the Criollos and the Spanish that ended in the eventual independence of Colombia. The roots of this conflict are found in the years leading up to the 1810 Flower Vase Incident. The Spanish ruled through local governments called Juntas and Cabildos. In the Juntas that were held in the years prior to 1810, the Criollos were very poorly represented -- 36 Spanish representatives to 9 Criollos. The Criollos were very dissatisfied. They felt that their needs were not well r

TUNES FOR TUESDAY -- Los Corraleros de Majagual

Let's continue with the story of Antonio Fuentes and his Fuentes Music Label. In 1954, Antonio moved his label to Medellín. This was a time when many costeños were moving to cities inland carrying their music with them. It is said that at that time in Bogotá the Catholic church questioned the new fashion and trend of respectable people dancing like blacks. Yet, by the 1960s, Fuentes had become the most important music label in Colombia. Twice a year the label released -- and still does -- its Cañonazos Bailables (Cannon Blast or Explosive Dance Hits), a collection of the best of Musica Costeña of the previous six months which sold like hot cakes throughout Colombia. Now, Musica Costeña was much more than just the well known cumbia. It also included gaitas, porros, merecumbé, and vallenato . Fuentes created a studio-based, all -star band: Los Corraleros de Majagual who played all the genres. The Corraleros included some of the most well known conteño artists of the t

Myths for Monday -- La Rodillona

In Antioquia, and the Eje Cafetero (the Coffee Growing Region) Caldas, Risaralda and Quindio (today's department) there is a myth about an old woman with big knees. Here it is: La Rodillona (The Woman with Big Knees) In this area lives a old, wrinkled woman. She has a long, hooked nose, grey hair, and bright, red eyes. Her most recognizable feature are her very large knees. Sometimes, she can be seen on the side of the road holding her head in her lap. She walks the country roads looking to scare people, particularly lovers. It is said that her laugh is terrifying and devilish. When she is not out scaring people, she helps them lose their way on dark nights. Your only protection against the Rodillona is to have a screaming baby -- apparently this is the only thing more scary than she is. :)

Colombia Hosts Mundial Sub-20

The Under 20 World Cup is being hosted by COLOMBIA from July 29-August 20. Colombia is in group A and will be playing the initial rounds against France, Mali, and Korea. If you are in Colombia, you can catch some of the games. Team Colombia will be playing in Bogotá on July 30th at El Campín against France. They play again on August 2nd against Mali. Their final match in the group stage of the tournament will be on August 8th against Korea. Other matches are being held in Medellín, Armenia, Cali, Pereira, Manizales, Cartagena and Barranquilla. FYI, the USA did not qualify. But, here is a link to the other games:

Wednesdays Wonders: Tacaho

Here is a recipe that is common not only in Putumayo but throughout the Amazon. Tacacho Ingredients 5 Green Plantains, boiled for 20 minutes and then mashed Salt to taste. 1 Tablespoon lard 1/4 pound chicharrón (pork skin) in small pieces, if unavailable use bacon crumbles or ham chunks -- all precooked 1-2 Tablespoons finely diced onion Instructions Mix all ingredients together. Then, make it into balls from golf to baseball size. Some people eat the balls this way. Other recipes suggest that you fry them in oil or bake them in the oven.

TUNES FOR TUESDAY -- Discos Fuentes

I think we have established quite well that Fania Records greatly influenced the development and recognition of Salsa music as a genre. But, how does all this connect with Colombia? Well, that's our next topic. Bear with me because we are going to go back in time again as we search for the intersection of Salsa Music with Colombian music. This story begins in la Costa , the Colombian Caribbean coastal area, where the historic cities of Santa Marta, Barranquilla, and Cartagena are located. From these port cities, the slave trade spread the African musical influence throughout the region. Here in the Caribbean Region of Colombia, African music continued to evolve, mix, and change until it eventually spun out cumbia and vallenato among other rhythms. It was in Cartagena that Antonio Fuentes was born to his wealthy parents in 1907. In 1920, Antonio was sent to the United States to finish High School. Apparently, during a break from his studies, Antonio visited Philadelphia&

Myths for Monday -- The Churumbelo

The Churumbelo area is found near Mocoa, in the department of Putumayo -- today's department. In the Churumbelo area are many waterfalls. On the highest part of one of the falls, a family from the Inga tribe left inscriptions on the rocks. The Churumbelo is legendary for the people of Mocoa. This legend gives us today's Myth for Monday. La Leyenda Churumbelo -- The Churumbelo Legend The legend tells of a water fall that cascades into a lagoon. At the bottom of the lagoon one can see a doll the size of a child made of solid gold. Many people have gone looking for the Chumubelo gold, but the spirit that lives there -- the god of the mountain -- makes the treasure hunters become lost or entangled in the jungle. In this way, he can't prevent them from ever being able to find the lagoon with the golden treasure.

Orden de Boyacá -- Highest Colombian Honor

The first military decoration in Colombia was created in 1819 and given to those who stood out participated in the Battle of Boyacá. This award was then forgotten for a century. Then in 1919, the government of Marco Fidel Suarez reestablished the award as a military decoration. In 1922, a decree established that the "Cruz de Boyacá" (Cross of Boyacá) could be awarded not only to military leaders, but also to foreign dignitaries. In 1930, Decree #1247, converted the Cruz de Boyacá into the "Orden de Boyacá" (Order of Boyacá). This new Orden de Boyacá could be awarded to not only the military, but also to civilians. There are several classes in the order, but in order to win the award in any class the person must have offered outstanding service to Colombia. This week it was announced that a WOMAN -- Yvonee Nicholls -- will be receiving the award at the ceremony in August. You can read about her here:

Wednesday's Wonders: Papas Chorreadas -- Smothered Potatoes

PAPAS CHORREADAS -- Smothered Potatoes INGREDIENTS 12 small lightly salted boiled potatoes (with or without skin) ½ cup chopped onion 1 cup diced tomatoes ½ Tablespoon butter 1 Tablespoon oil ¼ teaspoon salt (this can be optional) ¼ teaspoon pepper 3 Tablespoons milk 1 Tablespoon flour dissolved in the milk 1 teaspoon chicken broth granules (I use Herb Ox) dissolved in the milk INSTRUCTIONS 1. Fry the onion in the butter and oil. 2. When it begins to brown add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. 3. Cook for 5 minutes 4. Add flour milk mixture and allow to thicken. 5. Place the sauce over the potatoes and serve.

TUNES FOR TUESDAY -- El Día de mi Suerte

Last week we discussed Hector Lavoe and his contribution to the world of Salsa. Before moving on, here is one more Lavoe song that should be a part of anyone's Salsa collection: El Día de mi Suerte -- My Lucky Day. The lyrics tell the story of a boy for whom nothing ever goes right. His mother dies leaving him alone with his father, then his father dies, he needs to work to eat, he grows up and finds himself totally alone. In spite of all of his problems, he maintains the belief that his luck will change, but Cuando Será (When will it happen) The chorus states: Pronto llegará el día de mi suerte Sé que antes de mi muerte Seguro que mi suerte cambiará. Soon my lucky day will come, Before I die, I am sure That my luck will change. /div>

Myths for Monday: Man's Arrival to Earth

The Indigenous people known as the Barí (also known as the Motilones) live on the boarder between Colombia and Venezuela on the Catatumbo river in the Department of Norte Santander. There are just over 3,000 members of the tribe. For nearly 400 years, they managed to resist colonization. Then in the 20th century, oil companies began to drill for petroleum on their lands. As a result, roads were built into the area and people began to move into the region. The reaction of the indigenous peoples was violent and there were many violent confrontations up through the 1960's. In an attempt to help pacify the Indians, missionaries in the area intensified their work and eventually the violence subsided. Today's myth comes to us from the Barí -- and you science fiction fans will love this one. Sent From Another Planet The ancestors say that the Barí originally inhabited another planet. Unfortunately, they were not good stewards of that planet. They destroyed it through deforesta