Thursday, June 11, 2009

Makin-bakon´.......Porchetta at the Mercuri´s

About two hours east from San Diego and just south of the border is Mexicali, Baja´s state capital and probably the one of its least popular destinations due to its blistering heat. There is another side to Mexicali, it is home to some of the warmest funloving people in Mexico. Mexicali is also a close second to Tijuana for industrial and international investment and is responsable for lots of the states profit.

Summers might be unbearable yet almost any desert-trotting "Cachanilla"(Mexicali native) might just toss you an ice cold beer as soon as they meet you. Not exactly a big touristy town, locals tend to work hard and party harder yet food is really not a big part of their lifestyle, limited mostly to Chinese food (which is huge ) tacos and Sinaloa style seafood due to it´s large Chinese and Sinaloan migration.

There are however, a few culinary treasures hidden under all that sun and sand, Mexicali, after all is a land of opportunity for many families and you might even find a few here and there coming form Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Cuba, Colombia, Japan, or Korea that have brought their ever thriving love for food and culinary culture. One of those families is the Mercuri familiy, husband Alessandro Mercuri and wife Elda Giuliano, lived practically all over Italy before moving to Mexico with their two sons; first Mexico city, Guadalajara and finally Mexicali where they found their home in 1984.

Elda, however, is not just a diehard foodie, but a longtime passionate home cook coming from a long line of Italian chefs and restaurantuers. Her holiday spreads usually include 3 antipasti, a couple of pasta courses, a meat and fish dish, 2 or three sides, a few cakes, cookies, and candied fruit. There she entertains friends, family and a few saliving crashers that understand just how good Elda´s food really is. Food and wine is never scarse at the Mercuri household and should you be fortunate enough to be invited to one of their traditional mouthwatering Italian grubfest be sure to bring loose pants ´cause I garantee you, you will need them by the time you are through.

One of Elda´s most sought after and celebrated dishes pays tribute to an Italian classic...the Porchetta; pork meat seasoned with rosemary , sage, fennel sead and garlic rolled in its own skin, cured and roasted to an almost pornographically suculent, caramelized crisp perfection.

1 comment:

Byte64 said...

Wow, that pork shank looks really awesome.
I was used to cook a whole porchetta with my friends years ago, during college time, it took hours to get it done properly on a slow roasting skewer over a charcoal bed and when it was done, it was unbelievably delicious. Good ole times!
Say congratulations to Ms Mercuri on my behalf then.