Mexi-Vegan cooking is mainstream in Southern California. And it’s only getting bigger

Dishes from La Vegana Mexicana, clockwise from top: a Tamal de Mal, ceviche tostada, bowl of vegan posole, arroz con leche, and vegan chorizo and potato taco. <span class="copyright">(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Dishes from La Vegana Mexicana, clockwise from top: a Tamal de Mal, ceviche tostada, bowl of vegan posole, arroz con leche, and vegan chorizo and potato taco. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Among the many novel concession foods that debuted at Dodger Stadium last year — there was a pineapple-stuffed link called a Dodger sausage, and a deconstructed California roll served in what looked like an oversize baseball — none was as surprising as the vegan al pastor trompo that appeared near the third base pavilion in late September.

The trompo, a tall, vertical spit holding what at first glance appeared to be a spinning stack of chile-slicked pork, was part of a Dodger Stadium “vegan takeover” by Masataco, a Mexican restaurant in Whittier with a largely vegan menu.

To make the dish, chef David Fuerte brined celery root for 24 hours in a vinegar solution before it

Read More

What Is Soul Food? – What’s The Difference Between Soul And Southern Food?

Trying to differentiate soul food from Southern food shouldn’t be complicated. While not all Southern food is considered soul food, all soul food is definitely Southern.

Soul food is an ethnic cuisine traditionally prepared and eaten by African-Americans in the Southern United States. The expression “soul food” originated in the mid-1960s, when “soul” was a common word used to describe African-American culture. At its core, soul food is basic, down-home cooking that’s been passed down through many generations, with its roots in the rural South.

The staples of soul food cooking are beans, greens, cornmeal (used in cornbread, hush puppies, johnnycakes, and as a coating for fried fish), and pork. Pork has been almost limitless in a number of uses in soul food, from seasoning vegetables and stews to dehydrating and pickling staples like pork rinds and pig feet and ears. (Of course, my smoked meat of choice is turkey—and

Read More