3
Barbacoa in Milpa Alta

In this chapter, I wish to portray the daily pursuit of gastronomic quality in ordinary life by describing how a typical week might pass in the lives of barbacoa makers in Milpa Alta. Barbacoa refers to a preparation of pit-roast meat which has been used in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times. It is a method of slow cooking whole animals by burying them for several hours or overnight in a pit lined with aromatic leaves and filled with hot coals, herbs and spices. The word barbacoa is of Caribbean origin, but the corresponding cooking methods used all over Mexico are based on the Mayan pib or earth oven. In the central states the meat is flavoured with the fleshy leaves of the maguey. The meat typically used is lamb (borrego, usually 1- or 2-year-old sheep), pit-barbecued in a cylindrical clay- or brick-lined oven. Depending on the region and tradition, there are also barbacoas of other meats such as rabbit, chicken, turkey, beef, pork or goat (kid). Since the whole animal is used, including the head, and because of its long, labour-intensive preparation and cooking process (described below), it is considered to be festive food, reserved for special celebrations or weekends.


Eating barbacoa

Whilst it is more commonly prepared as a cottage industry by families called barbacoieros, there also are restaurants in Mexico City which exclusively serve barbacoa with its traditional accompaniments. These barbacoa restaurants offer a complete celebration with the meal. Urban families who avoid eating in the marketplace frequent these restaurants for family celebrations such as birthdays or anniversaries. There is usually space for at least 400 diners, although smaller parties are welcome. A cultural show with dancing and singing of ranchera music gives the place the festive air of a cantina or countryside fiesta. Customers can order traditional snacks such as gorditas or chalupitas as their starters. Although these are antojitos, typically eaten in the streets, restaurants offer them because a large part of their clientele rarely eat street food. Ordering them would be indulgent, however, because barbacoa is tasty and complete enough the way it is normally served and requires little more to be satisfying.

It is common to start with a bowl of the consomé de barbacoa, a flavourful broth consisting of the meat drippings which have amalgamated with herbs and spices

-49-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Culinary Art and Anthropology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Perceptions of Mexican Cuisine 7
  • 2: Cooking as an Artistic Practice 29
  • 3: Barbacoa in Milpa Alta 49
  • 4: Women as Culinary Agents 71
  • 5: Mole and Fiestas 89
  • 6: The Centrality of Gastronomy in Social Life 113
  • Notes 137
  • Works Cited 149
  • Index 159
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 160

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.