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THE FOOD TRAIL ¡BUEN PROVECHO! By: H. Luiz Martinez

ost people would swear that I’m a trained chef or baker, and although I appreciate the compliment, it’s not true. I would say, however, that I am a trained “cook” since I’ve been cooking and baking for more than half of my life! The number one question people ask me is, “who taught you how to cook/bake?” My answer is always the same: my life, my love of people and my fascination with different cultures has taught me everything I know about food. I often tell others, “If you want to know what a specific culture is all about, just eat their food, that’ll give you the inside scoop.” As a travel journalist, I have wonderful opportunities to visit many countries and “borrow” from ancient and modern food traditions. When I return to my own kitchen, I have all the information I need, along with borrowing other cultural techniques, flavor profiles, food staples, and not to mention my own culinary twists on foods, to create wonderful meals at home. I encourage you to experience in your kitchen. ¡Buen Provecho! Everybody is thrilled when a sweet or savory tart is in the room – I know I am! My fruit tarts remind

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me of the baked goods in French Patisseries and Peruvian Panaderias. Confession time: I have not yet been to those countries so how can I reference those far-away bakeries? Well, the woman who suggested I add pistachios to my sweet tarts is a Peruvian baker who studied in France. She told me with such vivid details about pastries from both countries that I feel like I’ve eaten fruit tarts there myself. You see, inspiration comes from life, people, and cultures! I make a fruit tart or two about every week from August through to September when berries are in season here in the U.S. I make them as gifts for family & friends, as a cake-alternative for special occasions, and just as a tasty dessert at home. A baking pan, some butter, cream cheese, flour and sugar, and fresh fruit are all you need to make a great-tasting tart. Tart pans are inexpensive but not entirely necessary when making tarts, you can use pie plates or even shallow cake pans. The pan or lack thereof will determine the shape of your tart. You can even buy pie crusts in tubes or frozen from the supermarket, but I wouldn’t recommend that. If you’re going to make a fruit tart, there should be no short-cuts.

Connextions Magazine

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Travel Lite

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August 2015

Photographs Courtesy of 2KINGs Photography

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