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ABUELA’s RECIPE By Chris Yong-García Photos by Alejandra Martins

“This recipe reminds me of my grandmother cooking… It’s filled with scents and it’s very nostalgic, but it’s not that well known because it comes from northern Mexico from Tamaulipas to be more accurate; this region’s cuisine is not as well known as that from other parts of the country...” Cooking is remembering. It’s being with the people you had that dish with for the first time again, or the feeling of being transported back to your childhood kitchen through scents and images, reveling in the pleasure of eating at home as a young kid. Yes, cooking is often remembering one’s childhood. Perhaps that’s why I usually find myself grabbing the phone when I want to make one of my country’s typical dishes. I do so not only to check with my mother and brothers and make sure I have all the necessary ingredients, but also to arrive at that particular flavor engraved somewhere between my sense of smell and taste, that still lingers in my memory.

Chef Domingo Garza experiences something similar, because when we asked him to make a “Grandma’s Recipe” for us, the first thing he did was call Doña América Guerra. We met with Domingo at his Williamsburg-Brooklyn apartment, where he was waiting for us all prepped up and ready to make the famous Calabacitas con Costillas de Puerco (“Tatuma Squash Pumpkins with Pork Ribs”).


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