Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Venezuela: Food riots

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Food lines in Venezuela are getting worse

Shortages have reached the point where people are rioting for food. Here’s a roundup:

Looting Sweeps Venezuela as Hunger Takes Over132 Incidents Tell of “Desperation and Discomfort” Sinking In

During the first half of 2015, the Venezuelan Observatory for Social Conflict (OVCS) registered no fewer than 132 incidents of looting or attempted looting at various stores throughout the country. In addition, Venezuelan consumers staged over 500 protests that condemned the lack of available products at state-run grocery stores, markets, and pharmacies

Death In Venezuela: Food Fights

Food riots and looting in Venezuela Friday left one person dead and exposed the combustible nature of the country’s imploding economy.

Bloomberg News

Venezuelan soldiers seized a food distribution center in Caracas, Venezuela, July 30 rented by global companies including Nestle, PepsiCo and Empresas Polar.

A day earlier, Venezuelan soldiers took over a food distribution center in Caracas, rented by companies including Empresas Polar, Nestle(NSRGY) and PepsiCo (PEP), Bloombergreports. The industrial real estate is to be converted to subsidized housing — a crowd-pleasing government effort ahead of December elections. But the move followed months of accusations by President Nicolas Maduro that Polar, Venezuela’s largest private employer, is working to sabotage the economy. The company denies this, Voice of America reports. Maduro claims the U.S. is to blame for food shortages and warehouse looting, Al Jazeera reports.

A Not So Subtle Change In Venezuela

. . . the two most significant factors are the rate at which prices are moving up (previous post) and the ease with which angry mobs (above) have decided to loot and riot at the smallest excuse. Yes, the problem is the Government controls the media and few people see what is going on, but the looting is taking place in traditional Chavista strongholds. And they don’t occur because people are fed up of lining up to get something, they take place because people are fed up of standing in line and getting nothing: Neither bread, nor Harina Pan, nor diapers, nor contraceptives. It used to be a moment of triumph to find something, now the moments of victory are few and far between.

And every day, there is a new item that can´t be found, last week, as I was visiting, it was bread and toothpaste. Great for my diet, no sandwiches for the Devil! Nor Cachitos, nor bombas, nor palmeras.

We are talking serious scarcity here!

Like there are also no Bills to pay things for. Despite an 80% increase in monetary liquidity (M2), the largest Bill is still Bs. 100, US$ 15.9 at the official rate, 50 cents at the Simadi official rate, but a scant 14 cents at the parallel rate.

These days, if you’re looking for reasons to be alarmed about Venezuela you’re spoilt for choice. But if I had to pick one, just one signal that’s freaking me the hell out right now, it has to be the government’s dogged refusal to issue larger denomination bank notes.

Reinforcing Failure

Venezuela should have been rich what with being the “12th largest oil producer in the world … and a beneficiary of the most sustained oil price boom in history”. Instead it is flat broke. It’s currency, the Bolivar is worth 1% of its official rate on the black market and 1/1000th of what it was before Hugo Chavez assumed power.

Venezuela is basically bankrupt again, and will continue being,

. . .the government doesn’t just decide who gets cheap dollars, but also how much they and everyone else can charge. Companies that don’t get dollars at the official exchange rate would lose money selling at the official prices, so they don’t—they leave their stores empty. But even ones that do get low-cost dollars would make more money selling them in the black market than using them to sell goods at the official prices, so they don’t as well—their stores stay just as barren. In other words, it’s not profitable for unsubsidized companies to stock their shelves, but not profitable enough for subsidized ones to do so, either. That’s why Venezuela’s supermarkets don’t have enough food, its breweries don’t have enough hops to keep making beer, and its factories don’t have enough pulp to produce toilet paper. That’s left Venezuela well-supplied with only one thing: lines.

SOCIALISM CRUMBLES IN VENEZUELA, BUT DEMOCRATS THINK IT’S A GREAT IDEA

Chile: Eat your rock before it gets cold

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Chef Jars Chile With His ‘Landscape Cuisine’Using ingredients foraged on Chile’s extreme terrain, Rodolfo Guzmán takes on ‘el completo,’ the nation’s colossal and popular hot dog

Don’t know about el completo, but this thing looks like uncured concrete to me:

Brazil: How to make coxinhas

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Found this at my friend Augusto’s Facebook feed:

conxinha minionMoney doesn’t buy happiness.

But it buys coxinhas, have you seen anyone uhnappy while eating a coxinha? It’s impossible to be unhappy with a coxinha.”

Of course I had to ask Augusto for a recipe. Augusto, in turn, asked his friend, chef Ripp Cozzella (a chef!) for advice. Ripp kindly replied,

A cozinha autêntica não tem muita frescura,
Coloca-se em uma panela óleo (pode ser azeite), alho esmagado (algumas pessoas colocam cebola ralada) e caldo de galinha.
Quando levanta fervura, faz como a Patê a Choux e coloca de uma vez a farinha.
Mexe até soltar do fundo. Espera amornar e molda.
Passa pela farinha de rosca fina.
O recheio é o frango desfiado ou picado temperado a gosto.

Which Augusto beautifully translated,

He said that authentic cuisine is not and needs not be fussy or complicated.

The dough is simple: you sauté crushed garlic (some people used grated onions) in oil (it can be olive, or plain vegetable oil) and add chicken stock. When it boils, you proceed like in a pâte a choux, dumping the wheat flour all at once. You stir until it comes off the bottom of the pan, then wait until its just warm. You can then mold the coxinhas then. The filling is simply shredded checken (breasts or even thigh meat), sauteed with regular seasoning (salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, onions).

I’m heading to the supermarket this weekend to get the ingredients.

Warmest thanks to Augusto and chef Ripp.

Bon appetit!

The government wants to protect you from ham

Friday, June 19th, 2015

The government wants to protect you from ham, and not just from any old ham, but from the gold standard of celestial hammy exquisiteness.

Read my article here.

While Customs and Immigration protect us from ham, here are a few Drudge headlines,



Mexico: House Votes to Remove Country-of-Origin Labels on Meat Sold in U.S.

Friday, June 12th, 2015

House Votes to Remove Country-of-Origin Labels on Meat Sold in U.S.Washington seeks to prevent a long battle over the labels with Canada and Mexico. It’s not just meat,

Wednesday’s 300-131 vote repealing the country-of-origin labels for meat follows a series of rulings by the World Trade Organization finding the labeling discriminates against animals imported from Canada and Mexico.

Canada and Mexico won a final WTO ruling in May, and are now seeking retaliatory actions valued at a combined $3.7 billion a year. Canada has threatened trade restrictions on a range of U.S. products, including meat, wine, chocolate, jewelry and furniture.

I can understand why tracking Canadian and Mexican imported animals slaughtered in the U.S. is expensive and inefficient; however, I have qualms when it comes to chicken from China.

UPDATE
Linked to by Pirate’s Cove. Thank you!

Puerto Rico: In search of roast pork

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Where to Find the Best Roast Pork in Puerto Rico
Crispy, tender, salty, smoky lechón asado—whole pig roasted slowly on a spit—is a holiday specialty on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Here’s where to find the ultimate places to indulge

Then there is the charcoal vs. gas debate. Many purists say that to find the best lechoneras, you should look for the smoke, which means they are cooking with charcoal. “When you cook with gas, the residue of the gas lingers on the meat,” said Junior Rivera, proprietor of Lechonera Angelito’s Place in Trujillo Alto, a laid-back town southwest of the capital. “Charcoal is natural wood and is always going to give a better flavor.” Yet some veterans, such as the Lopezes of El Paso, use propane. “It’s faster, more efficient, cleaner and more economical,” said Ms. Lopez, who believes seasoning is more important than fuel.

I drool just thinking of it.

Venezuela: Happy Halloween! Hugo Chavez M&Ms

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

The M&Ms w Chavez image the cyanide pills. Savage capitalism. #F*ckThat I believe that coffee thing but this

How appropriate that, in keeping with a country doomed by the ghoulish chavista policies, someone came up with Hugo Chavez M&Ms in time for Halloween. Jaime Bayly had them,

Bayly says they are made in the USA, and calls it “a triumph of capitalism”. I find it vomitive.

As I understand it, Mars Corp. will personalize M&Ms, so apparently it doesn’t matter whose picture you send them as long as they get paid.

On the other hand, a bunch of dictator-themed M&Ms would be perfect for a house of horrors. You could do a Pol-Pot, Stalin, Marx, North Korea Kims, Fidel Castro assortment for a Communist theme.

In Venezuela, only the well-connected chavistas will be able to afford them, though. Everybody else will be standing in line trying to scramble a day’s rations.

Woman does not live by bread alone,

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

she needs a little cream cheese on it!

My latest at Da Tech Guy Blog, A makeover for . . . cream cheese?

Fausta’s Puerto Rican Christmas menu

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

now up at Da Tech Guy’s blog, with links to recipes!

Mexico: Taxing the fat out of you

Friday, October 18th, 2013

As if inherently inflationary measures made people healthier, Mexico Tries Taxes to Combat Obesity
Congress’s lower house of Congress passed late Thursday a special tax on junk food that is seen as potentially the broadest of its kind, part of an ambitious Mexican government effort to contain runaway rates of obesity and diabetes
. It may come with unintended consequences,

Mexican industrial chamber Concamin estimates that processed food companies targeted by the new tax employ thousands of Mexicans and account for 4.1% of GDP. “We can’t allow last-minute taxes,” said Concamin president Francisco Funtanet, suggesting that companies might cut back on personnel and investment to absorb the tax hit.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Mexico contracted 0.74 percent in the second quarter of 2013 over the previous quarter.

What about improving the water supply so people can actually drink tap water and not get sick, and not have to rely on soft drinks or beer?