There are those who travel to sample Wines, Fois Gras or oogle art. Then there are those like Mr. Yolkobsen who like to compare and contrast Canadian Glad Wrap with the same brand purchased in Antigua Guatemala. Seriously.
To Mr. Y food wrap is religion so he takes the medium in which we wrap our Foods of Guatemala leftovers very seriously. He insists that the Glad Wrap bought in this colonial town is of the same quality he remembers as a child.
Now, when some people remember childhood comforts from the kitchen they recall with weepy fondness the puddings, the Madeline cookies, the jiggly junket desserts or the steamed broccoli only mom knew how to make. For Mr. Y, his Proustian reverie is the clear and clingy petroleum by-product of his formative years. Go know.
In general, he insists, the product bought in Guatemala has a thicker membrane factor and overall superior cling quotient, enhanced with the correct trampoline bounce and return margin. All of these qualities embrace and preserve the food with the just-right blend of reverence and efficiency. Leftovers are treated with respect in our home, especially our Guatemalan dishes.
While Guatemalan traditional food is fine, the country is not celebrated for its cuisine. There’s no shame in that. The Brits have been making terrible food for years and have made bad food an art form. Still tourists flock to their shores. Guatemalan food is basic and well-prepared. In fact, it’s really hard to get a bad meal here. Prices in restaurants are usually less than a quarter of what you’d pay anywhere in North America and an eighth of what you’d fork over in the UK.
And we always enjoy a “plato tipico” (traditional dish), comprising a grilled meat, roasted plantain, guacamole, a few grilled seasonal vegetables refried beans and the ever-present tortillas. And to Guatemalans, the tortilla is, well, very important.
Our housekeeper, Juan, insists that tortillas do not, and never will, benefit from being rolled in Yolkobsens preferred clear plastic film. He swears he can taste this foreign notion on his tortillas. Best to store them in the blue or pink plastic that everyone here uses for take out foods, including the tortillas.
To some, red wine is red wine and so what? To others, plastic food wrap is all the same. But to the discerning connoisseur, there’s plastic and then there’s plastic.