Mazatlan seeks for the world to recognize its rich gastronomy
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Carlos Tejada, a coordinator of the Unesco Culture Sector in Mexico, affirmed that Mazatlán is a paradigmatic case in the theme of being a "Creative City", since it brings together the three gastronomic regions: valley, Sierra and coast, and the three expressions cultural typical of the state: the cuisine of the sea, the popular and international.
Based on that premise, yesterday we worked in a workshop with the team that represents Mazatlan in the "Creative Cities" network. In the workshop, we sought to forge the basis for a 4-year work plan in which the port's gastronomy can have a positive impact on aspects such as social, environmental conservation, cultural, educational and economic development.
Tejada emphasized that being "Creative City" is not as distinctive as such. It is about belonging to an international work network, which includes more than 180 cities in the world in seven categories and helps to strengthen the cultural value chain of them.
For Mazatlan, the importance of belonging to the "Creative Cities" lies in the opportunity to show the world the high potential of Sinaloa gastronomy, which will result in economic development for the region.
With the four-year project, which seeks to be born from this and other meetings, it is to take advantage of and turn creativity as a human factor into benefits that can be seen in sustainable urban development.
Officially, Mazatlan is not yet recognized as a "Creative City" before Unesco, since it is in the process of being registered.
Mazatlan has everything to be recognized by UNESCO as a Creative City for its gastronomy, the quality of the products of the countryside, the sea, the ingenuity of its inhabitants and its emblematic chefs.
For the sociologist and university researcher, Arturo Santamaría Gómez, Escuinapa is another point of this corridor in the south of the state where gastronomy shines by itself.
"Among other things I wrote a little work about escuinapense cuisine, it is not yet published, and I am participating, since 2018, in a project that will be called Chef Restaurants and Gastronomy in Mazatlan, a story that goes from the 19th century to the present", he shared.
"I heard about the call in which Mazatlan participates to receive the Creative City label from UNESCO, it is an initiative of the State Government, they came from UNESCO to offer a workshop to fill out the questionnaires, and they contacted me there to do the research that is filling the questionnaires that UNESCO asks to be able to award the Creative City badge ".
Santamaría Gómez pointed out that this distinction places UNESCO's world pages to Mazatlan and south of Sinaloa, as a city that offers a special vitality.
"The uniqueness of its seafood-based cuisine is closely linked to the music of the band and the beer, which seemed to the UNESCO delegates to be something very special. The shrimp industry, light beer and the band emerge here in Mazatlan, is a love triangle that is accompanied all the time, they are very interested in the interrelation of creative fields".
"We have found very valuable information, for example, just as band music began to be recognized nationally and internationally, it has already surpassed that of mariachi as one of the most sought and heard music in the whole country. Now Sinaloa is better known for seafood than for roast beef, in that they had much to do the chain of restaurants Los Arcos, Chilorio Power and that Julio César Chávez was considered in the 80s of the last century, as the best boxer of the world".
Mazatlan authentic Mexican cuisine
The two most important chefs in the history of Mazatlan are El Mamucas and El Cuchupetas.
"The two of popular origin, both from the south of the state, innovative, friendly. The Presidents of the Republic, governors, businessmen take them to cook at their events. In Mazatlan there is a lot of talent, there is Daniel Luna, who won 400 chefs from the Country with a very Sinaloan dish, it is a tuna roast guarache, it is innovative and surprised the palates, that is what the great chefs do, innovate, relate ingredients and flavors that nobody had done.".
"It is what is intended to demonstrate, that there is a great quality in gastronomy, despite the fact that some dishes are not very elaborate, but have surprising flavours, such as aguachile, which is a very local flavour".
Another hypothesis that they want to demonstrate before UNESCO is that Mazatlán and the south are the populations of Mexico where fish and shrimp are most consumed.
"We want Mazatlan to be a kind of Mexican school of seafood, the first step is research that is very advanced, the first part has already been sent, the representatives of UNESCO are evaluating it. The file can be improved to the extent that the members of the gastronomic community are allowed to interview: chefs, businessmen, restaurateurs, food producers, not all have wanted to participate and we all need to collaborate to make the project work. For example, the Canirac has not delivered the information we asked for, a number of restaurants, type of food for each one, not all the chefs have given us answers, others are very enthusiastic about the project ".
On February 25 and 26, the UNESCO delegates arrive to meet with the researchers and with the gastronomic community of Mazatlan. Everyone is expected to participate, be enthusiastic about the project and, above all, collaborate in offering their information.
Chef Luna, a creator of succulent dishes
Daniel Luna is a professional chef, researcher of Mexican food and creator of succulent dishes. He is defined by his love for Sinaloan regional cuisine.
At the University of Puebla, where he studied the Bachelor of Gastronomy, he developed his admiration for French cuisine, for the tradition of Puebla, Oaxacan and Yucatan stoves, but when he came to settle in Mazatlan, work in their restaurants and enter as a teacher In the University of Durango and the UAS, he realized that in Sinaloa there were also many elements to admire and study.
That is how his concern was born to start together with his students from the UAS, his research project "Sabores de Sinaloa".
"I realized the importance of Mexican cuisine in the university because I had wonderful teachers who taught us to value it. Chef Amaro was the chef of presidents and stars like Silvia Pinal, he taught us to love the richness of the ingredients that exist in Mexico, and the mysticism that exists behind each dish, its history, the motivations that triggered the creation of each recipe", he shared.
"In 2017, with the students of the UAS, the Sabores de Sinaloa research emerged, with the intention of creating concerns and interest in the students in their gastronomic environment, we want them to value the ingredients and regional dishes. Every week we make a trip to the rural area of different geographies of Sinaloa, we have gone El Fuerte, Rosario, Puerta de Canoas, Escuinapa, where we learned to make dry shrimp tacos, we were also in El Quelite visiting the restaurant Los Laureanos, also We learned how to make Pan de Mujer that is made with a regional technique, among many other dishes ".
Winner of the Unilever Award
At the end of 2018 Daniel Luna participated in the contest "The best Mexican dish", the call was launched in Unilever networks.
"We participated in more than 400 chefs from Mexico, I was helped a lot by some portals that promoted the photo of my dish proposal, I got 5 thousand votes and with that I won a place to participate in the contest, along with Puebla, Veracruz, Tabasco and Tijuana, the dishes that competed were: Shaken fish, salmon ceviche, pink mole, male banana stuffed with shrimp, "he shared.
"I decided to participate with ingredients from Sinaloa that I used to put together a guarache of roast to the tuna square, made with adobo with dried chilli, onion, garlic and vinegar, I went through the marinade the corn masa guarache and put it to fry, the tuna I marinated with soy sauce and pepper, flour and fried it with cooked potato, I dressed it with lettuce, pumpkin, cooked carrot, red onion, cream, striped cheese and I washed it all with a shrimp stew, and I took them to the soft judges and Tonicol, so they tried products from the region. "
He won a trip to Ensenada along the wine route: dinners, meals, visit the vineyards of Santo Tomas, to the Valley of Guadalupe.
"They gave me 80,000 pesos to buy kitchen equipment, I bought stoves, blenders, and they come to make me a video because they are going to publish a recipe book of mine to spread it nationally."