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The Rancho Gordo Blog — Rants

Posole or Pozole? A Rose By Any Other Name

In the kitchen Ingredient Spotlight Misc Rants Travel in Mexico

Recently on Twitter, the very talented Pati Jinich wrote that she was irked by the word posole. "It is Pozole with a Z!!!! Posole is nothing, nada!! Posole equals not Pozole. Sorry and good night.", she wrote. Now I admire Patti a lot but I think she got this one wrong, along with many of her enthusiastic followers who were quick to throw posole under the bus. My response was: "Posole is an old tradition from the US Southwest. It refers to the grain and the final dish. It's hundreds of years old and to deny this is to deny...

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Opportunities (An Editorial)

Rants

Imagine what creating opportunities for our neighbors would mean for them and for us? What if we stopped selling arms to the bad guys? What if we stopped consuming illegal drugs from their countries? What if instead of meddling in their politics, we invested in their projects? Maybe kids could play in beanfields instead of being separated from their families and treated worse than animals in a shelter. (Sorry if this comes off as preachy but some days it's all too much.)

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Announcement: Our Response to Proposed Tariffs on Mexican Imports

Misc Rants

Our government recently decided to threaten a 5% tariff on imports from Mexico, with the fees escalating up to 25%. 5% doesn’t sound like much but you have to realize the beans are a food crop. They've been growing for 6-9 months, followed by cleaning and packaging and they've been planned long before that. It's taken us years to develop these relationships and these actions have taken their toll. Speaking for myself, I do believe in comprehensive immigration reform. Nobody is advocating for a porous border. Reform would include international laws, trade, the US role in foreign governments and humanitarian...

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Rant: Let's Go Mexican Countries!

Rants Travel in Mexico

A few years ago, a friend's teacher daughter described a situation where her students were intensely debating whether they could call people Mexicans. "You can't call them that!" The teacher was confused, as she should have been. But really, Mexican for some of them was a dirty word. The probably heard the phrase, "those damned Mexicans!" and in case there's any doubt, that's not good. Fox News recently had a graphic declaring that Trump had cut aid to "3 Mexican countries." For the record, Mexico has a group of states within its borders, not countries. I think the subtext of...

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A Rant: We Are Not Normal

In the kitchen Misc Rants

This was in our newsletter a couple of weeks ago and it clearly had an impact on some of our bean buddies. I thought I'd reprint it here. Maybe you recognize yourself. - Steve It’s easy to like our customers. People who cook and appreciate heirloom beans tend to be more interesting, nicer, and enjoy a better quality of life. I live in a bubble of delicious food and like-minded people so I sometimes lose track of life in the “real world.” I prefer hanging out with my fellow bean freaks. You may not realize it but as time marches...

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FedEx Drops the NRA

Misc Rants

As you may remember, we dropped FedEx over their insistence on partnering with the NRA. They've been stubborn and even now, they're insisting they've dropped the NRA because of financial targets not being met but I suspect otherwise. Whatever the reason, the promotion and partnership are done. I'm happy to report that we've switched back to FedEx as UPS as our primary logistics partner was not a good fit. We still have our account open and we use the US Postal Service, as well, but FedEx is back.

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The Best 10 Rules to Live by When You Are Young and Ready to Travel.

Misc On the Road Rants

My friend Canice saw this photo of me from the early 1980s in Sestri Levante. It's a beach town in Liguria, Italy and I spent many summers there in my early 20s. She wrote: I wanna use this photo to persuade young people to live a little, while they have the chance. Sestri Levante, early 1980s I know exactly what she means. I wouldn't go back to my youth for anything but your twenties are a time to really let things rip. Yes, you can go to Europe at any age but you find as you get older you can't...

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Food Costs Too Darn Much! Medicine Costs Even More and There Is No Pleasure Involved

Rants

Twitter is fun. It's also painful. Mario Batali doesn't back down from fights, even though sometimes I think it feeds the trolls by responding them. I think he's a great guy and should be able to say what he likes. Not long ago, someone wrote: Hi Mario, Big fan of yours. Was going to b uy a jar of your sauce today but it was like $9. Really? WHY? Batali responded: Read the ingredients. Organic tomatoes evoo, fresh herbs, no sugar or corn syrup. It's actually good for you !! I think he was pretty nice about it. I don't...

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Our San Francisco Store is Closing

Misc Rants

It's with very mixed emotions that I have to announce the closing of our San Francisco store in the Ferry Building Marketplace. It's been an incredible experience and I wouldn't change a minute of it. I grew up in the Bay Area – having a shop in the landmark building was a key goal of mine as a food entrepreneur. As we made the transition from a vending stall at the CUESA farmers' market to a storefront in the ferry building, Rancho Gordo also became a national brand, in no small part thanks to our Ferry Building store. Having a...

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My Little Black Book: 10 Years of Dinner Parties

In the kitchen Misc Rants

I've been writing about dinner parties lately. A lot. As these weird, scary political times continue, I feel compelled to surround myself with people I care about and feed them. It's a sense of control, probably false, but it makes the world make sense. Something in me decided that I wanted to document these dinners. 10 years ago I bought this large Moleskin notebook and I've faithfully documented every gathering. The date, who was there and what we eat have all been noted. I'm not sure what compelled me to do this but now it's full, almost exactly 10 years...

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Food Real Fast: Don't Tell Me You're Too Busy To Cook!

In the kitchen Rants

I was chatting with a friend about the wave of prepared food delivery services. I'm sure they are a godsend to some, but I just don't get the appeal. The cost, the packaging, the disconnect with the food itself- it all has zero appeal for me. Why not cook a big pot of beans on the weekend? If you don't love to cook, which I seriously doubt is you if you're reading this, why not use a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Even if you love to cook, they can be valuable tools. So now you have six cups of...

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2016: It Wasn't All Sadness and Politics

Misc Rants

There's been so much talk of 2016 being one of the worst years in memory. I've had my share of heartache but there were many bright spots. I might need to wallow in my misery over the weekend but for now, I want to remember the highlights of an amazing, unusual year. The most amazing thing that happened this year was the New York Times article on our Marcella beans that came out in January. I thought we'd get a nice bump but if I'd thought about it, Marcella Hazan, the New York Times and Rancho Gordo hitting its stride...

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