Gourmet Cuisine at a Remote Antarctic Base

This isn't McMurdo Station, which can house over a thousand residents, but the tiny Palmer Station. Only about two dozen people live there. It is, by Antarctic standards, out in the boonies. But that doesn't stop Mike Heller, the station chef, from developing impressive meals with limited ingredients that arrive only every three months.

Sometimes it's hot dog soup, which is precisely what it sounds like. But Heller can also get creative and whip up some impressive deserts. Pictured above is his mocha semifreddo. Sky Moret explored Palmer Station cuisine in a fascinating article in Roads & Kingdoms. She writes:

“I would challenge you to buy three months of produce at your grocery store … and then not go shopping again for three more months,” he tells me, pointing to 50 large cans of tomatoes stacked in his dry-goods storage room that he’ll transform into roasted tomato bisque, spicy pizza sauce, and black bean chili. […]

To add some variety, our science support crew makes exotic dishes as well. On the other U.S. Antarctic ship, the Nathaniel B. Palmer, I enjoy making liquid nitrogen–cooled ice cream with our excess supply. Scientists clad in cryogenic gloves and safety glasses stir cream, milk, sugar, and flavoring in large stainless steel bowls while I pour the super-cooled liquid into each, and a midday treat is served.

-via Marilyn Terrell


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How to Make Squid Piglets

Aren't they adorable? They look just like cartoon versions of little pigs. But these delicious entrées aren't made of pork.

They're made of squid! Rocket News 24 followed a recipe by a Russian YouTube user to craft fresh whole squids into artistic piglets ripe for eating. They're hollow squid cores with spicy stuffing inside. You can see more process photos here.


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The World's First Beer Jelly

(Photo: Potlicker Kitchen)

When she ran out of fruit to make into jelly, Nancy Warner of Vermont decided to make beer jelly. To her knowledge, she's the only person to develop and method to make sweet jellies from beer. Each flavor from Potlicker Kitchen is made from just three ingredients: beer, cane sugar, and citrus pectin. Warner spoke to the tabloid The Mirror:

“I set about making a jelly with all beer, no fruit. I have made all of my own recipes and can find no record of anyone else make a pure beer jelly before I did.

“I make beer jelly much the way I would make fruit jelly, but instead of kid juice (like fruit juice), I use adult juice.

“Each jar of jelly is approximately half full of beer or wine, but, for better or worse, the jelly is non alcoholic.

“The alcohol is removed during cooking and by dilution of sugar.

“There are only three ingredients - beer, cane sugar and citrus pectin. Because there is no added fruit or flavours, it tastes like a sweet version of the beer it is made with.

“You can actually taste the hop and malt characteristics of each flavour of jelly.

-via Oddity Central


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Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms

’Tis the season to roll out the most imaginative takes on the pumpkin spice craze. The latest is M&Ms. The candy company is rolling out two seasonal flavors: Pecan Pie M&Ms and Pumpkin Spice Latte M&Ms. Both use artificial flavoring; I suppose a lot of it if you’re going to make chocolate taste like not only pumpkin pie spice but latte as well. The Pecan Pie flavor seems even weirder, like ruining two great ideas by combining them. Both flavors will be available soon at Target stores. -via Uproxx


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12 Outrageous Bacon Treats

If you couldn't tell by now, we here at Neatorama love bacon. That being said, these crazy bacon treats are almost too extreme even for us...of course, notice that I said almost, because these are all going to end up on the menu for our next Neatorama office party.

Swineapple

Arguably the most outrageous pork creation of all time, the Swineapple consists of a hollowed out pineapple stuffed with boneless, country-style ribs, wrapped in bacon and slow cooked on a grill. Josh Bush of It's All About Da Bacon made the original, and has since reworked the recipe multiple times to incorporate sausage, jalapenos and more.

Pork E. Pigskin

If you've ever had a whole roasted pig, you know they can be beyond delicious, but there are a lot of problems with making these yourself -they are huge, don't fit in the oven, take forever and they have too many bones with too little bacon. If you like the idea of putting a whole roasted pig on the dinner table, but don't like the hassle, try this Pork E. Pigskin instead. Grillocracy can explain how to make what they call the "cutest meal you'll ever enjoy," but the basic composition involves a hot pork sausage body, spicy sausage legs, ham ears, a pork rind tail and skin completely made of bacon.

No-Carb Bacon Burger

How do you make a bacon burger low-carb and beyond delicious? Cut out the bun and replace it with bacon. Grillocracy's crazy bacon bun burger adds a whopping 3 pounds of bacon to the mix, giving "bacon burger" a whole new meaning.

The 'Merica Burger

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A Loaf of Bread That Looks Like David Hasselhoff Naked

And it's completely intentional! No, this loaf of bread did not miraculously emerge from the oven looking like the famous photo of David Hasselhoff naked except for two shar pei puppies. The great baker/artist Lou Lou P of Leeds, UK made this wonder on pain rustique.

This, like many of her recent baking accomplishments, was in a response to a challenge. She seems like the sort of person who won't turn down a dare. Take advantage of this tendency.


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Jell-O Salad: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon

There was a time when women’s magazines were filled with Jell-O recipes, enough that you could serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, all containing Jell-O. It seems strange now, but the history of the food can shed some light on the craze. Making gelatin was once a labor-intensive project, and was served to flaunt how many servants one had. Then at the turn of the 20th century, the Industrial Revolution gave us two trends that collided successfully: processed foods and the rise of the middle class. Housewives were eager to show off their domestic skills. Lynne Belluscio of the Jell-O Gallery Museum and food historian Laura Shapiro explain how Jell-O made that a breeze.

Instant gelatin fit the bill. It was fast, unlike the traditional method of making gelatin. It was economical: a housewife could stretch her family's leftovers by encasing them in gelatin. And, since sugar was already included in the flavored mixes, the new packaged gelatins didn't require cooks to use up their household stores of sugar. It was also neat and tidy, a quality much valued by the domestic-science movement as well as its Victorian forebears, who were mad for molded foods of all kinds, says Belluscio. Jellied salads, unlike tossed ones, were mess-free, never transgressing the border of the plate: "A salad at last in control of itself," Shapiro writes. Cooks in this era molded everything from cooked spinach to chicken salad, with care to avoid the cardinal sin of messiness.

But that was just the beginning. Wartime food rationing, the Great Depression, and the culture of postwar suburbia all fed the Jell-O salad craze. Sometime in the late 20th century, chefs figured out that no one was eating their savory Jell-o salads with vegetables, fish, and mayonnaise in them. In the 21st century, those recipes are mainly a source of comedy. Read the history of the Jell-O salad at Serious Eats. -via the Presurfer

(Image credit: the Kraft Heinz Company)


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Pop-Tart Flavored Beer Exists

(Photo: 21st Amendment)

Finally! If, like me, you've been waiting for breakfast (and lunch and dinner) pastries to be turned into an alcoholic beverage, then I've got great news: the brilliant brewmasters at 21st Amendment (that's the amendment that repealed Prohibition) have made Pop-Tart flavored beer. Fortune magazine reports:

The beer will be released at the opening party for the brewery’s new facility in San Leandro on Aug. 29 – and the flavor is an homage to that facility’s former focus. Long before 21st Amendment moved in, the former Kellogg Co. factory was used to make Frosted Flakes and Pop-Tarts.

After its introduction at the brewery, the beer, which comes in at 7.6% alcohol by volume, will be available in 19.2 oz. cans – a new (and permanent) size for the brewery’s seasonal offerings. Samples aren’t yet available, so I can’t yet testify to the taste (a shame, given my passion for all things Pop-Tart).

-via Foodiggity


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The Milkshake Craze Is Going too Far

Australia is currently being consumed in a milkshake arms race as cafes and bakeries try to one-up each other in increasingly extreme and bizarre milkshakes. You want a milkshake with a huge Nutella-filled donut on top? You got it. You want a milkshake topped with 4 different types of brownies? Dig in.

These chefs were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.

Which leads us to this creation. It's 1 of 3 preposterous milkshakes made by food photographer Alana Dimou. She warns us:

Here are three flavours of my own: S’Mores Chicken, Bacon Burger and Coles Baked Fresh Today Bakery Aisle. Be inspired. Eat marshmallows and chicken. Milkshake flavours are irrelevant now, the duty falls upon whatever lies on top. May God have mercy on us all.

-via That's Nerdalicious!


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The Science of Melting Cheese

Cheese straight from the refrigerator is pretty good, but cheese melted over a hamburger, hot dog, pizza, or inside a grilled cheese is awesome. That is, if it melts correctly. Some cheeses just don’t, or the results aren’t what you expected. Serious Eats explains melting cheese in detail, starting with the chemical bonds that make cheese what it is, followed by the chemistry of cheese falling apart in your favorite recipe.  

Technically speaking, cheese is an emulsion of dairy fat and water, held together by a network of proteins. In cooler temperatures, that dairy fat remains a solid; let it warm to around 90°F and the fat reaches a liquid state and the cheese becomes more pliable—you may even notice some cheeses begin to bead with "sweat" if they're left out at room temperature. Raise the temperature by another 40 to 90 degrees and all the bonds that joined your caseins together start to break, allowing the entire protein structure to sag and stretch into an increasingly loosey goosey, lava-like puddle.

What determines a good melting cheese from a bad one has a lot to do with how well it can maintain its emulsion when that protein network begins to collapse, which in turn has to do with the ratio of water to fat, as well as the strength of that protein network.

The easiest way to make sure your cheese melts perfectly is to select the right cheese. But there are ways to make some poorly-melting cheeses work for you, too. When you understand how it all works, you can go crazy creating your own cheese recipes.  -via the Presurfer

(Image credit: Vicky Wasik)


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The History of Hamburgers in America

What’s more American than a hamburger? Maybe apple pie, which we’ll have after our hamburger. But the American hamburger is a symbol of the States all over the world. It wasn’t always so.

It’s easy to guess the hamburger’s geographic origin; after all, it’s right there in the name. But the original version of the now-iconic dish looked almost nothing like what’s served at drive-thrus across America.

Motz says the Hamburg steak plate was one of the most popular dishes in its native city, a major port that hosted many German immigrants on their way to the States. Consisting of “chopped beef that was turned into a patty and then, of course, pan-fried,” the dish was rounded out with onions, potatoes, and gravy, making it a cheap and easy meal for would-be Americans stuck in immigration limbo, sometimes for months.

It’s these immigrants who brought the Hamburg steak across the Atlantic, setting up carts in lower Manhattan that catered to new arrivals in search of comfort food. The vendors preserved the steak plate in its original form—an actual plate of food, served with a fork. Authentic, but as Motz notes, “not very portable at all.”

It was Americans who turned it into a sandwich, and even then there were ups and downs for the burger. Read the whole history of the hamburger at First We Feast.


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The Waffle Dog

Sometimes you have to think outside the box and make do with what you have. Ralph Roberts made a meal last night that you may want to remember when you’ve got an odd assortment of foodstuffs.

Creativity Unleashed: The Waffle Dog! ... came in late for dinner tonight. Had some gourmet Boar's Head hot dogs which fit the bill for my quick supper but, alas, no buns nor even sliced bread in the house. However, I DID find some frozen waffles in the freezer. Using the waffle as the bun (they folded up nicely after baking it all with cheese on top in the toaster oven), I had an enjoyable repast. I now claim credit for inventing the Waffle Dog. ;-)

A commenter pointed out that there is a previous recipe for waffle dogs, but it’s much more complicated, involving pancake mix and a waffle iron.  


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These Tea Dragons Are Hoarding Tasty Leaves

If you drink tea, you know how delicious the different brews can be -and how unique one flavor profile is from another. That's why these amazing tea dragon illustrations by New Zealand artist Strangely Katie so perfectly capture the spirit of different tea varieties. 

As a tea drinker, it may seem strange to see your favorite brews portrayed as dragons, but when you look at the pictures, you'll likely notice just how strangely accurate the artist's depictions of each blend really are. Oolong should be a wise, mellow friend and Jasmine is refined, beautiful and serene. 

Via That's Nerdalicious


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The Best Desserts in 25 Countries Around the World

Spanish Tarta de Santiago

Some things in life are universal, such as the love of sweet treats. It doesn't matter where one travels on Earth, finding a friend with whom you share a love of sweets is inevitable. Just as the cultures of man across the globe are diverse, so are their offerings of desserts. This article has a sampling of that vast array. Read it at the risk of craving sugary self-indulgence immediately afterward. 

Japanese mochi

Argentinian pastelitos


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Photographer Captures The Dark Side Of Eating Contests

Eating contests are an American tradition with roots in county fairs and harvest festivals, but the sponsored, no-holds-barred food spectacles we see today all started with Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Now there's no foodstuff which is off limits, and contestants stuff their faces for fat stacks of cash and international acclaim.

But at the root of every eating contest is a ravenous urge known as gluttony, and this "ferocity of consumption” is the core theme behind Nina Berman’s documentary series “Eat To Win”.

The images are captured at just the right moment, the contestants' faces frozen in horrifying expressions as the desire to win drives them to devour more than their neighbors.

Nina’s series presents an interesting counterpoint to the “eating contests are fun and funny to watch” view typically presented by the media.

-Via Beautiful/Decay


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5 Great Taco Bell Ideas for Japan

Taco Bell is coming to Japan. The staff of Rocket News 24 is excited, but also trepidatious. Will the fast food giant be able to adapt to Japanese tastes? Recipes that are popular in the United States may fall flat in Japan. So the Rocket News 24 team assembled 5 taco meals that it thinks will do well, such as these with fresh octopus tentacles. The others are wasabi, natto, sushi, and green tea.


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The Inspirationally Drunk

There is no better source of inspiration than a slurred speech given by someone who’s too drunk to stand, much less speak coherently.

Oh wait, did I say no better? I meant no worse, as in demotivational and truly sad, especially knowing they won’t remember a word of their drunken speech when they wake up the next day.

The only thing inspirational about a really drunk person is the natural way they inspire others not to drink so much, lest they turn out looking like a drunken fool as well.

And that's why drunks make terrible motivational speakers, well, that and it's really hard to understand what they're trying to say.

See why Mixing Inspirational Quotes With Pics Of Drunk People Is The Best Thing Ever here


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This Nutella Donut Milkshake Is the Only Food You Will Need for the Rest of Your Life

(Photo: Foodcraft Espresso and Bakery)

Something strange and wonderful is happening in Australia. A few weeks ago, the justifiably named "Freakshow" milkshakes surfaced in Canberra. Now the outbreak has spread to Sydney. Foodcraft Espresso and Bakery is offering what it calls the Tella Ball Shake. It consists of ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup, and an enormous donut filled with Nutella. You drink it by ramming a sturdy straw through the donut into the ice cream.

Mashable reports that Tella Ball Shakes have consumed Sydney, no doubt while baker and inventor Aki Daikos cackles diabolically. As of this reporting time, we have been unable to make contact with Sydney. We can only recommend that people in surrounding communities to begin evacuating away from the city.

-via That's Nerdalicious!


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Are You Ready for Bacon Fest?

If you weren't already aware, it's time you should know that we here at Neatoama love bacon. In fact, we love bacon so much, we're thrilled to be attending a festival dedicated exclusively to the tasty meat. If you're as passionate about fried pork strips as we are, then you might want to head out to San Diego next month to join us at the San Diego Bacon Fest

While there, you could enjoy unlimited free samples from some of the best restaurants and breweries in San Diego -including Brulee of Bacon, Bacon Sushi Rolls, and even a beer brewed with bacon in it!

Of course, if you miss the event, we'll feature pictures and stories from the event, but your tastebuds wil never forgive you. 


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Pumpkin Spice Peeps

It’s a combination -or abomination- that had to happen sooner or later. People go nuts about anything with pumpkin spice flavor in the fall, and Peeps are more popular than ever. Now those two things are together at last. Float that marshmallow in your hot cocoa!

The sweet little marshmallow blobs will land just in time for the ever-earlier start of pumpkin spice madness season on August 31st, but only at Target or from the Peeps online store. In other words, you'll be slurping PSLs and munching on pumpkin spice Peeps in no time. No pumpkin spice is safe.

Peeps will also be available in caramel apple and candy corn flavors as well as pumpkin spice. -via Time


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How A Painting Revealed The Truth About Watermelon Breeding

It’s often hard for food scientists to discover the truth about how fruits and vegetables used to look before we used breeding to turn them into heartier and more delicious produce.

But if you know where to look you can find out all kinds of things about the past, and when it came to discovering how much watermelons have changed since the Renaissance one professor looked to the world of fine art.

Horticulture professor James Nienhuis used a painting by Giovanni Stanchi as an example of what watermelons used to look like before we bred them to have the dense flesh and bright red color we look for today.

However, the "starring" we see in the watermelon's meat in the painting is something that still happens today due to sub-par growing conditions.

Here's more on how we've perfected the watermelon:

That fleshy interior is actually the watermelon's placenta, which holds the seeds. Before it was fully domesticated, that placenta lacked the high amounts of lycopene that give it the red color. Through hundreds of years of domestication, we've modified smaller watermelons with a white interior into the larger, lycopene-loaded versions we know today.

Of course, we haven't only changed the color of watermelon. Lately, we've also been experimenting with getting rid of the seeds — which Nienhuis reluctantly calls "the logical progression in domestication." Future generations will at least have photographs to understand what watermelons with seeds looked like. But to see the small, white watermelons of the past, they too will have to look at Renaissance art.

-Via Colossal


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This Corndog Is Made of 5 Different Types of Sausage

It’s the Swiss Army knife of corndogs. From left to right, you’ve got chorizo, Italian sausage, Polish sausage, bratwurst, and a standard hot dog. It’s clearly the greatest corn dog ever.

And as you might expect, yes: this in the work of Nick Chipman of DudeFoods. He’s found a way to reach every palate’s desires with a multifunctional meat deployment system. Chipman says:

If I ever open a booth at the Wisconsin State Fair — which coincidentally starts later this week! — this will be one of the first items on my menu.

-via Incredible Things


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Deep Fried Pizza and Other Wonderful Food Abominations at the Orange County Fair

Pack some antacid, bring a bib, and make out your will because it’s time to go to the Orange County Fair. This glorious event occurs every year at Costa Mesa, California. Peter Pham of Foodbeast has rounded up 125 wonderfully bad foods from it and mapped their locations on the fairgrounds. They include deep fried Klondike Bars, solid bricks of French fries, and caviar-covered Twinkies.

-via Nag on the Lake


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Would You Like to See a Chocolate Eclair That Looks Like Burt Reynolds Naked?

It is now time to begin obsessively following the work of Lou Lou P, a baker in Leeds, UK. Very recently, she introduced us to the Cat Loaf and the Pug Loaf. Lou Lou is not done. She keeps knocking out hits, day after day. You want a burger with unicorn meat? She can't supply it. But this unicorn burger bun is just as good--and she's just getting started!

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A Cone Is the Perfect Way to Eat Spaghetti


(Photo: Devon Knight/The Guardian)

The Spaghetti Incident, a new restaurant in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, has devised an ingenious way to get people to buy its spaghetti. Besides offering several tasty varieties, the restaurant offers its spaghetti for takeout in cones. The result is that people wandering the neighborhood for amusement can grab a cone and a fork and eat it as they stroll. Spaghetti, a food that is normally messy to eat, becomes completely portable by this method. Dave Bry of The Guardian explains:

Eating spaghetti out of a cone is, oddly, easier than eating it from a plate. This is because of the well-known “twirl method” that sophisticated humans have learned to use to eat pasta. The cone shape facilitates the trick by giving natural purchase to the tines of the fork as they twist. The curved sides of the cone help guide the strands of spaghetti into a ball around the fork. (Emily Post recommended using a spoon to achieve the effect). The twirl negates the need for spearing any bit of food with the fork.

-via Carmen Jade


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Bass Heavy Sound System Destroys A Bag Of Chips

If you’re walking home from the convenience store, with a bag of chips for later, and you hear a car with a bass heavy audio system drawing near you’d better clear the sidewalk or risk a bag blowout.

Because this video by Steve Meades Design proves, a booming system can obliterate a bag of chips (and your eardrums) in just a few seconds. (Contains NSFW language)

(YouTube Link)

Steve created this video to demonstrate the raw bass power of their “Tremendous Bass 118” custom sound system, but it's also a reminder that walking around a city full of booming systems with an unopened bag of chips is dangerous!

-Via Laughing Squid


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The World’s Largest Ice Cream Cone Has 38 Cubic Feet of Ice Cream, Enough to Feed the Entire Neatorama Staff

(Photo: Guinness World Records)

Hennig-Olsen, an ice cream company in Norway, earned a Guinness World Record by building the largest ice cream cone in the world. It’s over 10 feet tall and contains over 38 cubic feet of ice cream, 2 cubic feet of chocolate, and 243 pounds* of waffle cone material. That’s so much that the company had to airlift the ingredients from its factory to Kristiansand in southern Norway for the event.

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The Pugloaf Is the Greatest Invention Since Sliced Bread

Lou Lou P’s Delights, a bakery in Leeds, UK, has received a lot of attention since photos of its loaves of bread shaped like cats went viral. If you’re a dog person, then this bakery has something for you too. Under a challenge, Lou Lou P invented the Pugloaf, a pug-shaped loaf of bread. There is no dog more loaf-like than a pug, so before you try to eat a Pugloaf, make sure that it’s not an actual pug.

-via Foodiggity


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10 Types of Mexican Tacos That Should Be More Popular in the US

(Photo: Romero y Azahar)

Bill Esparza is a food critic and taco scholar in Los Angeles. He says, “I’ve tried tacos in 27 states in Mexico, and every time I go to a new town I see something I’ve never heard of.” The vast variety of regional food traditions in Mexico offer more options that most Americans are familiar with. He’s narrowed his essential list of tacos down to 10.

Among those 10 is this temptation: the bone marrow taco. Esparza writes:

In the state of Nuevo Leon, one of Mexico’s steak capitals, you can get roasted marrow bones and a stack of tortillas for making your own tacos. These have become a trend at fine dining Mexican restaurants in Baja California and Mexico City, following in the footsteps of the great chefs of Monterrey, Nuevo León. If you’ve ever indulged in a hot tortilla slathered with a little butter, this is a whole other level of richness. The marrow gives it a concentrated flavor of seasoned, buttery beef. It’s a simple and powerful taste requiring a quality corn tortilla.


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