Santa Fe, New Mexico was the site for the 2019 International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Conference and I attended the conference to network with colleagues, plus, eat and drink in Santa Fe.
The official cookie of New Mexico is Biscochitos and usually made for special occasions with recipes handed down in families. They are traditionally made with cinnamon and anise and the cookie is perfect with coffee or tea. Celina’s Biscochitos makes their cookies with the state’s emblem, the Zia symbol, and bakes other varieties as well. Now I need to make the cookies at home and the house will smell so good, not to mention the taste!
Oh my goodness, the aromas of chiles roasting and onions sauteeing is always welcoming. Santa Fe Cooking School uses native products from this dry climate and there’s over 600 chiles grown in the state. The “3 sisters” which has historically sustained the indigenous people are corn, squash and beans which grow abundantly throughout the area. Many recipes use the 3 sisters as a starting base and add other hearty ingredients to make a filling meal.
After cooking demos by chefs at the cooking school, dinner was served. A rolled enchilada and a layered enchilada with posole and beans were served on the same plate and topped with green chile sauce. The dessert was new to me, a unique bread pudding named Capirotada and the unusual ingredient was jack cheese. Santa Fe School of Cooking has been teaching people the origins of Southwest cooking for 30 years. Chef told us green chile stew heals a multitude of illnesses. I need to remember that during flu and cold season, plus the stew is delicious.
Being from California, I was surprised that New Mexico has 55 wineries and some wines have ratings of 92. Going back in history, the Spanish settlers brought vines to plant and the Franciscan Monks harvested the grapes to make wine 400 years ago. This wine was full bodied and a salute to old vines which rivals California wines.
Santa Fe is a destination to stroll the streets and take in the history through food and wine.
Featured photo is Basilica St Francis founded 1714.