Raw Once Again… or More

2008.May.19 Monday · 0 comments

in Food & Recipes, Life, Restaurants

 Treebeard marched on, signing with the others for a while. But after a time, his voice died to a murmur and fell silent again. Pippin could see that his old brow was wrinkled and knotted. At last he looked up, and Pippin could see a sad look in his eyes, sad but not unhappy. There was a light in them, as if the green flame had sunk deeper into the dark wells of his thoughts.”

– J.R.R. Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Buenos Aires – Over the last three years, the Green Flame has played a bit of a roll in my life here… not the one the either Treebeard or the Green Lantern carries within themselves, but that of Verdellama, the first in-home restaurant that I went to. That experience was a big part of the impetus to open Casa SaltShaker. Diego and Lola, the owners of Verdellama, went on to open a commercial restaurant. In fact, it’s been sufficient successful that they’ve now opened a small second location, more or less a lunch counter, on the lower level of the Bond Street Galería at Santa Fé 1670, where they’re open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., serving up their tasty raw vegan dishes, including this delicious hindu chapati, packed with hummus, avocado, greens, along with an almond and spirulina shake. [This place has closed.]

Verdellama - hindu chapati

Okay, now, before anyone panics, I’m not going raw, I’m not going vegan, I’m not going vegetarian. Tried the last of those three for about six months at one point – it wasn’t that it was difficult to do, I just like exploring the rest of the world of food too much. However, that doesn’t mean, that as part of that exploration, I can’t incorporate some interesting ideas from this niche in the world. As part of that, I noted in looking at Verdellama’s website one day that they’ve started offering classes – in particular, an introduction to the whole theory and practice of raw food vegetarian… or, as they put it, lifefood. That fit in well with my quest for interesting classes, and besides it was on the Tuesday following the end of my Middle Eastern classes. Perfect! So, off I went for a few hours of a fascinating look at the how and why of it all. All of it was interesting, some of it, in particular, more so. One of the things I particularly liked was rawmesan, a parmesan substitute that Diego makes by grinding together ½ cup sunflower, pumpkin or squash seeds with 1 teaspoon each of salt, turmeric, and nutritional yeast. The stuff is great, and how that particular combination of ingredients manages to do it I don’t know, but, if you close your eyes while nibbling on a bit, it really does taste alot like parmesan. Very strange.

Rawmesan

I’ve been using it here and there as a garnish on various dishes over the last couple of weeks, but the place where it hit home was a simple dish that I often make for myself when I just want a quick “comfort food” plate. Spaghetti tossed with butter and parmesan – or in the case, with butter and rawmesan. The whole dairy thing within the lifefood community seems to be a bone of contention – not all lifefooders are vegans, many use honey, for example, or other animal byproducts that don’t harm the animal directly. The dairy seems to have more to do with digestibility and other problems associated with the products. So, use margarine if you like, I’ll stick with butter… and rawmesan. The dish is excellent, and look for some touches here and there in upcoming months as I explore some ideas that I got from the class. (And, if you’re in town and interested, contact them about the class – you’ll need to speak Spanish sufficiently to understand it, but it’ll definitely be a fascinating experience.)

Spaghetti with butter and rawmesan

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