Food Magazine: Edible Baja Arizona (cool!)

Food Magazine: Edible Baja Arizona (cool!)


Today I found Edible Baja Arizona magazine at the library.  Tucson always felt like a simmering hot small town wrapped in the traffic of a big city.  Just not that interesting, you know?  As a teen, I couldn’t wait to get away first to the big city (Phoenix).  This magazine flipped my  mind, made me realize that Tucson is as interesting as other places I’ve been with it’s own special zeitgeist.  You just have to dig.

Okay, I’m reading the July/August 2016 issue.  Libraries let you check out back issues of magazines on hand.  Edible Baja Arizona snagged me first with a short piece on Mt. Lemmon Gin.  They make gin out here? with creosote and chiltepin chilis?  Okay, now that’s my kind of Tucson!

They have a regular section on “Baja Brews” — yep, local breweries but I’m not into beer. The writing entices one to give it a shot though: “Slightly cloudy, fruity but not sweet, notes of citrus and raspberry take a slow ride down your tongue, lingering long after the swallow.”  Beer has notes? Like music? Huh.  Cool!

I am surprised that by mid-2016, Tucson had 14 microbreweries with more experiments than a mad scientist.   I enjoyed their Buzz section’s fun article on wild yeast and natural fermentation.  Reminded me of the time I accidentally fermented apple cider.  It tasted pretty good.

So I fermented the apple cider again and again.  About the third time, I found out you have to release the gases from the bottle more frequently than I did.  How did I find out?  Well, ummm, on the third day the top exploded from the batch I was making and the plastic bottle flew across the room like a deflating balloon leaving a trail of apple cider behind.  The mess was truly awesome.  That ended my career in apple cider.

I enjoyed a cool article on Sonoran white pomegranates brought over in the 17th century.  Apparently white is an adaptive response to extreme heat. Another section talked of Emory oaks and their acorns, the bellotas, found in the Southwest.  These acorns are sweeter than other oaks.  The bellota recipes looked tasty especially the Chocolate and Double Nut cookies.  As do the recipes in the other sections, especially the campfire ones.  Those look easy enough even for me.

I admit to curiosity on the Nopalitos (prickly pear cactus leaf!) Chopped Salad recipe in their regular “Sonoran Skillet” section.  I picked up a couple of the cactus pads (not leaf, oops) from the dollar store.  Looks doubtfully at them.  I do want to learn to cook Southwestern.  And it’s supposed to control blood sugar.  Touches them gingerly, wondering how they might taste.  Jackie Alper’s recipe talked about simmering the pads: “They will start to release a slimy substance, but don’t worry; it will absorb as the nopalitos cook.” I’m just not sure about this.  Maybe tomorrow.

And guess what? Tucson is  the only UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the United States. Among others are Popayan, Colombia; Tsuruoka, Japan; and Parma, Italy. Pretty exotic company, wouldn’t you say? So a regional food magazine is a total fit although it does forage throughout the Southwest into Southern Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.

From restaurant reviews, recipes, gardening tips (I have got to try growing herbs in the plastic soda bottles!), the importance of eating/buying local produce, alcohol and the bats of Campbell, the magazine is a treasure trove of places to eat, explore and take photographs. Mostly, it made me realize boring ole Tucson is pretty special. Of course any magazine on good eats is going to be ok with me.  Looks down at my stomach.  More than ok.  Looks down again.  Ok, ok, I’ll start back up at the gym tomorrow.  Geez!

References: Image sources:
Edible Baja Arizona 
You can get it for free at local food and beverage retailers 

borrow it from the library 

or subscribe for $36 a year and get it at home 

Three Wells Distilling Co. 
Mt. Lemon Gin (The gin pic is from them in their media section)

Unesco Cities of Gastronomy List
Edible Baja Arizona
(with permission by the mag)
Sonoran White Promegranate
Soda pop bottle herbs (Growing up: vertical gardens)

Three Wells Distilling Co. 
Mt. Lemon Gin

Beer Barrel by Steve Buissinne
Pixabay (free to use but you can donate to the photographer)
Modified in photoshop by me
Prickly Pear Cactus
Carol's backyard
my camera: Nikon D3400


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