Colombian Family Wins World’s Best Cookbook Award | Colombia


A mother and daughter’s celebration of traditional dishes wrapped in leaves from their country was named the world’s best cookbook at the Gourmand Awards in Paris.

that of Colombia envueltos are part of a culinary heritage that spans much of Latin America, from tamales from Mexico and Guatemala to humility from Chile.

All of them involve some sort of dough, or masa, made with starches that could be corn, yucca, bananas or rice, sprinkled with flavorful toppings. These can be pork, chicken and other meats, or beans and vegetables. The dish is then wrapped in a corn husk or other foil for cooking, usually steamed.

Mother Zoraida “Chori” Agamez and her daughter Heidy Pinto, both of whom have cooked since childhood, wrote the award-winning book, simply named Envueltos, to chronicle the Colombian approach to these delicacies.

“In tough times, in sad times, in the midst of a pandemic, cooking will always be part of the solution,” they said in an Instagram post celebrating their victory. “Long live the tradition, envueltos and Colombian cuisine.

The duo are originally from the town of Barrancabermeja in northern Colombia, but decided almost four years ago to travel around their country in search of traditional recipes. “We had run workshops on envueltos manufacturing techniques. We focused on the masa, but people wanted to know more about the packaging, ”Pinto said. “So we started to travel all over Colombia looking for envueltos, to find out where they are popular, what they are called locally and how they make them. We have collected over 300 recipes.

Details of these local traditions are all listed on their Spanish website. El Toque Colombian (The Colombian Touch), but for the book, they had to sort through the list.

“We started trying them out, until we couldn’t cope anymore,” Pinto said with a laugh. They eventually decided to focus only on recipes that used corn, yucca, and bananas as the main starch.

Editor Daniel Guerrero, a Spaniard who had lived in Colombia for years, stumbled across their blog and told them he wanted to publish the recipes.

The women told him they didn’t have a book yet but were looking for a publisher, so he grabbed the rights and planned to start his new publishing house, called Hambre de Cultura – or Hunger. of culture – with Envueltos.

They were almost ready to go when the pandemic hit, but Guerrero decided to go ahead anyway. The lockdown has helped sales as orders poured in from homesick Colombians overseas in Europe, Asia and even Australia, and they are now in a third edition. The books were shortlisted in May and last week the mother-daughter duo beat competition from Zimbabwe, Malaysia, Ireland and New Zealand to be named the world’s best of the best.


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