La Bella Crucita, Wednesday, 02/20/2019

“Have you noticed Nilla that the road conditions on the malecon either begin with the letters ‘du’ or end with ‘ud’?”

“There you go again the the letter thing!  What on earth, or should I say on malecon, are you talking about?”

“Dust or mud Nilla.  There you have it in two words!”

“I’m thinking about garlic and shrimp Jackson.  You know that the shrimp season is past, that’s to say shrimp del mar.  You can still get shrimp from the piscina.”

“I like the shrimp del mar better, they are bigger.”

“Need to buy some garlic today and dice it up, less preparation work for tomorrow.”

“I wonder if Aventurero got to eat pizza at the new pizza place on the malecon last night?  He said they were open when we walked by, about eight people sitting around a table eating rice, not pizza.”

“I didn’t notice if they were open when we walked by later on in the evening.  But that brings us to the topic of the day, Jackson.”

“Pizza?”

“No, Jackson.  Rice.”

“Rice was introduced to Latin American by European colonists in the early 1500’s. Do you know that the average consumption per person in Ecuador is sixty six pounds per year?  That’s about 1.3 cups of cooked rice a day.”

“I believe it Nilla, rice with most everything, except maybe ceviche.”

“In the United States the average consumption per person is eighteen pounds per year.  did you know there is measurable inorganic arsenic in rice from Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana?  I’m not referring to organic arsenic that occurs naturally in the soil.”

“Arsenic!!!?”

“Yes, apparently the inorganic arsenic sources are pesticides and wood preservatives.  These can remain in the soil at detectable levels for over forty five years researchers say.  The farmers used the pesticides to control the cotton weevils and now rice is planted on land where cotton used to be grown.”

“No southern rice for me Nilla.”

“In Ecuador however, no unacceptable levels have been detected.”

“That’s good since so much is eaten here.”

“Rice is a good source of carbohydrate, calories and amino acids – although it does not contain all the essential amino acids.”

“It’s very starchy though Nilla.”

“Yes it is Jackson.  I was reading in one blog about research performed in Sri Lanka.  The scientists added a teaspoon of oil to one half cup of white rice and cooked it, thus increasing the amount of resistant starches and thereby reducing calories.”

“That’s very interesting!”

“Furthermore they found that if the rice were chilled and then reheated it enhanced the amount of resistant starches.”

“Amazing!  I thought that eating rice made you fat.”

“Weight problems in the United States are not related to rice consumption Jackson, but in part a shift toward sugary and processed foods.”

“So make a bunch of rice, put it in the refrigerator and then reheat.”

“A little guidance there Jackson.  You shouldn’t keep rice in the refrigerator for more than three days and should not reheat it more than once – food safety you know.”

“What about rice growing in Ecuador?  We’ve seen lots of rice grown along the coast in our travels.”

“Yes, rice production is dependent on rain.  The highest harvest yield is May through June after the rainy season.  As long as there is sufficient rain, and current production trends continue, Ecuador will have enough rice to meet the country’s consumer demand.  The only time rice was imported was in 1998. ”

“Let me guess, not enough rain.”

“Exactly, the weather.  There are new varieties being grown, new varieties, sushi, basmati, wild, risotto rices.  Any surplus in production is exported to Colombia.”

“I’ll certainly look at rice differently now.”

“I think the Ts are going for a walk on the beach this morning.  Are we doing the beach report again?”

“I don’t think we need to be so elaborate today Nilla.  Who would sponsor it anyway?”

“Municipality of Crucita Safety and Rescue of course.  They’re back, let’s do a condensed version.”

“Since the life guards were out there performing training exercises, today’s drill done in pairs, they will be the sponsors as you suggested.”

“Beach conditions, sunny, low tide, slight breeze, Jackson.”

“Limited fishing boat activity.  Minimal beach goers.”

“No unusual findings for the creature report but the birds were active – pelicans in formation, white egret by the marina, various sandpipers and seagulls.  And of course the frigate birds – the risk of being pooped on being directly proportional to the numbers flying overhead.”

“And of course, the usual resident sand dollar, snail and crab congregations – telltale impressions on the sand.”

“Collectibles?”

“The usual seashells, including an auger and coffee bean, colored stones, and a small sand dollar test as well as a rather large one – not in perfect shape – the Ts have a large one, maybe Aventurero would like this one for his collection.”

“There you have the abbreviated  beach report for today Jackson.”

“Have to get that garlic for the shrimp, let’s take a walk down to Fremas.”

“No one at Ramblas, maybe stop there on the way back.”

“Garlic and aji spices, should be all set for your recipe modification.”

“Still no one at Ramblas, maybe because it’s so hot.”

“But here come Guardagatos and Diego.

“What a tale about Diego’s car, I really believed him.”

“You’re so vulnerable Nilla, here comes Aventurero.”

“We need to get these supplies home before going to Crucita Village for cheeseburgers Jackson.”

“No rice for the Trio tonight.”

“It’s card night at Mi Tierra and Aventurero is going to play.”

“And you Nilla, have to get working on that garlic.”

“Jackson, I’ve been thinking about those rocks, when the Ts go for their walk tomorrow, maybe they can find similar ones.  I’m working on a theory.”

IMG_4770

“That garlic sure is strong Nilla.”

Garlic shrimp tomorrow!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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