A rescue to the culture and cuisine of Chiloe Island, is the essence of the book “Recipes with History,” a text recently presented to the community that portrays intimately, stories and experiences of the inhabitants related to the resources from sea.
Nine persons were invited to be part of this little culinary compilation, where each person recounted his own experiences and memories about the recipes learned from their parents and grandparents, associated with a product of the sea (mainly bivalves and other shellfish) its home and its family history.
“The book is the work developed by a multidisciplinary team that had the support and willingness of cooks and chefs of Chiloe, who through their stories are transferring, from generation to generation, part of their ancestral knowledge,” explains Dr. Cristian Vargas, Director of the Millennium Nucleus MUSELS.
Dr. Vargas also indicated that “this more than a recipe book, it is a book that collects stories of people telling how, through generations, have passed their traditional culinary knowledge related to marine resources, fused with ingredients provided by the land.”
In the warmth of their homes or workplaces, the interviewees prepared their ancestral recipes, which were photographed while they explained how the recipes were created, of those who learned and the memories linked to them.
For Mrs. Sonia Catepillán, a resident of Castro and who cooks for more than 23 years ago the famous Curanto en Hoyo, it is very important to show the recipes of their grandparents and parents. “They are present every day in our kitchen,” he says.
She indicates that this recipe was taught of her grandmother and parents, and that all the family prepared this recipe. “We went to the beach to collect shellfish and as we did not be able to bring seafood to the house, we did the Curanto right there on the beach and we started to sell”.
She indicates that it is very important that this knowledge is recorded in a text that will remain in time as part of the local historical knowledge. “Every day I tell to my children and my grandchildren that give thanks to the Mother Earth and to the sea for their generosity,” he says.
The text also includes a historical overview of the “Culinary Arts in Chiloé”, making a journey from the native peoples 6,000 years before present, until the XIX century.
Since 2014 the Millennium Nucleus MUSELS had as objective to bring the scientific work to the community, which was achieved through several outreach activities among 2014 and 2016, including the participation of children, young and adults who enjoyed and learned more about the ocean and its species.
As a result of this work, the book “Recipes with History” is created. In its more than 70 pages, this book compiles stories that seek to enrich the ancestral knowledge associated with the culinary art. Its development took about a year and half, and the process involved interviews, photographs and design.
Dr. Vargas said that the objective of the Nucleus is to know the effect of environmental changes on aquaculture of marine resources such as bivalves; in this context, it is expected that the text shows the historical use of these marine resources within traditional cuisine.
“In this book we seek to highlight the use of seafood, in this case mussel, through gastronomy, but with stories related with its history, this is, how it has been used in time, the marine resources in the typical cuisine of the island, “he says.
The distribution of the book is free and during this period is expected to deliver texts to educational institutions and public and private institutions. However, the number of copies is limited, this is why it has been decided to put soon, the material available to the public through the official website of the Nucleus (http://www.eula.cl/musels/), where this book may be downloaded. “We hope also to obtain new resources to print more copies,” says the director.
Its development is led by the Millennium Nucleus MUSELS with additional funding from “Proyección al Medio Externo” (PME), a program that seeks to promote the creation of products and activities to disseminate the science, in the centers funded by the Millennium Initiative (Ministerio de Economía, Fomento y Turismo).
In this work collaborated el Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas, CEAZA; el Centro de Ecología Aplicada y Sustentabilidad, CAPES; el Instituto Antártico Chileno, INACH; la Asociación de Mitilicultores de Chile A.G., AmiChile; y el restaurant Travesía de Chiloé.