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TomG

May 13, 2004, 6:15 PM

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Music on the Gulf

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Why don't we discuss and form a list of Gulf Coast music?

I just got a 3 volume set of Junior Klan "Canciones del Oro" CD's for some Veracruz friends. I have two other CD's of the group also.

A CD titled (believe it or not) "La Bamba" can be found from street vendors of music - it's a necessity. This and a varied selection of banana types can carry one's heart to the Coast for an hour. Fried banana: 1 macho banana cut in half lengthwise and maybe cut again to shorten the pieces. Fry it in decent oil until its golden brown. Dribble on sweetened condensed milk and top with shaving of chocolate. Abuelita chocolate will work if you don't have a good stock prime stuff you had milled to your own stiffer recipe.

Tlen Huicani, the University of Veracruz group is a find wherever you can find it.

Street vendors are selling "Huapangos" Que viva la Huasteca. And always be on the lookout for any Danzon music - buy all you can get, and dream of Maria Rojo teaching you to dance. As close as I ever got was running into (no kidding) the tall dark guy she play opposite in the movie "Danzon" - the one she spent most of the movie looking for in the port of Veracruz. I ran into him twice during Carnaval a year ago and had a rather lengthy conversation both times. I mentioned I was looking for her, but no luck. I suppose he was too.

tom



raferguson


May 21, 2004, 8:34 PM

Post #2 of 10 (5012 views)

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Re: [TomG] Music on the Gulf

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Don't forget Augustine Lara, who had a home in Boca del Rio, (south of Veracruz city) now a museum, although that his music is Bolero.

I have been wanting to show up for one of the Huapango festivals, I occasionally swapped email with a guy who had a Huasteca related website, but I have not seen that website in the last year or two. There are some other websites, including one below.

http://www.huapango.com.mx

I have a three CD set, Antologia des Son de Mexico, on Corason records, all Huasteca music, not bad, but I prefer the music live. The recordings, like the music, are a bit crude, no orchestra. I don't listen to them much.

I still have not made it to the Huasteca, but it remains on my list. It is a big region, a lot to see. I keep a file of Huasteca info. It is not an area popular for gringos, and I have not been successful in pitching it to my spouse as a destination.

If we lived in Veracruz city, we would take up Danzon for sure. I love the music from Veracruz.

I doubt if we need a new forum for this, this music clearly fits this forum well, since it is regional.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


TomG

May 21, 2004, 10:33 PM

Post #3 of 10 (5006 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Music on the Gulf

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I doubt if we need a new forum for this, this music clearly fits this forum well, since it is regional.


I agree, Richard. What I meant is that we should form a list of music by tacking on posts of music suggestions - exactly as you are doing.

A traveling rule of thumb I have before I return to the USA is to load up on stuff in Mexico that is easy to carry and packs a lot of cultural wallop. CD's and dried foodstuffs fit the bill. The tastes and sounds of Mexico far outperform trinkets for memory. i.e. Veracruz coffee, Oaxacan chocolate, dried jamaica.

Tom


Ed and Fran

May 22, 2004, 6:16 AM

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Re: [TomG] Music on the Gulf

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..............and vanilla (either whole bean or extract) from Papantla......................


TomG

May 22, 2004, 7:27 AM

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Music on the Gulf

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..............and vanilla (either whole bean or extract) from Papantla......................

How right you are, Ed & Fran.

I didn't want to be too outrageous in my post, but what the heck - we bought 4 liters of the Gaya brand. (It is one of only two brands of vanilla extract that the state vanilla agronomists working in Papantla assure is pure vanilla extract and not a chemical concoction from el DF.)

My wife uses a spoonful of vanilla and another of sugar in hot milk before bed. And the discriminating hot chocolate drinker really ought to add some vanilla to his chocolate with water (milk in my wife's case). For outsiders: be assured that we are not talking about Nestle's powdered hot chocolate mix or any other stuff one can buy in a grocery store. The good chocolate comes directly from the mill, having been ground on the spot to your formula. Barring that, one can buy prepared chocolate in blocks - the darker and stronger flavored, the better. For real authenticity one can pack either raw or toasted cacao beans back to the USA for 32 pesos/kilo to toast (if raw) and grind there own.


esperanza

May 22, 2004, 8:06 AM

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Re: [TomG] Music on the Gulf

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Tom, I recently bought some bulk (ie, not packaged) vanilla beans here in Guadalajara for 20 pesos per bean. Each one measured less than 1/4" wide by about 8" long. Can you give me a ballpark figure on what the beans go for over there? Just curious...

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









TomG

May 22, 2004, 10:20 AM

Post #7 of 10 (4978 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Music on the Gulf

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By late January the price of new crop vanilla was going rapidly from week to week in Papantla. You could buy a bean of that description for 20 pesos on the gulf or in Papantla last February. The better beans are more succulent looking and when opened up have some effect of sparkling white crystalline glitter in light (this quality is sort of effervescent). Beans of that quality can be quite expensive in NYC retail. The better quality can be twice the price of a lower quality more dried looking bean without the effervescent look inside. The French hit it hard this year I heard, and the prices climbed high.

Sound like you did OK.

I'd be curious about the circumstances under which you bought them. Was it from a traveling Veracruzano, relative of one, grower? I know a coffee grower who used to go over there and sell ground coffee from his finca when he visited his daughter.

Esperanza, would you mind opening a thread here discussing using beans vs. extract?


Ed and Fran

May 22, 2004, 3:30 PM

Post #8 of 10 (4968 views)

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Re: [TomG] Music on the Gulf

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 "...we bought 4 liters of the Gaya brand. (It is one of only two brands of vanilla extract that the state vanilla agronomists working in Papantla assure is pure vanilla extract and not a chemical concoction from el DF.) "

Okay Tom, inquiring minds want to know, what is the other brand that's pure?

Ed


esperanza

May 22, 2004, 3:45 PM

Post #9 of 10 (4967 views)

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Re: [TomG] Music on the Gulf

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I bought the ejotes de vainilla from a vendor at the vast Mercado San Juan de Dios in Guadalajara's Centro Histůrico. His booth sells dried chiles, dried beans, and some dry spices. I had asked around at several booths for someone who might have ejote de vainilla for sale. He dragged the beans out of a hidey-hole, in a bag filled with a bit of alcohol and the long brown vanilla beans. I'm glad to hear that I paid a fair price; the vanilla beans were for a friend who asked me to get them for her.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









TomG

May 22, 2004, 10:05 PM

Post #10 of 10 (4956 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] Music on the Gulf

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I don't know - forgot. It's supposed to be the best of the best, but with a kind agronomist leading us, we couldn't find any. The belief was that the French sopped it all up. I never saw a French dealer, but they were the ghost lurking behind a number of conversations. I like to pursue such topics to gather point of view.
In general, donít buy in the gas station tourist shop along the highway. Look for brown tinted glass bottles. I never saw a bottle or vial of vanilla flavor in Mexico that didnít say pure vanilla from Papantla. The 3 state agronomists working to promote the vanilla culture in the Papantla office all assured us that is not true.
If you and Fran ever encounter the name of the other brand pass it along.
 
 
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