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Combo Meal!

Combo Meal!

Quest for the Fest - Sn 1/Ep 3Quest for the Fest - Sn 1/Ep 3

This week, Amy hits the road for the Indio International Tamales Festival. But wait, there's more! We check out Texas Crab in Crystal Beach and then load up on guac and all things avo at Fallbrook's annual Avocado Fest.

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Transcript

- Hey, everybody. I'm Amy Shuster and I'm in Indio, California, also known as The City of Festivals, and today, I'm at the International Tamale Festival, which is basically the largest tamale party in America. Over 125,000 people come out to the desert every year just to eat tamales. It's awesome. I'm here. I'm gonna eat as much as I can. I've got my stretchy pants on and I'm ready to go. Come with me to discover festivals, big and small, from all across the globe, where people indulge their senses in a celebration of local treats and time-honored traditions. You with me? Let's do it. The Mexican-American presence in Indio dates back for over a century since the arrival of traqueros, otherwise known as railroad laborers, employed by the Southern Pacific. With them, they brought their delicious food and culture. Wow, I love these murals, 'cause they really tell the origin of the city of Indio and they're beautiful. Because there's so many festivals and special events held annually in Indio, California, the Chamber of Commerce dubbed Indio's official nickname to be The City of Festivals. Two major annual festivals are The National Date Festival and the Indio International Tamale Festival. Many cultures have their own version of tamales with origins dating back to Mesoamerica, Aztec, and Mayan times. Tamales as we know them today are a major comfort food in Mexico and the United States. Essentially, a tamale is made up of masa, a starchy dough, usually corn-based, which is then wrapped in corn husk and steamed. Inside, the husk is filled with meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, chilies, whatever, you name it. Today, the festival has over 75 stalls dedicated to the hearty corn meal husks. Other goodies I've found were tortas, churros, atole, and other classic Mexican dishes. I just had to get a champpurado. It's not quite a hot chocolate. It's a Mexican corn-based drink and it's really hot and even though we're in the desert, I really wanted to get it because they're really tasty and I love 'em. So good. Ah, Grandma Lupe's. - Yes. - I've heard so much about you guys. Grandma Lupe, she is a legend in this community for her tamales and at 84 years old, she is world-renowned for her special and traditional Mexican recipes. What do you guys recommend? - You know, I would recommend that you try our traditional pork and maybe a sweet tamale or a strawberry cream cheese. - Strawberry and cream cheese? Yeah, sure, of course. Ah, awesome. Is Grandma Lupe here? I'd love to meet her. - I'm her daughter. I think I can make that happen. - Oh, awesome, thank you, yes. I'm gonna meet Grandma. You were the Grand Marshal today of the parade. I saw you going by. How did you feel? - You know, very proud and appreciative that the people enjoy her tamales, so she says she's very happy. - What was your first memory of making them? Who taught you? - Me mama. - And what makes your tamales better than everybody else's? - The recipe is very typical of other recipes, but a lot has to do with how much you work the masa. - [Amy] So the secret's in the masa? - [Daughter] And the salsa. - How many do you make for the festival? Wow, what's that, 4,000? I think I understood that. - She doesn't really aim at a quantity, it's just, - Yeah, you just make as many you can. - [Daughter] As she can. - Her commitment to tamale competitions is remarkable and inspiring. Look at all of these pots. Ooh, looks good, awesome, so good. How do you know when they're done? People line up for hours and stock up. All right, look at that, lookin' good. Now we go. Mmm. These are not wimpy tamales at all. I've never had one with strawberries or cream cheese. Oh, my God, look at that. Mmm. I've never called food cool before, but that's pretty cool. Corn and strawberry and cream cheese tamale, sure. I'm a fan. Hmm. - [Emcee] Are you ready to see who makes the best tamale of the festival? - [Amy] As a surprise, the festival put me up as a judge to taste the tamales in the competition. - The judges will rate the tamales in presentation, texture, and taste. Here ya go. We're gonna have tamale number one. - Smells fresh. I think 122. That's hard work. - [Emcee] This next one is tamale number two and it's chicken. - I like that one. It's really good. - [Emcee] Tamale number six. We have chile relleno. - I like this one. - [Emcee] Our next one is pineapple. - I think it might be my new favorite. - Do you like it? - Uh-huh. That was good. - [Emcee] The next one is shredded beef with red chile sauce. We're moving on to spicy shrimp. How does it taste, Amy? - I forgot you said it was shrimp, but it was surprising. - [Emcee] This is tamale number 11, Flor de Calabaza with Asadero cheese. - They don't give you any time. They just keep bringing 'em. I don't even have a chance to swallow. - [Emcee] Barbecued chicken, smoked gouda, and sweet corn. - Barbecue. You gotta eat, you gotta unwrap, you gotta taste it, you gotta observe, you gotta smell, you gotta write it down, you gotta do math. Not easy. - [Emcee] Portabella mushroom and potato, buffalo chicken tamale. - Pants are getting unbuttoned. - The last tamale is the date tamale. - It's never-ending. Oh, thank you. I give up. - [Emcee] And the winner of the Commercial Gourmet is pineapple, Asadero Los Corrales. It gave us the pineapple. - It was good. I agree with that. After eating so many different varieties, I felt I needed to shake it off, get my footwork into action, and shed some calories. The Folklorico Dancers gave me a great opportunity to take part in an age-old tradition. You were good. - Thank you. - You always do the fest? - Yeah, I've been doing it for 15 years. - 15 years? How old are you? - 21. - Oh, my God. - I started when I was young. - What do you call this style of dance? - This one, specifically, is Veracruz, from the region of Veracruz in Mexico. - Veracruz? - Yeah. And so, it's just folk dancing from a long time ago. - Oh, that's cool. - You know what? My mom has some extra dresses in the back. I can put you in one of 'em if you want. - Okay. Yay, she's gonna show me. - Okay, so if you want to lift your skirt in the front. Just, yeah. Just, here, just hold this. There we go, okay. You're gonna go like this. - One, two, three, four. One, two, three, four. - There we go. With the fan and the other side. With the fan. - It's complicated. - And these are gonna go up like this. Oh, but don't lose this one. Okay, no. Now this one. Just both of them are up. - One, two, one, two. One, two, one, two, one, two, one, two, one, two, yeah? - Yeah, maybe with a little more practice, um. - Whee. - Or, okay. - I'm doin' it, Mom, look, Ma, I'm dancing. Dizzy. - Maybe we should go watch the other dancers. You got it. - Hallo, Gustavo. I would love to have a tamal de pollo. Horchata, por favor. It's a cinammon-y rice beverage. It's a traditional Mexican drink and it goes perfect with tamales or tacos. Ah, that looks tasty. Ah, mm-mm. It's a nice spice to the chicken. It's really soft and tender and the masa is perfect. So let's see what TJ's Tamales taste like. Ooh, I've never had guava. It's pink. I am trying the most bizarre tamales I've ever had in my life. I like guava. It's definitely a dessert. Save this one for last. Vegan organic tamales. - Yes, we're certified organic and we have vegan tamales, vegetarian. - Is that your mom on the banner? - That's my mom. - [Amy] Ah, she's so pretty. - Yeah, they're all her recipes. - I wanna try the cheese and black bean. - [Vendor] All right. - Delicioso, let's do it. Mm, mmm. Surprisingly, really nice. And it's nice to know it's healthy and organic. This festival in particular was really awesome. You're eating all of these amazing Mexican food staples and then you look up and you're surrounded by the mountains and the sun is setting and I understand now why they do it now out here in Indio, because it's just a fantastic backdrop to an already fantastic festival. I've eaten so many tamales, that I feel like I've turned into a tamale myself. I've had such a great time at this festival and I'm telling you, you gotta check it out for yourself. Bye. Whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo-whoo-hoo-hoo. Whoo-hoo-hoo-whoa. - Crab Fest. - Well, you know what they say, guys. When in Texas, Almost there. Get 'em, crabby. Alright, okay, oh, my God, here I go. - Crab Fest. - Hey, there, I'm Amy Shuster, and we're down in Crystal Beach for a real secret adventure, at the Texas Crab Festival. No need to be crabby. You'll get your fill here. You ready? Let's do it, guys. Ah, I'm in heaven, it's so good. Flaky, buttery goodness, fresh from the sea. Crab is a delicacy craved by all, and in this coastal town of Crystal Beach, Texas, millions of pounds of this crustacean are caught each year. For the past 31 years, during Mother's Day weekend, the Texas Crab Festival has honored these feisty clawed creatures in true Southern fashion, and I can't wait to dig in. Hallo. I would love some crabby cheese nachos. - Okee-dokie. - Mm-mm. Ooh, those look good. Thanks, guys. - Thank you. - So I'm told there are about five different types of cheese in this guy. Garlic, peppers, you name it, not to mention Blue Crab. That's tasty. I can taste the garlic, a little bit of heat. There's no denying this is a crab fest. I've never seen so much food swag on so many people before. Looks like I'm gonna have to take the plunge and get my crab on, literally. - Okay, we are now giving you the official crab hat from the Krewe La Roux. - After diving deep into the weird of this food fest, it's time to come up for some air and dig into some food forward crab. So right here, I've got a crab dumpling with fried garlic and micro cilantro. Mm. It's like, almost like an etouffee, tomato-y, garlicky. There's a spice to it. I feel that kick, ooh-hoo. Now that I've widened my crab palate, I'm fixin' to catch some of these bottom feeders myself. Delano Kemo is a Crystal Beach fourth generation commercial crabber. He's offered to take me out on his skiff and show me how to crab. On average, Delano and his family bring in 500 pounds of crab each day. Let's see how much luck I can bring on this run. - Okay, first thing you do, - [Amy] Yeah. - You take this hook off, you open it up just a little bit. The crabs go through here, then they eat the bait, then they get into the top, - [Amy] Ah. - And then it makes it harder for them to get back out. To get back out the way they came, so. - [Amy] Tricky. - So you just grab it. - [Amy] Ah, just like that. - Okay, then you just kinda do the same thing you did. - [Amy] Yep. - Close it back. You take, I guess, two of these. - [Amy] Okay. What kind of fish is that? - These are shad or menhaden. These are the best for crabs right here. - Is there like a better time of day that you go out and catch the most? - Well, I like to leave early. - [Amy] Yeah. - Just to get it done. - Early, like what? - Eight? - Like 4:30, 5:00, in the morning, you know? You wanna separate these crabs this time? - Is there a technique to grabbin' them? - Be fast. - So I don't get pinched. - Real fast. Grab that one. Wait, wait, hold on, look. Grab him right there. - Okay. - He can't bite you if you grab him right there. - [Amy] In the back. - No, don't put your thumb. Oh, look, he got ya. - [Amy] You know, right there. - [Delano] Oh, two in one shot again. - [Amy] All right, I got two-in-one. - See, you just gotta get over the scares. That's it, we're done. Let's go eat crabs. - I'm done. I got it. I've been lucky enough to catch crab. Now Delano's gonna show me how to clean this decadent seafood. - [Delano] You wanna hold it right there, - [Amy] Uh-huh. - [Delano] Grab under this point, - [Amy] Wow. - [Delano] Pull the back off. - It comes off just like that? - Well, for me. You're gonna try it in a minute. - Here we go. - All right. - Here comes nothing, guys. - Yay. - Hey, I did it. And finally, it's time to steam these bad boys. - Well, we caught 'em, we cleaned 'em, we cooked 'em, - Now we eat 'em? - Now we eat 'em. So we gotta bring 'em to the Crab Fest and put 'em on the pit. - Sounds so good. When in Rome, fire up the grill and cook your crustaceans Texas-style, with a little bit of sauce for a kick. I am hungry and I'm ready for some crab. - [Delano] You break it in half once, - [Amy] Twist it, yeah. - [Delano] Then you break it in half again. - [Amy] Okay. - This is your lump. The back fin has the biggest chunk of meat. - [Amy] Okay. - [Delano] You just peel it out. All right, and I'm gonna let you eat this one. - There you go. - [Delano] This is as good as it gets. - Ooh. - [Delano] That's good, huh? - That's smokey and good. - You don't eat crab just so you're full, you eat 'em 'til you're tired of eatin' 'em. - Tired of doin' it, yeah. - Yep. - [Amy] It's a perfect way to end this day, crackin' crabs with a new friend. - [Announcer] Y'all come back next year. - Fallbrook, California, Avocado Festival. Hey, guys, I'm Amy Shuster and I'm super excited to be at the 30th annual Fallbrook, California, Avocado Festival. You ready to get your avocado on? I know I am. I'm here in Fallbrook, California, just north of San Diego, to head to one of the most popular avocado festivals in all of North America. This charming small town food festival has been celebrating its most treasured fruit for the past 30 years and I'm here to taste the best avocado dishes they have to offer. First, I'm getting a lesson on how avocados are harvested. - [Charlie] In California, we always have fruit on the tree. - [Amy] It's just constantly going. - [Charlie] It's constantly going. - [Amy] I'm meeting up with avocado expert, Charlie Wolk. He's been managing avocado groves for over 38 years, and it looks like Charlie's gonna let me grab a few straight from the vine. Seems simple enough to me. So we ready to pick some avocados? - We really don't pick avocados. We actually cut 'em off the tree. - Oh. - They'll either be cut here, Oh, look out. - Dangerous. - And then cut again. Then he carries a bag over to a bin and releases these clips, - And lets them all fall out. - And pulls the bag off of the fruit. - Okay. Got it all wrong. - Then, get a pole and ladder, - [Amy] Oh. - To get the fruit you can't reach. - [Amy] Okay. - So you wanna do that? - Yeah, sure. - Okay, let's go. - Wait a minute, is it too late to say I'm scared of heights? So I have to climb up and hold the pole. - Carry the pole. - And carry the, okay, we'll see. We'll see what happens. Safety first, right? - It'll wobble a little bit, but don't worry. - Oh, my God. I never thought it would be possible that an avocado could be the end of me. How 'bout I just wait for them to fall to the ground? I get, where are they? Where are they? There's one. Oh, my God. Come in. - You have to pull the rope, Amy. - [Amy] Pull the rope? Oh, there's a rope. I didn't even see the rope. All right, guys, this is way harder than it looks. Yay, I got one. - All right, good job. - Oh, my God. That's a lot of coordination involved. I'm ready to come down. Sorry, Charlie, but avocado harvesting is not for me. - Now it's time for me to find my stomach again and high-tail it to the Avocado Fest. Hallo. - Hi there. - Hey, I want to try your famous Fried Avocado. So these bad boys are the talk of the fest. They are deep-fried avocado wedges with sriracha mayo and a sweet glaze. Mm. Oh, yeah. That's tasty. This is sweet and it's salty and it's a little bit spicy, but you still get that flavor of the Fallbrook avocado. I love it. Lucky for me, I'm judging the guacamole contest, but before I bestow the crown on the champ, I'm meeting up with last year's winner, Andy, to get the inside scoop. I'm gonna be judging, so I need to know what are the ingredients for a perfect guacamole? - The best thing you can do to make a really good guacamole is to start with the absolute best avocado. This avocado's from a very small boutique grower. You add all the ingredients before you mash. - [Amy] Onions. - Yep, we're gonna use about a third cup of chopped onion, then we're gonna use about a quarter bunch of cilantro. - [Amy] Smells good. - [Andy] Some garlic powder and a tablespoon of the pepper and a tablespoon of the salt. - Okay. - [Andy] And then we're gonna add some fresh garlic as well. - [Amy] When do the tomatoes go in? - Right now. - All right. - Get 'em in there. - Goin' in. - We use our salsa that we make at El Jardin. - It's comin' together. It looks so pretty just as it is. You don't even have to turn it into guacamole. - And then, - A masher. - [Andy] Yeah, a masher, for sure. - I can already smell the garlic and the cilantro. Oh, yeah, this looks great. - Mix and blend, so you can make sure all the spices and everything are like kinda evenly proportioned. - Well, that looks pretty good. - [Andy] That looks pretty good. - All right. - Beautiful. - [Amy] Can't wait to dig in. - [Andy] Try this. - Oh, I can try it, yes, okay. Mmm, yeah. Oh, I can definitely taste that seasoning. - We want the main feature when you taste this guacamole to be the really expensive good boutique avocado that we buy all the time. - Oh, yeah. The guacamole competition is about to start. There is no better consolation than filling your belly with creamy, spicy guacamole, and turning the table and being a judge. I like it, though. - I do, too. - It's tough business, judging. All these dishes are uniquely delicious and it's gonna be hard to choose the best one. I'm eating a lot of guacamole. We got a lot more to go. - For the first place for the best tasting professional guacamole goes to Miguel Ramirez, P-4. - Who would have thought a small-town avocado festival would have brought out the kid in me? There's nothing better than food to remind you to be young at heart. Now I'm gonna finish it off with some avocado ice cream. Until next time, bye, guys. Hey, everybody, I am here in Bern, the capital city of Switzerland for the Zibelemarit, the Onion Festival.

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