September 11, 2011

Stone Soup in Oaxaca / Caldo de Piedra

Back to that trip to Oaxaca.

One of the required "missions" while in Oaxaca, was to experience Caldo de Piedra –Stone Soup. And without further ado, I recommend you visit that website link which explains the history and culture of it thoroughly.

Stone soup was not originally made in individual servings, it was prepared in pits for a community, but a similar process was applied. The ingredients are simple and fresh: water, tomato, fish, onion and cilantro. These are combined, cold, in a hollowed-out, dried gourd for a bowl. Rather than cooking it up with the usual application of heat from without: pot over a fire, bring to a bowl, simmer, the heat is applied to each individual serving from withIN via a blazing hot stone. Now, do not try this at home, unless you are something of a geologist or can have a geologist guarantee that the composition of your particular stone-of-choice will not explode and take your eye out before it makes it into your bowl of soup. Because, to bring that bowl full of water and ingredients to a boil with a singular application of heat, that stone has got to be bloody hot.

When that stone hits the cold liquid, boiling point is almost immediate, and cooking takes but a few minutes. The stone, along with the gourd, I would say, impart a taste of the earth, of the elements. If you are a camper you'll equate this with the flavour a campfire, along with the grains or dirt, sand or bits of leaves that season each meal. But while camping has a way of taking you back to the land, Stone Soup has the power to take you back to another civilization.

Maureen and Kirsten

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