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Colombian mother-daughter duo win world’s best cookbook award

Mother Zoraida "Chori" Agamez and daughter Heidy Pinto won the award for their book Envueltos, which is a celebration of their country's traditional leaf-wrapped dishes.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
December 7, 2021 1:32:25 pm
cookbookFollowing their victory, the duo said, "Our hearts burst with emotion with this precious award." (Source: @hammbredecultura/Instagram)

A Colombian mother-daughter duo received the award for the best cookbook in the world at the Gourmand Awards in Paris, The Guardian reported.

Mother Zoraida “Chori” Agamez and daughter Heidy Pinto, who have both been cooking since their childhood, won the award for their book Envueltos, which is a celebration of their country’s traditional leaf-wrapped dishes.

“Colombia’s envueltos are part of a culinary heritage that stretches across much of Latin America, from the tamales of Mexico and Guatemala to the humitas of Chile,” the report stated.

According to the report, the envueltos involve “some kind of dough, or masa, made with starches that could be corn, yucca, bananas or rice, studded with tasty fillings. These can be pork, chicken and other meat, or beans and vegetables. The dish is then wrapped in a corn husk or other leaf for cooking, usually by steaming.”

Following their victory, the duo said, “Our hearts burst with emotion with this precious award.”

“In troubled times, in sad times, in the midst of a pandemic, cooking will always be part of the solution,” they said. “Long live the tradition, envueltos and the Colombian cuisine.”

Four years ago, the women went around the country to collect traditional dishes. “We had been teaching workshops on techniques for making envueltos. We focused on the masa, but people wanted to know more about the wrappings. So we began travelling across all of Colombia looking for envueltos, to find out where they are popular, what they are called locally, and how they make them. We collected more than 300 recipes,” Pinto told The Guardian.

Agamez and Pinto, who hail from the northern Columbian city of Barrancabermeja, initially started sharing these recipes on their blog, El Toque Colombiano (The Colombian Touch). Publisher Daniel Guerrero stumbled upon their website and proposed the offer to publish their recipes in a book.

After getting published by Guerrero’s publishing house, Hambre de Cultura (hunger for culture), the cookbook became famous in the lockdown as homesick Columbians living across the globe fervently ordered it.

It was shortlisted in May 2021 for Gourmand Awards, which is a premier food and culture award.

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