Artichoke, Beer, and Indian Fry Bread
I love hitting up weekend festivals in the States - not only for the kickback environs in the warm summer sun, but also because of all of the varieties of food. Granted, much of it consists of the usual fare like kettle corn and tri-tip sandwiches, but today the Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival was running, and I was ecstatic when I found some stall called Artichoke Enterprises serving its namesake vegetable.
They of course had the simple steamed variety that was available either hot or cold, but they also had some French fried artichoke hearts and even some outrageous versions topped with all sorts of sauce and crab meat. I stayed on the healthier side by sticking to the steamed version, and didn't even bother with that mass-produced ranch dressing that they gave. A couple draft beers went along nicely with this light snack, and I couldn't be happier upon finally reaching the meaty heart at the bottom.
Unfortunately, I couldn't keep the light theme going, as my eyes had spotted another stall selling something called Indian Fry Bread. At a quick glance, it almost seemed like some kind of naan unattractively topped into a pizza-like form. Only when I looked closer did I realize that "Indian" was not about India, but rather about Native Americans (the store's name was AV Cactus, after all). Yep, this stuff was apparently created a couple of hundred of years ago when the US government provided rations of flour and lard to the Indian reservations. Top it off with beef, beans, and cheese, and it became known as a Navajo taco. This I had to try.
Based on appearances alone, one would think that it looked like nothing more than a Mexican tostada, and honestly, it didn't taste that different. But what was definitely different was the bread underneath. All of the lard used in it gave it a fluffy crumbly consistency akin to buttermilk biscuits, and admittedly I had trouble keeping my hands off of it as a result. How's that for a true taste of America for you?