On Tuesday I wrote about one of my favorite chicken places on planet earth, Pollos a la Brasa Mario La America located at Cl. 44 #80-185, Medellín, Antioquia, in Colombia. The most common feedback I got was BY FAR the incredible hate tweeting from fans and followers attempting to correct me not about my selection, not offering a place they thought I should try instead, but instead telling me that pollo a la brasa was ONLY a Peruvian dish, and anything outside of Peru couldn’t be called by that generic name.
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Couple of things. Peru has amazing food and an incredible food culture, one of the best on planet earth. I have been there a dozen times and made tons of TV all over that beautiful country. Pollo a la brasa is a common dish and one of the most popular in all of Central and South America and several island nations like the Dominican Republic. It is one of the most popular dishes in Peru, but it’s not a dish owned by Peruvian culture. In Peru, rotisserie chicken first shows up in the city of Lima in the 1950s cooked by two Swiss expats, one of whom was in the hotel business. Along with some partners the two opened the Granja Azul restaurant in Lima where the chickens were cooked over charcoal and seasoned only with salt. By the late ’70s the dish’s popularity had exploded across the city, and it had become everyday food for many. The term a la brasa means simply to grill, charbroil, barbecue, etc.—cooking chicken that way dates back to the 16th century in the New World.
I LOVE the passion of my fans, followers and friends, but let’s all be kind to each other! Last point, I didn’t come up with the name of the Colombian restaurant that serves such a superb version of my favorite food. The owners did. And they can call it whatever they want, so don’t shoot the messenger … and BTW they aren’t in error either.
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