Guatemalan food: Moronga, Morcilla, Rellena, or Blood Sausage

Rudy Giron: Guatemalan gastronomy &emdash; Moronga, Morcilla, Rellena, Blood Sausage

Here are your Spanish words of the day: Moronga, Morcilla, Rellena, or Blood Sausage

Although blood sausages have their origin in Europe, I read they are quite popular in France and Spain, in Guatemala they are prepared a little differently. For starters, they add chopped onions, and yerba buena [mint] and chiles and other local spices to the mix before preparing them. Some people do not eat them because it is forbidden by their religion. Others don’t eat them because morcillas or morongas as they are known here are not as good looking as a steak or fried chicken. However, many people still eat them. One can find them in panes, sandwiches, tacos or served in a plate bathed over with chirmol, Guatemalan salsa. Sometimes, one can find morcilla slices mixed with slices of red tomatoes, onion, chiles and mint. That’s the presentation shown in the picture.

What’s goes on behind the creation of a food picture: We are living in visual times, there is no doubt about that. Most people prefer to their information through imagery than text. Anyhow, this picture of Guatemalan morcilla is avery good example to talk about what goes behind the creation of a food picture. Usually an food picture starts with an idea which is usually turn into a sketch and list of possible ingredients and props needed to materialized the idea. For this Guatemalan morcilla picture, a trip to the market to get the necessary ingredients was necessary. Then, comes the lighting setup and props to find the right rhythm and color composition until one feels satisfied. Next, one goes to the kitchen to prepare the food. Once the food is ready, one must serve it really quickly into the setup one created earlier because food looks its best only for a few moments. At the photographing stage, one tries variations on the setup as quickly as possible. Last but not least, once one has a card full of pictures, comes the post-production where minor details are fixed and corrected. Photographic post-production often times takes longer than the actual time of photographic capture. In summary, oftentimes, the creation of a food picture takes three distinct stages: pre-production, production [the capture of photographic images] and post-production. I hope this simple explanation brings forth a new appreciation of food photography.

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