GRAPEFRUIT PEEL STEAK Bistec de Toronja | HARD TIMES – recipes from times of food scarcity


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Invented in Cuba in the 1990s bistec de toronja, looks like a breaded cutlet but is made of the white spongey pith of the grapefruit. Here’s how to prepare and the deets on how it tastes.

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  1. Reminds me a little of eggplant Maybe if you salted it and let it sit for 20 minutes prior to breading it would pull some of the bitterness out like an eggplant

  2. during the 2e world war in holland it was very cold in the winter and they didnt got stamps for food they would use tulip bulbs to make soup or a soup with patato and milk

  3. Hi Emmy, I am not surprised of using the pit of the grapefruits but may be pomelo pit taste better. Actually, till this day, people in Vietnam still eat the pit of the pomelo n they make it as a sweet dessert. Or they actually use the pit and make it into candied or more like dried fruit

  4. Hmm, my parents and grandparents lived through the Great Depression, and while they had limited money and ate food like chipped beef on toast, Welsh rarebit and chicken gizzards, they were never so desperate as to prepare this kind of mock food. I have to believe if I were so deprived and hungry I found deep-fried citrus peels appetizing or satisfying, then I would just as soon boil my shoes to make shoe stew. By the way, Emmy, it occurs to me the 90s, when you say bistec de toronja was invented, was the decade after Cuba lost its sponsor state, the Soviet Union. I'm wondering: in showing us this deceptively attractive dish, have you perhaps made a small, allegorical, anti-Communist propaganda film? Maybe in future videos you could feature foods eaten by people living under the Viet Cong or the Khmer Rouge or the government of North Korea. Don't show any Soviet food, though, because some of that – borscht, for instance – might taste pretty good and therefore undermine any contra-Marxist value.

  5. There’s a thing that is big here in the south where people eat a slice of apple pie with cheese on top. I’ve never tasted it personally because it sounds disgusting but maybe you could try that also.

  6. I saw woman make a salad that she used eat in the depression made from dandelions. You can find it The recipe on YouTube. I’d love to see you try that!

  7. You might have to soak it in water for some time to remove the bitterness, and marinate it with some herbs, a bit of Worcestershire sauce and maybe even a bit of whisky.

  8. Had this a couple of times (from Miami) and they usually marinate or slightly boil the pith in flavorings and herbs.

  9. Looking forward to the rest of this series! I recommend looking into British WW2 recipes – there were some really interesting modified recipes and substitutes for ingredients used. I'd love to know how some of them would taste 🙂


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