His suicide hurt even in the countries he never visited, like El Salvador, whose emblematic pupusas so much enthused the North American chef.
Charly Morales Valido
Visiting El Salvador and getting to know about its culinary wealth in depth was something that was left unaccomplished for the influential gastronome and broadcaster, who recently hanged himself, tormented by his demons, in Strasbourg.
The mainstream media and social networks reviewed the bad news, since Bourdain stole their hearts when he proclaimed on his show “Parts Unknown” that Salvadoran pupusas are the most reputed. This collector of flavours tasted a pupusa, a traditional Salvadoran filled tortilla, in the least expected country place: in a Detroit pupusería, accompanied by their sauce and curtido, drops of spice and a bottle of Pilsner.
“Although they can also be found in Nicaragua and Guatemala, there is a consensus that the pupusas of El Salvador are superior,” confirmed Bourdain, who also dared to try tamales de elote (corn).
Roberto Quiñonez, a columnist who defines himself as a ‘weekend chef and low-budget gourmet’, fantasised in VoxBox magazine about an imaginary gastronomic party with Bourdain in El Salvador.
In his dreams, Quiñonez guided the chef on a culinary tour of the country, tasting atol shuco with beans and alguashte, ticucos with chipilín, grilled tepezcuintles or armadillo chicharrones (fried pork crackling).
The fresh oysters of Meanguera, yucca with chicharron from Izalco, seafood from El Tunco, riguas from Antiguo Cuscatlán and the Mercadito de Merliot would have undoubtedly provided material for a fantastic show.
However, the author of bestsellers such as “Kitchen Confidential” put an end to his life, apparently tired of the two biggest things he was passionate about: travelling and fully grasping other cultures.
Of him, we still have the memory of his sarcasm, his encouragement to discover the world through its flavours, and a piece of advice that he would complete with definite universal emphasis: “Your body is not a temple, it is an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” (PL)
(Translated by Hannah Phelvin-Hartley – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)