Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Tinala’ Katne

A Spanish derivative

European settlers brought livestock to the Marianas Islands in the 1600s and 1700s. Food was available but how to store it was the question. And, there was an answer: Drying raw food items has been a method of food preservation that’s been used for generations. The word “katne” constitutes a spin on the Spanish word “carne” that translates into meat. Tinala’ katne literally means “exposed meat.” Simpler recipes usually call for a curing solution (or marinade) of salt, black pepper, and a splash of vinegar. Tastier renditions of tinala’ katne might call for brown sugar, soy sauce, or lemon juice. Some cooks prefer the old-fashioned preparation procedures where slices of beef dry in the hot sun for days. Meanwhile, others prepare the meat above a mild fire to smoke for several hours. Tinala’ katne now makes for a Chamorro fiesta staple dish that quickly gets devoured by party-goers.

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