Proud of our people, our traditions

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On Monday night, several Valencia County residents became famous as they were featured on the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” New Mexico edition.


The host, Andrew Zimmern, traveled through the Land of Enchantment, mostly the northern half, looking and experiencing traditional foods.
During his journey, Zimmern, known for eating some pretty unusual foods, ate a couple of prairie dogs at the Zia Pueblo, took in an all-organic meal at the “Earthship” near Taos and visited a couple of Santa Fe eateries for a bit of menudo and a green chile hamburger — minus the cheese. He actually said it ranked as one of the best burgers he’s ever had.
But what we all should be proud of is that two of Valencia County’s best were featured on Monday night’s show —  Monte Fastnaght of Bosque Farms and Steven Otero from Los Lunas.
Fastnaght, owner of LaMont’s Wild West Buffalo, south of Santa Fe, took Zimmern on a buffalo hunt. “In search of the true American hunting experience,” he found what he was looking for on the Bonanza Creek Ranch, Zimmern shot and took down a 1,800 pound bull.
His experience was a once-in-a-lifetime, saying “… there’s something timeless about this kind of experience, in this place, with men like these.”
In the final segment, the longest of all, Zimmern and his crew traveled to Los Lunas to attend their first ever matanza. They were greeted by the Otero family and the community to share what the traditional pig roast was all about.
The internationally-known TV host first visited the Otero home, where Steven’s wife, Jeanette, gave Zimmern a step-by-step walk-through for preparing her mother’s red chile —  a staple for a great matanza.
On the morning of the matanza, which was actually filmed last November, Zimmern had the honor of shooting and killing the pig. That’s when the fun started.
From shaving the hog to cooking the meat to tasting the delicious pork, prepared by many master matanza chefs, the host was welcomed into the fold like all are when they attend our most treasured tradition.
For us, matanzas aren’t bizarre at all. But for a nationally-syndicated TV show such as “Bizarre Foods,” some might think so.
Regardless of what the world thinks of little ol’ New Mexico, we’re proud of Fastnaght, the Oteros and the entire matanza team who showed the world who we are and what we’re about.
If you missed the episode , it will be rebroadcast at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 6, on the  Travel Channel.