This spicy, velvety elixir works on everything from tamales to scrambled eggs, says Maricela Vega, the chef at Atlanta restaurant 8ARM and founder of Chicomecóatl, an organization centering the foodways of Indigenous Mexican diaspora. The pumpkin holds tremendous meaning in Vega’s life as a spiritual reminder of Indigenous innovation and as a culinary staple. She uses as many varieties as she can find to produce an array of umami-rich pumpkin-based sauces. Mix in olive oil, vinegar, and honey to transform the hot sauce into vinaigrette, or simmer a cup with a can of coconut milk to start a curry-like sauce.
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