- Joined: 8/15/2005
- Location: columbus, oh
RE: Will the real Mexican.........
Sun, 12/18/05 3:27 PM
Originally posted by Milt
Originally posted by BT
Back when he said it, I agreed with Richard on the food part of his rant, but I took issue with some of the rest then and I will now. HE may be sensitive about the use of the term "Hispanic" for the mostly-mestizo (for those without a dictionary, that means "a person of mixed blood; a person of mixed Spanish and Amerindian blood") populations in question, but my experience is that most of the people toward whom it might apply are much less sensitive. Still, as applied to people rather than food, the term "Spanish-surnamed" might be more apt since even those with mostly Amerind blood have surnames derived from Spanish roots. For another viewpoint on the various terms to persons whose family origins were "south of the border, see: http://www.azteca.net/aztec/chicano.html
. Personally, I don't like the term "latino". It obviously refers to cultures with origins deriving at least in part from the Latin or Roman. In that sense, while it would encompass the Brazilians (who speak Portuguese, not Spanish), it certainly doesn't encompass any of the Amerind cultures about which Richard expresses concern. And worse, at least in its Anglicized form, "latin", it includes cultures which have nothing to do with the matter in question such as Italian, French, even Romanian.
Now, back to "Mexican" food. What seems to matter, aside from individual taste and personalized food prep styles (as Richard described), is "Where did the cook come from?" Assuming (s)he is Hispanic(!) at all, (s)he could be from any of the Mexican states which have very different cuisines or (s)he could be from some part of South or, more likely, Central American other than Mexico. It's sad, of course, that in order to make commercial success more likely, a good Guatamalan cook has to claim to be preparing Mexican food, but in much of America that may be the case, though there are exceptions. Increasingly, in big cities you will find restaurants which proudly acknowledge the true origin of their cuisine and often they are quite popular.
Two thoughts based on the various above remarks. I grew up in northwestern New Mexico. In that area, Mexicans were citizens of Mexico and the locals were Spanish Americans. Their rationale was that they were descended from the Spanish explorers and settlers who first entered the area long before Mexico was formed as a country. One of my classmates was 1/4 Mexican and 3/4 Spanish because a grandmother was from Mexico and the rest of her ancestry was from the people who had been in New Mexico for three hundred years or so.
In the Atlanta area, where I now live, there are many Mexican restaurants now. The closest one to my home is run by Colombians. Everyone with such an establishment will call it Mexican and perhaps have a second line which mentions Salvadoran or Nicaraguan or whatever. Unfortunately, so many potential customers are not very venturesome. If it doesn't say Mexican, they won't go in. With a little (very little) effort, I have been able to find which places are truly Mexican. We have great places for Cuban, Puerto Rican, Peruvian, Colombian, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Venezuelan, and Argentine food - as well as Brazilian. Some of them mention their nationalities and some do not. The other countries may be represented in the area - but I have yet to find them. The search is half of the fun.
Yeah, When I lived in Massachusetts, there was a "brazilian" restaurant, and when we went in there, it was all mexican dishes...
But very very good, and thats where we always went when we wanted "mexican" after we ate there, unless we drove to Subury, and went to a divine place Named "Acapulco's", I bet it was Brazilians also, since there are so many Brazilians in New England...
Never the less... If someone says Latino to me, I would automatically think Cuban, being from Miami... I wouldnt think Mexican.. but I guess if you are from California, and someone says Latino, you would think Mexican.. Its all relevant to what geographical area you live in, it seems..