Ask a Mexican: Why do so many other cultures have to horn in on Mexican cuisine?

Ask a Mexican: Why do so many other cultures have to horn in on Mexican cuisine?

Dear Mexican: As you've said before, Mexicans lack education. Why do they? Why don't they care that a high-school education is not enough in this 21st century? I see exceptions to the rule, but the rule seems to be "No More School After High School." I don't get it.       
Educated Gabacho

Dear Gabacho: Misquote alert! I've never said Mexicans "lack education." I've might've discussed dismal high school graduation rates in the past, and wished for more Mexicans in college — but that's far different from how you're painting my past thoughts. While we're on the subject of rhetoric, a quick critical thinking lesson: when saying something is a "rule" in making a quantitative argument, you should at least shoot for a supermajority figure to bolster your claim. As it turns out, a 2013 Pew Research Center study showed that 69 percent of Latino high school graduates from the Class of 2012 (supermajority, of course, Mexican) enrolled in college, while only 14 percent of their peers dropped out of high school. The gabacho enrollment rate that same year? 67 percent. I've seen exceptions to the rule, but the rule seems to be "No More Pinche Pendejo Gabachos Asking Pendejo Questions."

Dear Mexican: What's with the surge in restaurants, from other grupos like Filipinos, Chinese, Salvadorian, and other Latin Americans, that advertise Mexican food to their menu? They go as far as add "And Mexican Food" to their logo! Isn't it hard enough to make authentic food for a respective native country, let alone add a second subgroup of food to the list? Are restaurants attempting to capitalize más feria with Mexican food to their menu? Or has comida mexicana come under attack from its commercial notoriety with the gringos over the years thanks to Taco Bell and Chipotle? Is mainstream America to blame for other culture groups mocking Mexican cuisine, by slapping the food to their meals, like if it was una Hot Pocket, ready in one minute? Or do they really look up to the mexicanos' food?
Habla Chris

Dear Chris Speaks: Cálmese, mi cabrón. It's perfectly fine for other groups to sell Mexican food, or combine their meals with ours to make something new — as I've written before, if it wasn't for such mestizaje, we wouldn't have al pastor (created by Lebanese), tequila (invented with European distillation methods), carne asada (Spaniards), arroz con leche (Moors), cerveza (Germans), pan dulce (French) and Tostilocos (pochos). It's even perfectly fine for chinitos, gabachos and others to become rich off of Mexican food, as there's a lot of Mexicans who also get rich — like a pot of tamales, there's plenty for todos. Where the Mexican has a problem is with restaurants or companies insulting Mexican food — say, saying tamales are thing of the past ala McDonald's in promoting a McBurrito in interior Mexico (which is something like trying to sell Chef Boyardee in Milan), or being Chipotle and inviting writers to pen mini-essays on cups and bags...yet not inviting a single Mexican American writer to participate (if CEO Steve Ells had any huevos, he'd excerpt the works of Chicana chingona Michele Serros, who recently passed away). Besides, can you really blame some of these groups for wanting to draw in customers with Mexican food? Even Salvadorans aren't so pendejos as to try to make a fortune solely on pupusas, as delicious as they are. So just be proud that — again — when America needs the job done right, they call on Mexicans.

Ask the Mexican at [email protected]. be his fan on Facebook. follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

Scroll to read more Ask a Mexican articles (1)


Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.