Buzzfeed Gets "13 Dishes That Aren't Actually Mexican" Listicle Laughably, Stupidly Wrong

taquitos_cielito_lindo.jpg
Taquitos at Cielito Lindo--as Mexican as they come
Despite all the money spent on hiring up, despite the spinoffs into "longform journalism" (what us at the OC Weekly have called "reporting" since 1995), politics and an investigative unit, the sentient world still thinks of Buzzfeed as an outlet for 20-some-year-old writers and readers to feel like they've accomplished something by investing the least amount of effort. And nowhere is this more evident than in a recent Buzzfeed listicle called "13 Dishes That Aren't Actually Mexican."

This article is Buzzfeed's journalism reduced to one embarrassment of a combo plate: do the least research possible. When doing research, rely on third-hand sources like Wikipedia. When using second-hand-sources, rely on whatever Google tells you. And avoid first-hand source at all costs because, you know, that actually takes work.

Mariano Margarita Machine.jpg
Mariano Martinez, creator of the frozen margarita machine--a Mexican

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For instance, take their entry for margaritas, which they claim were invented in Texas in the 1960s. Their source for this? A Wikipedia article...that also cites an Esquire recipe from the 1950s. And the listicle just goes downhill from there. Fajitas are pegged to 1930s Texas...even though the first documented use of the term only goes back to the 1970s, and actual food scholars know that the tradition came from the borderlands of South Texas and northern Mexico, which is one and the same: Mexican. Buzzfeed claims El Cholo Cafe in Los Angeles "served the first restaurant-style burrito in the 1930s"...even though the first El Cholo menus to feature burritos only date to the 1970s and the earliest documented burritos in the U.S. only date to the 1950s. Hard-shell tacos are dated to a 1914 recipe...even though the Los Angeles Times was making references to tacos in Mexico City during the 1890s--and last we checked Mexico City was Mexican. And while they correctly pegged Tapatío's birthplace in Maywood, California, they conveniently left out that is creator, Jose-Luis Saavedra is--you guessed it!--Mexican who wanted a Mexican hot sauce like the kind he used to eat in his native Mexico.


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71 comments
njvs
njvs

The thing with this is many may have been invented in the US by "mexicans" but who knows what generation they were... If they were first generation and had lived most of their lives in Mexico, then yes it is valid to say they were invented by true mexicans, but second and third generation mexicans from the US are NOT mexicans, they are AMERICANS. Nobody in Mexico in their right mind would ever order or want any of the items listed in the Buzzfeed article, even if they were "invented" originally in Mexico. With the exception of flautas, the Buzzfeed article got all of them right because culturally, those foods are basically an insult to actual Mexican cuisine. Being a Mexican and having a father from the north of Mexico, I can say that while flour tortillas are used more frequently there you will NEVER see anything by the name of "burrito".....the thing with the north of Mexico and states like Sonora and Chihuahua is that their food staples are actually very influenced by the US, so anything invented or eaten there will be more marked by US foods than the rest of Mexico from where all the rest of the actual, typical foods come from. The Spanish foods in Mexico are a bit more valid because of the very true influence they have had in modern day Mexico, without the Spanish, modern day Mexico as we know it would not exist. Do YOUR research, speak to some ACTUAL mexicans, not american-mexicans and then write your article about the invalidity of the Buzzfeed one. 

Chingazo
Chingazo

Yeah, keep writing about the origins of taquitos while real journos are scooping your azz on the Don Papi real estate scandal.  Maybe Tasha Reign could do the story while you writeup another tequila tasting, Baboso!

hill.maryalice183
hill.maryalice183

I remember , sometime in the 70's when my grandad told me he had this great "new" cut of meat called fajitas that Pete, his butcher, sold him. This was in Mission, Texas, where grandad was mayor, about 5 miles from Reynosa. Grilled up with onions and peppers, those fajitas were the delicious hit they are today! So, Grandad said then that fajitas were a "new cut" of meat, and according to your article, he was right; maybe helped spread the deliciousness at all those schmoozing patio bar-b-Que parties in Mission, TX, in the 70s.

dbo90274
dbo90274

Awesome GA -- and the last sentence nailed it!

DaphnesNohansen
DaphnesNohansen

Hilarious and on point until the last sentence, to which I respond, "Fuck you dick weasel, plenty of idiot/racist boomers shared that shit too."

Steve Larese
Steve Larese

"...(what us at the OC Weekly have called "reporting" since 1995), politics..." It should be "we," OC.

Jose Bermudez
Jose Bermudez

Ha, I dropped your name over on their comments when I first saw that list yesterday morning :)

Michael Sigman
Michael Sigman

Oh, good to see that Gustavo Arellano is dedicating his time to such important issues instead of making good on his promises to establish a scholarship at East Los Angles College after blowing them off as the invited keynote graduation speaker. Priorities definitely in order here.

Natalie Saenz
Natalie Saenz

This is great. I haven't used Wikipedia since high school for so-called "research". Come on Buzzfeed .

Will Webb
Will Webb

someone said, 'tell a lie a million times, it becomes true' ...wikipedia is 70% wrong facts anyways...

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

Just don't tell me if the waffle taco at Taco Bell isn't genuine mexican. I can't bear to hear it. 

ckharbertyan1
ckharbertyan1

It bothers me how people think a few lazy, uneducated people are representative of a whole generation. I am a Millennial writer who spends hours upon hours of time researching my facts just to earn a measly $20 per article. The reason why people don't bother with putting the time and effort is that they're probably not being paid anything to do so. It's just not worth it to them.

Jose Bermudez
Jose Bermudez

Dude, buzzfeed...that's all you need to say.

Aron Muro
Aron Muro

I usually read it after i eat in my own stall

Bill Rebensdorf
Bill Rebensdorf

Because they're doing the same thing as me...eating a fuckin' taco at the local place, grabbing a free rag to read while eating, then tossing it away with my food.

B Allen Thomas
B Allen Thomas

Remember when the tortillas..were in green cans..on the shelf.

Duncan Craycroft
Duncan Craycroft

What's that saying.." The victors write the history"...I just read this yesterday and went..HUH ?!?!

afriedm2
afriedm2

Wow, this article went from great information correcting some jackass' errant Buzzfeed article to "in my day we walked uphill, both ways, in the snow, barefoot" right quick.


Great correction and an adequate amount of derision for Buzzfeed listsicles, but go ahead and save the greatest generation-style BS. It's exhausting.

Victor Salas
Victor Salas

Gotta love the US. Accepts and exploits all cultures to make them their own, but won't accept the actual people from those cultures! US: We just love your Barbacoa. Could you please show us how you make it? *after teaching them* US: Okay, you can leave now!

Elvis Prado
Elvis Prado

I read the list this weekend and was laughing at how horribly wrong it was.

dennispersica
dennispersica

Thanks for this, Gustavo.
While the Buzzfeed article may have been shared on Facebook, don't assume that these were all "positive" shares.
I came across the Buzzfeed article via a FB friend who noted: "OK, this list is a bit of a stretch, since Texas and California were part of Mexico. In all too many ways, San Antonio is the most prosperous Mexican city even though it's in Texas."
Most of the comments that followed were pretty disdainful of the original BF article.

Ralph Topete
Ralph Topete

Gustavo, tell us how you really feel! Btw, easy in this generation... Or their mommies will come and fight their fight!

echizo
echizo

The "El Tapatio" sauce mariachi looking guy is white and has blue eyes, that has always bumped me 

anamg
anamg

@njvs  You're kidding right? As a Mexican living in the North of Mexico since birth I can say you'll always see such a thing as burritos, the thing is, they're not filled with sour cream, beans, rice, lettuce and cheddar cheese all at the same time (much like you would find in California or any Taco Bell for that matter). Yes, the population in Chihuahua and Sonora are very exposed to the US (its fast food chains, clothing, lifestyle even), but to say that we model our dishes after the US is a statement just as superficial and unresearched as that Buzzfeed article. 

I get you're "second generation" Mexican, but I would suggest for you to spend some time on the other side of the border enjoying the local cuisine :) 

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@njvs You sound like one of the fresas that wrote the Buzzfeed piece...

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@Chingazo What—showing Don Papi is corrupt? Been doing that for over a decade. Next!

Nikita
Nikita

@ckharbertyan1  Maybe your attitude is part of the problem.  It seems to be a relatively new idea this "don't bother making a real effort if the money isn't deemed adequate".  That's entitlement.

nacinla
nacinla

@ckharbertyan1 I agree you shouldn't be stereotyped. But you'd probably be getting paid more if more people in your generation (among others) didn't think that they were entitled to free news and information (and video, television and film). It's because of that attitude (and other market forces) that many of us seasoned journalists lost our jobs. I look forward to the day when that turns around and you get paid more — and OC Weekly can hire more editors to catch the typos and errors in articles like this one, which I otherwise like.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@ckharbertyan1 That's funny—I used to write articles for free and worked my ass off for them. That led to where I am today.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@afriedm2 Who said I belonged to a better generation than millennials?

anamg
anamg

@echizo  Simple as this: if you see a black guy on the street, do you say "Jambo" instead of "Hi" like Lindsey Lohan in Mean Girls? or if you see an Asian looking girl at the market do you walk up to her saying "Ni hao"? you see a curly red head do you scream "Top o' the morning to ya!"? No, right? There's tons of blonde blue eyed people in Mexico as well and we don't start conversations with them in English (nor are we impressed by them).Not to hate, just think about it. 

7619
7619

Why? Have you seen the man who made tapatio? He is a white Mexican with blue eyes, just like 30% of Mexicans and TONS of jalisiences! My aunt is from Los Altos de Jalisco and is a tall, naturally blonde and blue eyed woman. Let's cut the ignorance.

mitamano
mitamano

@echizo  Mexicans come in that color too though. My uncle is 100% mexican, dark blonde and has the creepy light blue eyes. Looks white as hell, but is not actually white. Does he have a white ancestor? Very probably, but not in the last 4 generations.


Likewise I'm Palestinian/Brazilian and I am....like super white looking. If I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know.


I have a cousin who looks black, but both of her parents(paternity tested and certified) are white.


There is no actual certified colorscheme for ethnic groups. There's just a majority vs. Minority issue.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@echizo He's like that in honor of folks from Los Altos de Jalisco, more than a few whom look like that!

esoj1211
esoj1211

@mitamano @echizo I thought only the Cubans had that weird trait of having an entire spectrum (from mulatto to mestizo to super-white) of kids from the same mom and dad.    Also, I notice that most Jalisco families have one dark kid for every 5 or 6 "light" kids.

LateNightLarry
LateNightLarry

@mitamano @echizo  I used to work with a girl who was clearly white, but because of the law in Louisiana when she was born, she was labeled "black" on her birth certificate ...  Her great grandmother, who she never knew was black.  

7619
7619

There are tons of White Brazilians and Latin Americans in general. People should not be surprised about this really. This falacy of Mexican Vs White or Latino Vs white is so wrong many ways.

mitamano
mitamano

@7619  People think that way because of reinforced stereotypes. I can't blame people for being surprised that things are different from how they're portrayed, but it would't hurt people to actually look into it before opening theirs mouths.

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