VIDEO: Is it Important for Mexican Men that Women be Good Cooks?

Categories: Mexi Meals

Photo by Brian Feinzimer
Chef Jaritza González of the fabulous Ink Waffles in SanTana--more on her soon...

By now, it's a cliché that women are the bulwark of every Mexican man's life, that hombres are helpless without them. And nowhere is this more evident than in men's expectations that the women they're with be good cooks, just like their tías, mamis, and abuelitas. Of course, all of this is heteronormative bullshit, but might as well take on this stereotype in the video version of my ¡Ask a Mexican! column.

More »

Record-Breaking World's Largest Taco Created with Cochinita Pibil--And Why That's Important

Categories: Mexi Meals

Photo by Niyaz Pirani
Not the record-breaking taco in question; still delicious

If you want further proof of how Mexican food is conquering the world--and even Mexico--look no further than the recent successful attempt in Guadalajara to create the world's largest taco. The final result, according to reports, was over two miles long and used over a ton of meat and tortillas. Now THAT'S a taquiza!

But instead of using a stuffing common to Jalisco--say, carne asada or carnitas, or birria--the chefs decided to use something diametrically opposed to the state, but now embraced by la república wholeheartedly: the Yucateco pork specialty cochinita pibil.

More »

Urban Cactus: Delicious Sorpresa Near Angel Stadium

Dave Lieberman
¡Ay, qué fresa!
A menu from Urban Cactus showed up in my office shortly before Christmas. I didn't look at it--I was busy replenishing the water in the coffee machine, like a good corporate citizen--but I happened to drive past it last week, pulled in, judged it by its cover, and nearly pulled right back out onto the road.

More »

McDonald's Apologizes to Mexicans for Calling Tamales "A Thing of the Past"

McDonald's Mexico Facebook page
The ad that started it all...

As if McDonald's bad news can't get any worse--from plummeting sales to lame ad campaigns to their creepy newish mascot to everything--now comes this: they just apologized to Mexico and Mexicans everywhere for insulting the tamale, that most essential of Mexican meals.

The above ad was placed earlier this week, telling people that tamales are a "thing of the past" and for Mexicans to try the McBurrito, which is another wrapped meal. And, of course, Mexicans went nuts.

More »

Chipotle Finally Gets Hispanic Authors for their Stories-on-a-Cup Series...and None are Mexican

No nopales yet

Okay, haters: go for it. Go on and rant that the anger that Chicano authors and I have for Chipotle after they announced the latest batch of authors for their "Cultivating Thought" series is laughable. That we should rejoice that the series included Hispanic authors this time, from Brazilian self-empowerment guru Paulo Coelho to Dominican writer Julia Alvarez to Spaniard Carlos Ruíz Zafón. That we should thank Chipotle for including diverse voices after the travesty of last time, shut up, and get on with our lives. Actually, that we should get lives, period, and go bend a taco or something.

But the fact remains: when curating author Jonathan Safran Foer had another chance to expose hipster America to Chicano or Mexican authors, he chose not to. And the question must be asked: why?

More »

VIDEO: ¡Ask a Mexican! on Why Mexicans Should Learn to Love Hipsters

From the Lalo Alcaraz Tacos Series...
Lalo nails it as always...

Though the issue of gentrification rears its happy head in various manifestations, the most obvious front is food, battlefield for $17 burritos, "street" tacos and the ever-popular mezcal. I mention most of this in my latest ¡Ask a Mexican! video, which ridicules hipsters but nevertheless urges tolerance for their columbusing ways...HA!

More »

In Defense of Writing About Street Vendors--And Non-Mexicans Writing About Them

From Sigmund Krausz's 1896 Street Types of Great American Cities
The OG tamalero, now and forever

SO...there was a bit of controversy in the food world last week after an Eater LA critic reviewed a elotero in Lincoln Heights. Instead of focusing on the actual execution of the article, though, nearly all the criticism focused on the very act of the article--that is, on Eater's reporter even doing the piece in the first place. Oh, how the accusations flew--that writer Lucas Peterson was columbusing, that he was exposing the poor elotero to retribution from the health department (or worse), that Peterson was a dumb hipster gabacho who was adding to the gentrification of LA's Eastside by doing his story.

Oh, it got nasty. And critics--some in the foodie world, others in Chicano yaktivist circles--got it all wrong.

More »

How Buffalo Bill Opened New York's First-Ever Mexican Restaurant--And Invented Celebrity Mexican Food

Buffalo Bill, won't you come out tonight...
Among the many crazy facts I discovered for my 2012 book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, none were crazier than the discovery of Buffalo Bill getting into the Mexican-restaurant game. It happened only once, in 1886 at Madison Square Garden as part of his Wild West Show, but still: what the hell was the American West's most famous showman doing offering Mexican food in the 1880s, a time where virtually no one in los Estados Unidos outside of the American Southwest knew what a tortilla was?

That question led me last week to Denver, to an amazing evening of lectures and food hosted by Kevin Grossi of Lola Mexican Fish House. The young chef set out to modernize the dishes that Buffalo Bill offered in his pop-up, not just because Grossi cooks Mexican food and is a fan of Buffalo Bill, but also because the building that Lola occupies used to be a mortuary in which Bill's body was kept--CRAZY!!!

More »

This is What a Burrito Looks Like in Mississippi

Photo by The Mexican

I'm not the kind of writer who'll craft whole blog posts about a single Instagram picture, but the above photo--not the greatest, I admit--led to so much outrage on my IG page that I felt I had to come to the poor thing's defense.

So, yes: this is how a burrito looks like in Mississippi. And not just anywhere in Mississippi, but in Corinth, at the extreme northeast section of the state, just outside Tennessee and Alabama and on what was formerly known as the Robert E. Lee Highway but is now federally designated as U.S. Route 72--but which Corinth still calls the Lee Highway. YIKES!

More »

Synthetic Marijuana Found in Rosca de Reyes Bread That Poisoned Dozens: UPDATE

Wikimedia Commons
A type of rosca de reyes--but not the poisoned one in question

SECOND UPDATE, JAN. 16, 7:17 A.M.: A Santa Police Department investigation determined that the drug used in a rosca de reyes cake that poisoned at least 40 people across Orange County was synthetic pot. So you've heard of pot brownies--now pot pan dulce?

More »