Mexicans don’t cook with measuring cups or spoons, organic herbs and spices, or extra-virgin olive oil.
Nah, we Mexicans follow some simpler guidelines: add a lot of consomé de pollo to everything, stock your pantry and fridge with at least
nine types of hot sauces and chiles, and keep a ton of lard around —
preferably the one in the blue box — for holiday cooking.
Culinary traditions are one of the most important elements of culture. It seems obvious — most people can identify a culture with its
cuisine. But it’s interesting to see the reality of what it means in
present time and before your own eyes. I’ve found myself noticing the
clear connection throughout my assimilation of the American culture.
I’ve started baking instead of deep-frying, following recipes, incorporating veggies into meals, using measuring tools, olive oil,
fancy spices, etc. But more importantly, I’ve learned to enjoy a meal
without a tortilla (my sister has to make a taco out of
everything, including salmon). I’ve also realized that it’s probably a
little unhealthy to use so much darn salt, and I now understand the
concept of organized, meticulous cooking. (This may not be
representative of all American culture, but in my experience, it has
And while I haven’t kicked the chiltepin and habanero salsa addiction, I don’t think I want to. If I’m going to put together a
Mexican dish, it’ll be the crazy traditional way: a spontaneous
free-for-all of what my mom once said to be the way to make it. One day
I’ll pass it on to my own kids, and hopefully they’ll never settle for
Golden Mean Message: Cooking practices say a lot about your own culture. It’s fascinating to learn about new ones, but it’s also important to preserve your own.