By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
DEAR MEXICAN: What do we need to do to make the güeros understand we come in peace? As Mexicans, we are from this great American continent as well, but as for the average, close-minded, English-speaking folks, it's amusing they don't understand what the definition of "American" really is. Unless you are from one of the few nature-communing groups of people now dubbed "Native Americans," then you cannot say you are American, as either yourself, your parents, your grandparents or your great-grandparents (you get the point) came from the Old World and hence have been in this land "illegally" for much much longer than us bean-lovers. So I repeat my question: How can we make these gringos understand we come in peace? That we are here to live a good life in peace and to take it or leave it: We are here TO STAY! Help me make these McDonalders understand already, so we can all learn from one another and live in peace!
DEAR BEANER: Gracias for showing Americans that Mexis can be as meandering as gabachos. As to your question: Shit, we've tried everything to Hispander to gabachos over the years. We gave them half of Mexico, we called ourselves "Spanish," we considered ourselves white, we made amazing dishes that other gabachos turned into multimillion-dollar empires—and still, they hate us. What to do? Not a single pinche thing: Mexicans in this country are no longer at a place at which we have to grovel to anyone. If gabachos don't want to accept that aquí estamos and we ain't vamos, then they deserve the beautiful brown grandkids that are coming their way.
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DEAR MEXICAN: I noticed that my favorite candies are primarily made out of chile and tamarindo. I understand that chile is indigenous to the Americas, but tamarindo is not. I found that tamarindo originates from the Middle East and Africa. And through the slave trade and the dreadful European expansion, tamarindo found its delicious way to the Americas. What I don't get is how and why tamarindo became so popular among nuestra gente? We consume mega-tons of it! We drink it, we make candy out of it, I sometimes have dreams about it . . . ¿que onda?
Pocho Del Ocho
DEAR POCHO: Actually, tamarind came to Mexico through the Manila galleons and has no Middle Eastern connection whatsoever—the Levantine's contribution to Mexico's fruit culture is granada (pomegranates) via the Spaniards via the Moors. But it was only by a brain pedo of God that tamarind isn't native to Mexico, as no other culture, save certain Hindoos, loves it the way we do. It's not much of a mystery: Mexicans love sweets with tropical verve and fleshiness, whether it's mamey, mangoes, papayas, guanábana, tunas (the prickly pear) or boring-ass pineapple. But tamarind is the king of the jungle because, as you pointed out, we can turn it into so many things: ice cream, fruit leather, salads, salsas, paletas and so much more—even have it on chocolate. And when we pair it with chile (which we always do), it's the greatest product of foreign-yet-similar cultures since the leprecano.