Mark Dancey illustration
Mark Dancey illustration

!Ask a Mexican!

Why is it that Mexicans call all cereal "cornflakes"? They even say, "¿Que tipo de cornfleis quieres—Fruity Pebbles, Cheerioso Wheaties?" Please explain.
Confused About Cornfleis

Dear Gabacho,
Chávez's heirs know something of the Mexican fascination with cornfleis (Mexicans pronounce it that way because the letter "k" doesn't appear in Spanish outside of words borrowed from English, like kilometer). The Times reported that the César E. Chávez Foundation accepted a $25,000 donation from the Kellogg's Company, makers of such wabby breakfast faves as Froot Loops, Rice Krispies and the aforementioned Corn Flakes. In return, the Foundation allowed Kellogg's to release a limited-edition Kellogg's Corn Flakes box during Hispanic Heritage Month featuring a picture of Chávez and salsa legend Celia Cruz. They're no longer available at supermarkets, but you can visit any SanTana produce truck and buy a box for $6—double the retail price. If that's not official enough for you, Cornfleis, the César E. Chávez Foundation resells Chávez Corn Flakes boxes autographed by Chávez's widow Helen with the slogan "Viva la Causa!" for $20—$5 more than the price just a month before the Times story hit. In other news, Coretta Scott King refused an offer by Uncle Ben's Rice to place the face of her martyred husband on its product during Black History Month on the grounds it was tacky.

Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at And those of you who do submit questions: include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we'll make one up for you!


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