Monday, April 30, 2012
Where do tacos come from?
How many really intriguing reviews does it take to get me to buy a book? I've been reading quite a few reviews of the newly published book Taco USA by Gustavo Arellano. Julia Moskin's review, featured on page one of the online New York Times (shown above), made me do it. From the reviews and amazon's Look Inside the Book feature, I'm convinced that Arellano will enlighten me about many features of American food history. He emphatically says it's not a book about Mexico, and not a book about fancy "authentic" Mexican restaurants with that weird corn fungus and epazote. I wonder if he'll mention Xochimilco which used to be in downtown Detroit (maybe still is). And I wonder if it served his sort of American Mexican food or something else.
Maybe the first reference I saw to Arellano's book was L.A.'s Idea of Mexican Food vs. What Mexicans Really Eat last March. A Venn diagram from the article appears below -- it's one of a series of Venn diagrams about what various ethnic groups eat and what we think their cuisine is about. It's a fun article, with quite a few other ideas about "real" Mexican food.
See "Gelatina" in the list of things that Mexicans in Mexico eat? It's Jello with fruit in it. Colorful. Who knew?
The next thing I'm probably going to do: open my iPad to the Kindle app and start reading Taco USA. I'll write my own review some time soon.