Monday, November 16, 2009

Road Food, 1934

I just read The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain. (See Back to California Fiction on my travel blog for a report). Much of the action takes place in the Twin Oaks Tavern, "a roadside sandwich joint, like a million others in California." The narrator, Frank Chambers, a drifter, begins his story when he stops there after being thrown off a hay truck where he was stealing a ride. On the very first page, Frank orders breakfast from the Greek owner: "orange juice, corn flakes, fried eggs and bacon, enchilada, flapjacks, and coffee."

The enchilada almost immediately becomes an issue highlighting the ethnic tension that characterizes Cora, the owner's wife, who is central to the story. Immediately upon meeting her, Frank implies that cooking an enchilada means she's Mexican. She forcefully insists on her pure-white Iowa background.

Interesting California breakfast, 1934.

No comments: