I am very excited to announce that this year I will be hosting a month for Naomi Devlin's Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free! For the month of November my theme will be Oaxacan Cuisine, which will begin on an important Mexican holiday-- Dia de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead. I will be your guide, since this is a cuisine many people are unfamiliar with, but I know that you will all enjoy the delicious results. I will review cookbooks and restaurants and provide names of specialty markets to help navigate your way through Oaxacan cuisine. I hope that many of you will join me and send in your recipes, pictures, and stories.
To prepare for this, my theme this summer will be Authentic Mexican Cuisine, and it will be Un Verano de Mexico, or a Mexican Summer. I am familiar with some traditional Mexican food, but admittedly not as well as I would like. So this summer I will bring Mexico's rich culinary tradition to you. If there are any recipes that you request, I would be happy to fulfill them. I will start off simple with things such as guacamole and Mexican Hot Chocolate to help familiarize you, and then we can delve into more complex dishes.
Considering The United States' current relationship with Mexico and its many immigrants into our country, I believe this is an opportune time to truly appreciate our neighbors to the south. Mexico may be a very complex country that some may see as a problem, but I believe that we will only enrich our lives if we see the true value any other nation has to offer. I think that it does not benefit us to place any country over another, and I know that embracing other cultures and cuisines makes us more knowledgeable and opens our lives to rich experiences.
Mexican food is also a staple of this country, and many of us would be very unhappy without it. I can only truly speak for the Southwest United States, since we are most heavily influenced by Mexican cuisine. But let me tell you--I spent two months doing volunteer work in India in 2003, and when I came home I ate nothing but Mexican food for two weeks. When I went to Fordham University in the Bronx for two years I hiked in a blizzard to Baby Bo's, the only affordable Mexican restaurant I knew of in Manhattan, because I missed Mexican food so much. My cousin Violet, who grew up in Northern California and Southern Colorado, has been teaching English in China for a year and posted on her Facebook page that when she comes home in a few months Chipotle will run out of food.
Most of the Mexican food we eat, whether it be at Taco Bell, El Torito, Acapulco, or On the Border, is typically not traditional Mexican cuisine. It is, however, food we are now very familiar with, have become accustomed to, and crave. Most of my friends hit up taco trucks or burrito stands after they've gone out all night. And these friends are not only Mexican but English, French, Italian, Filipino, and German. As Americans we have invited Mexican food into our melting pot, and I believe it is now time to appreciate truly great and authentic Mexican food. I hope that you will accompany me on this journey to discover the amazing things Mexican cuisine has to offer.