Last week, I posted a Smithsonian interview with a Mexican food expert on the history of tacos. Here’s a companion article by Gustavo Arellano that is interesting, packed with nuggets of information, but also at times overwritten and needlessly political.
That you have a nation (and increasingly a planetâ€”you can find Mexican restaurants from Ulan Bator to Sydney to Prague) lusting after tequila, guacamole, and tres leches cake isnâ€™t an exercise in culinary neocolonialism but something closer to the opposite. By allowing itself to be endlessly adaptable to local tastes, Mexican food has become a primary vehicle for exporting the culture of a long-ridiculed country to the far corners of the globe. Forget Mexicoâ€™s imaginary Reconquista of the American Southwest; the real conquest of North America is a peaceful and consensual affair, taking place one tortilla at a time.