Mexicans Don't Need to Grovel to Anyone
Dear Mexican: What do we need to do to make the güeros understand we come in peace? As Mexicans, we are from this great American continent as well, but in the average close-minded English-speaking folks' definition of "American," it's amusing to see they don't understand what it really means, being that either yourself, your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents came from the Old World and hence have been in this land "illegally" for much, much longer than us bean lovers. So I repeat my question: How can we make these green-gos understand we are here to live a good life in peace? El Frijolero
Dear Beaner: Shit, we've tried everything to Hispander to gabachos over the years. We gave them half of Mexico, we called ourselves "Spanish," we considered ourselves white, we made amazing dishes that other gabachos turned into multimillion-dollar empires — and, still, they hate us. What to do? Not a single pinche thing: Mexicans in this country are no longer at a place where we have to grovel to anyone.
I noticed that my favorite candies are primarily made out of chile and tamarindo. I understand that chile is indigenous to the Americas, but tamarindo is not. I found that tamarindo originates from the Middle East and Africa. And through the slave trade and the dreadful European expansion, tamarindo found its delicious way to the Americas. What I don't get is how and why tamarindo became so popular amongst nuestra gente? We drink it, we make candy out it, I sometimes have dreams about it. Pocho De Ocho
Dear Pocho: Actually, tamarind came to Mexico through the Manila galleons and has no Middle Eastern connection whatsoever — the Levantine's contribution to Mexico's fruit culture is granada (pomegranates) via the Spaniards via the Moors. But it was only by a brain pedo of God that tamarind isn't native to Mexico, as no other culture, save certain Hindoos, loves it the way we do. It's not much of a mystery: Mexicans love sweets with tropical verve and fleshiness, whether it's mamey, mangoes, papayas, guanábana, tunas (the prickly pear) or boring-ass pineapple. But tamarind is the king of the jungle, because — as you pointed out — we can turn it into so many things. And when we pair it with chile (which we always do), it's the greatest product of foreign-yet-similar cultures since the leprecano.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.