Taco USA Review Paper - Zainulabidin Adhami Anthropology...

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Zainulabidin Adhami Anthropology 209 & Sociology 269 Martin F. Manalansan IV Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. Think about the origins of Mexican food, or rather the cyclical question of what is Mexican food? Where do you go to eat Mexican food? And if the Mexican food that you are eating is authentic or not? For us to truly answer these questions posed by Gustavo Arellano, the author of Taco USA, we need to look at our own personal experiences with Mexican food. Many millennials including you and me eat Mexican food regularly, or what we consider Mexican food regularly at Chipotle, Taco Bell and various other Mexican food establishments. Personally for me, when I came first to this country from India, I had a hard time adapting to American culinary cuisine. From eating Indian food such as Chicken Biriyani, Hindi Rogan Josh, Yakhni to eating hot dogs and hamburgers was a big adjustment for me. The opposite was true for my brother, who loved the taste of a hot dog filled with coleslaw and relish. I missed the flavors that coriander, turmeric, tamarind, saffron, garam masala, cardamom etc. brought to the various delicacies that I spent my days vicariously eating back home in India. I missed the rich flavors and spicy treats, and while I slowly started to adapt to American cuisine, I still had a yearning for the foods back home. So out the blue one day, me and my family went on a long road trip to see my cousins back in Illinois. Along the way we stopped and ate at McDonalds, Burger King but the best food we definitely ate was at Taco Bell. Now looking back at it from a different perspective, I would probably give you a slightly same albeit different answer, but eating Tacos filled with Chicken and various other vegetables was better than the kids meal that my parents bought for me back in McDonalds and Burger King. From that point onwards, I became infatuated with Mexican food. Even when we went back home to New Jersey, I would always push my parents to get groceries from traditionally Mexican markets, and slowly but surely as my parents fondness for Mexican food started to grow. I vividly remember an 1
Zainulabidin Adhami Anthropology 209 & Sociology 269 Martin F. Manalansan IV

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