So, while thumbing through a magazine recently, I ran across this letter to the editor:
Given the current political,social, and economic crisis concerning illegal aliens, your September issue crossed over from a good-living mouthpiece to a sensitivity lecture. Devoting an entire slanted issue to projecting your political preferences into this firestorm is an intrusion…
So, you ask, what’s the name of this obviously left-leaning, commie-backing, politically correct, and (Horrors, not that!) ACLU-supporting magazine?
As in food.
And what was the heinous and irresponsible topic of the September issue?
What the gentleman, or woman (One can’t tell. He or she only used the initials H.F. from Florida), was upset about was the fact that a magazine about eating had devoted an entire issue to Latino cooking.
Here’s more enlightenment from another Gourmet reader:
Dedicating the entire September issue to Hispanic cooking, in light of the enormous damage illegal immigration is causing this country, is quite inexcusable. To seemingly glorify the efforts of those who are violating our laws and placing a severe burden is, simply put, quite wrong.
What could be next? An issue devoted to, perhaps, Italian cooking? Indian? Or even, shudder, Chinese? Where would it end? Pretty soon, Gourmet would be celebrating the melting pot (or, if you prefer, masala or bouquet garni) of America’s varied and vibrant food culture and history.
Thankfully, many letters praised the issue. Most of the folks who responded said they appreciated the many recipes, or recalled eating at places mentioned in the articles. One writer grew nostalgic at the memory of eating from Mexico’s taco trucks. (I understand. From time to time, I catch myself musing dreamily over the carne asada purchased one night at 3 a.m. from a truck in Austin, Tex. – My friend, if you’re reading, remember?)
One woman, (who hails from Puerto Rico and is, as you know, a U.S. citizen) thanked Gourmet for “so eloquently high-lighting the cultural nuances that go into Latino cooking.”
Alas, as we know, apparently not everyone grasps such nuance.
So, what does it mean when people become so fearful of a culture that even its food is demonized? I don’t know. Perhaps underneath the cloak of concern lurks naked fear and bigotry? I could be wrong. But one certainly has to wonder what Rep. Daryl Metcalfe and his buddies think of tacos.
Lauri in York