A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

quarta-feira, março 12, 2003

Here's a mention on the blog of Res Ipsa Loquitur, a Berkeley conservative who happens to be my friend. I have a lot of conservative friends...


Not every leftist hates me. After all, we all just want to make the world a better place from our own ideological poles. In fact, many of my readers are avowedly leftist, like prominent Latino journalist Gustavo Arellano:

My comment: I'm not that prominent. Back to Res' post, which now has an email from me...

Your Tapatio posting was hilarious! I personally prefer Tapatio to Tabasco, but only because I find Tabasco too vinegary for my tastes. I do appreciate its Cajun vintage, however. And, of course, both the sauces are nothing compared to real mother-fucking SALSA!

While we’re on the subject of hot sauces, read my article comparing Sriracha with Tapatio. That elitist Chicano don’t know shit about his hot sauces.

And for the record: I could drink Tapatío from the tap. It’s that wimpy. Give me Valentina!

Hope everything is well,


[accent marks modified since I have an Engish language keyboard]

Thanks for the kind words, Gustavo--but damn you! I thought my hot sauce analysis was original, and then you had to go and rain on my parade by showing me that you have done this before. For those of you who do not know, Gustavo often does comparative analyses between Vietnamese and Mexican cuisine. And it always makes for a great read. Gustavo also rejects the color line associated with ethnic identity here.

My comment: I guess.

Also, I find it amusing when some people say I harbor racial animus towards "Latinos," considering that I have lived in Central Mexico for more than a year (collectively) over the past decade and probably know more about Mexican culture than your standard Ethnic Studies Ph.D. candidate. But hey, when do the facts matter when you are screaming "Racismo!?!"

Yes, Tabasco is vinegary, but sometimes that's what I want on my eggs. I'm not ready to admit that it is inferior, because I believe in buying AMERICAN in all of my self-righteous jingoism. I haven't had homemade mother-fucking salsa in a mother-fucking long time. I left my molcajete back In Santa Ana, so try not to rub in the fact that I haven't had a decent plate of Mexican food in almost two years, Gustavo. I have heard of some authetic food in the Mission District, but have yet to find any. So far, I haven't found anything even remotely edible or Mexican up here, which is a shame. In Santa Ana, I was a taco-eating machine: brains (sesos), tongue (lengua), buche (no accurate translation for what part of the cow that one is; I think its the throat region although it tranlates into stomach and some people tell me it is the cheeks), stomach lining (tripas), heart (corazon), deep fried pig's rump (carnitas), al pastor (pork but sometimes lamb), chorizo--I ate it all most every day. Up here, I find myself in Oakland Chinatown eating duck's tongue (they give you the whole barbecued head up here), chicken feet, shark's cartilage, pig's blood gelatin and other things that most people would never attempt to consume. In both cases, there are occasions when I am not sure of what is on my plate, but it's good! While Chinese is my staple diet up here (because it is cheap), it is more healthy than Mexican food. But what I long for is frijoles refritos con manteca. That shit is like manna from heaven (yes, that makes me a "beaner," and no, I don't weigh an ounce over 170 despite being six feet tall and a voracious eater of everything).

When you get up here Gustavo, I'll take you for an authetic Mongolian hot-pot, where they give you LIVE SHRIMP to boil at your table in a vat of boiling chicken broth heated by one of those propane camping-style hot plates. You have never tasted anything so sweet as a freshly boiled shrimp (it takes about 15-20 seconds to turn from grey to pink). Imagine yourself try to wrestle a live shrimp with chopsticks, only to have it go down spashing broth all over your shirt. Even though it's not like crab or lobster, which have a tendency to scream when boiled alive, it's still an experience not for the faint of heart. Bring a bib and a healthy appetite.

Back to the hot sauce, I would say chile-based Tapatio does have Mexican oregano and bay leaf (I can tell what those "especias" are) and cannot be substituted on certain foods. Equally, the chile-sugar-garlic base of Sriracha cannot be substituted for any other on noodles, and cannot compare to any other on the Filipino-style chicharrones. Moreover, Valentina is pretty damn good on harina chips and ice cold beer on a mild July afternoon in Morelia. I am, however, glad that someone also appreciates the diversity of the chile pepper and doesn't try to claim cultural hegemony over perceived "inferior" chile sauces.

All of this cultural comparison poses a question for Gustavo: How is a Quincanera any different than a Bat Mitzvah? And doesn't Tsingtao taste very similar to Dos Equis? These might be a good articles to write for our elitist, cultural-racial-ethnic supremacist, anti-Semitic, Chicano-warrior class.

End of posting. My pockets hurt.