Culture

The Mexican Government Tried To Say Pinche Gringo BBQ’s Name Was Too Vulgar, But They Won A Case Letting Them Keep It

Six years ago, United States native Dan DeFossey and Mexican Roberto Luna took a chance when they opened a BBQ restaurant in the Mexico City neighborhood of Narvarte. Their idea was simple in thought, create a food environment where both U.S. food and Mexican culture meet. It was an idea that was rooted in building a bridge between both countries in increasingly divided times. 

“We want to be a cultural center where we offer a variety of activities and a bridge between Mexico and the United States,” DeFossey told Mexican newspaper El Economista back in March. “We want to send a message that there is no wall between us. This place is a letter of friendship between Mexico and my country.”

While the restaurant has seen success and has even opened a second location in Anáhuac, there has also been controversy that until recently put Defossy and Luna in legal trouble. That is mainly due to their restaurant’s name, Pinche Gringo BBQ.

The controversy stemmed from Article 4 of the Industrial Property Law in Mexico that states that “a brand cannot be registered if it is deemed to be contrary to the morals and good manners of society.” In this case the word “Pinche.”

Credit: pinchegringobbq / Instagram

The ordeal started about five years ago when Defossy and Luna attempted to register the restaurant’s name but immediately faced legal challenges. This stemmed from the use of the word “pinche”, essentially meaning “damn” but also used as an offensive term, in its business name.

The term was found offensive and not suitable for registering according to Article 4 of the Industrial Property Law (LPI) prohibits the registration of brands whose contents or form are contrary to the morals and good customs of society. The two didn’t agree with the decision and launched a five-year legal battle to register its name. 

Defossy and Luna put forth two factors to defend the use of the name. Both made the argument that “pinche” is also used in some parts of the restaurant industry to describe “kitchen assistant” in formal Spanish. The term is also part of the fabric of the restaurant’s mission in creating  “fraternity and camaraderie between citizens of the United States and Mexico.”

“From a gastronomic point of view, the word pinche refers to a cook . . .” Alejandro Luna de Olivares, the owners’ lawyer,  old the magazine Forbes México.

After a long legal battle, the restaurant was allowed to keep it’s popular name after the courts ruled in their favor.   

Credit: pinchegringobbq / Instagram

“. . . The case reached a collegiate district court and our main argument was that the fourth article of the law is against the constitution because IMPI must not be the arbitrator of morals and good manners,” Luz Elena Elías, another lawyer who represented Pinche Gringo restaurant, told the Mexico Daily News. “In the end, the court ruled in our favor,” she said, noting that the court decision sets a precedent for the use of the term “pinche” in a brand going forward. 

Defossy and Luna are happy to put this legal trouble in the rearview mirror and continue to grow their restaurant chain. This also means they can finally make products with the business’s name, which was previously not an option due to the pending legal case. 

“The future is very bright. We have a lot of ideas to grow Pinche Gringo. We have plans to open a luxury restaurant with . . . more gourmet food but with a casual atmosphere,” DeFossey said. “What matters most to us with the concept of El Pinche Gringo is to bring about a change and I think we’re achieving it.”

That change goes beyond just their name but how the business is run from the inside out. That starts with the more than 100 employees whom a large majority are Mexicans who were deported from the U.S. after living the majority of their lives there. This is part of El Pinche Gringo’s philosophy and a testament of what they believe in building bridges not walls. 

“When someone comes into this house [El Pinche Gringo] it’s as if they’ve arrived in Austin, Texas, and for two hours you have the chance to get up close to a little bit of the food and culture of the United States in an environment where social classes or where you come from don’t matter,” DeFossey says. “When you leave, you return to Mexico, my country for the last 10 years.”

READ: He Was Injured In The Hard Rock Hotel Collapse And Gave An Interview To The Media, Now He’s Being Detained By ICE

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A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

Culture

A University Is Releasing A Historic Mexican Cookbook Filled With Recipes You’d Want To Try

UTSA

The University of Texas San Antonio is bringing the history of Mexico into our kitchens. The university is releasing cookbooks that are collections of historic Mexican recipes. Right now, the desserts book is out and online for free. Main dishes and appetizers/drinks are coming soon.

You can now taste historic Mexico thanks to the University of Texas San Antonio.

UTSA has had an ongoing project of preserving, collecting, and digitizing cookbooks from throughout Mexico’s history. Some books date back to the 1700s and offer a look into Mexico’s culinary arts and its evolution.

UTSA has been digitizing Mexican cookbooks for years and the work is now being collected for people in the time of Covid.

Millions of us are still at home and projects like these can be very exciting and exactly what you need. The recipes are a way to distract yourself from the current reality.

“The e-pubs allow home cooks to use the recipes as inspiration in their own kitchens,” Dean Hendrix, the dean of UTSA Libraries, said in UTSA Today. “Our hope is that many more people will not only have access to these wonderful recipes but also interact with them and experience the rich culture and history contained in the collection.”

The free downloads are a way for people to get a very in-depth look into Mexican food history.

The first of three volumes of the cookbooks focuses on desserts so you can learn how to make churros, chestnut flan, buñelos, and rice pudding. What better way to spend your quarantine than learning how to make some of these yummy desserts. We all love sweets, right?

If you want to get better with making your favorite desserts, check out this cookbook and make it happen.

There is nothing better than diving into your history and using food as your guide. Food is so intrinsically engrained in our DNAs and identities. We love the foods and sweets from our childhood because they hold a clue as to who we are and where we come from. This historical collection of recipes throughout history is the perfect way to make that happen.

READ: The Laziest Food Hacks In All Of The Land Would Send Your Abuela To The Chancla

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People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Culture

People Have A Lot Of Opinions About The Argentina Episode Of Netflix’s ‘Street Food: Latin America’

Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images

Netflix has a new food show out and it has everyone buzzing. “Street Food: Latin America” is bringing everyone the sabor of Latin America to their living room. However, reviews are mixed because of Argentina and the lack of Central American representation.

Netflix has a new show and it is all about Latin American street food.

Some of the best food in the world comes from Latin America. That is just a fact and it isn’t because our families and community come for Latin America. Okay, maybe just a little. The food of Latin America comes with history and stories that have shaped our childhood. For many of us, it is the only thing we have that connects us to the lands our families have left.

The show is highlighting the contributions of women to street food.

“Street Food: Latin America” focuses mainly on the women that are leading the street food cultures in different countries in Latin America. For some of them, it was a chance to bring themselves out of poverty and care for their children. For others, it was a rebellion against the male-dominated culture of cooking in Latin America.

However, some people have some strong opinions about the show and they aren’t good.

There is a lot of attention to native communities in the Latino community culturally right now. The Argentina episode where someone claims that Argentina is more European is rubbing people the wrong way right now. While the native population of Argentina is small, it is still important to highlight and honor native communities who are indigenous to the lands.

The disregard for the indigenous community is upsetting because indigenous Argentinians are fighting for their lives and land.

An A Jazeera report focused on an indigenous community in northern Argentina who were fighting to protect their land. After decades of discrimination and humiliation, members of the Wichi community fought to protect their land from the Argentinian government grabbing it in 2017. Early this year, before Covid, children of the tribe started to die at alarming rates of malnutrition.

Another pain point in the Latino community is the complete disregard of Central America.

Central America includes Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Belize, and Panama. Central America’s exclusion is not sitting right with Netflix users with Central American heritage. Like, how can five whole countries be looked over during a Netflix show about street food in Latin America?

Seems like there is a chance for Netflix to revisit Latin America for more food content.

There are so many countries in Latin America that offer delicious foods to the world. There is more to Latin America than Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia.

READ: This Iconic Mexican Food Won The Twitter Battle To Be Named Latin America’s Best Street Food

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