Guys, Mexican food is a thing. What? You already knew that? Duh. But the rest of the world didn’t.
Famed Mexican chef, Margarita Carrillo Arronte, sat down with Pati Jinchi of The Splendid Table and talked about one of Mexico’s highest food honors — and about one of the biggest cooking taboos becoming a thing of the past. Let’s start there.
“Los hombres en la cocina huelen a cuacha de gallina,” Arronte remembers her grandmother saying. Roughly translated it means, “Men in the kitchen smell like hen’s poop.”
That’s right. One of Mexico’s most famous chefs was raised thinking men don’t belong in the kitchen other than to “carry the heavy cazuelas.” But the UNESCO award winning chef says that mentality is seeing its last days. Some of the best up-and-coming chefs in Mexico are young and male.
Arronte also talks to Jinchi about how she has been working with a small group of historians and other chefs to have the United Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognize Mexican cooking…and it’s official. UNESCO has recognized Mexican food for cultural heritage. So, we could say tacos are SUPER important, culturally speaking.
Listen to the Full Podcast Below (or skip to 11:40 to start where we get to talk Mexico):
Pandemia. Brote. Vacuna. La Peste. Although you may find these terms in a glossary about the Covid-19 outbreak, that’s not what these words actually refer to. Instead, they’re options on the menu at a Mexican taqueria called “Tacovid: Sabor Viral”, a perhaps surprisingly very successful Coronavirus-themed restaurant.
Although to many having a Covid-themed taqueria may seem morbid or disrespectful or perhaps gross – I mean who wants to order a plague taco? – the taqueria is making light of a very serious situation with humor. Something that several other businesses have done since the pandemic began.
”Tacovid: Sabor Viral” is the Mexican taqueria going viral – pun intended – for its Covid-themed menu.
Ok…virus-themed tacos don’t exactly sound appetizing. Especially, as we’re still in the midst of a very real pandemic. But one 23-year-old man in the Mexican city of León, who was forced to close down his dance studio because of Coronavirus, is counting on a Covid-themed restaurant – and so far he’s been surprised by its success.
Brandon Velázquez converted his dance academy into a taquería at the end of July, and given that Mexico and the rest of the world was – and is – in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic decided to call it Tacovid Sabor Viral.
“I had to close my dance academy during the pandemic [but] then an opportunity arose to return to the same place, however, people still did not go out for fear of getting infected.” he told the newspaper El Universal.
“I had always wanted to open a taqueria and, at the end of July, the opportunity to do so occurred. It was how I took advantage of the moment to create this business with a coronavirus theme,” he added.
Items on the menu are named after – you guessed it – the Coronavirus and don’t sound like anything you’d willfully choose to order.
The young entrepreneur detailed the name of each dish, taking full advantage of the Coronavirus theme.
“We have around 12 different dishes, among them are the ‘Tacovid’; we have ‘Forty’, ‘Quesanitizing’, ‘Pandemic’, ‘Outbreak’, and many others. The price varies depending on the dish you order,” he told El Universal.
In addition to themed dishes, the servers also fit the Coronavirus-theme.
When the pandemic hit Mexico, the government urged Mexicans to observe “su sana distancia” and the now common mascot – Susana Distancia – was born.
“In the restaurant, a waitress dressed as a nurse with the name of ‘Susana’ takes orders and works the tables, referring to the healthy distance campaign that was implemented as a precautionary measure,” he says.
To his surprise – and honestly mine as well – the taqueria has been very successful.
Brandon told El Universal that he’s been pleasantly surprised by the support he has received from customers. “I’m surprised because we have had really good sales, despite the circumstances, we have had a lot of support by the community and we’ve already expanded to have two locations.”
“Customers are funny about the theme we are using in the business, and they are delighted with the dishes we are offering. They enjoy it and have a good time,” added Brandon.
Things are looking so good for Brandon and his Covid-themed taqueria, that he’s looking to expand the food business and add new dishes to the menu. “There is always the idea of new names for other dishes that we want to include in the menu.”
Brandon also said that he’s looking to build out a business model so the restaurant could expand to other parts of the country as a franchise.
Apparently, people are really into Covid-themed foods, as this isn’t the first place that a shop as cashed in on the pandemic. Back in April, a panadería was selling out of Covid-themed baked goods so quickly, they couldn’t keep the shelves stocked.
It is Mexico’s Independence Day and that means that Mexicans around the world are honoring their roots. Twitter is buzzing with people who might not be in Mexico but they will forever have Mexico in their hearts. Here are just a few of the loving messages from people who are Mexican through and through.
Viva Mexico is trending on social media and the tweets are filled with love and passion for the country.
Mexico received its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810 and since then the day has been marked with celebration. The day is marked with parties of pride and culture no matter where you are in the world.
Mexicans everywhere are letting their Mexican flag fly.
Tbh, who doesn’t want to be Mexican to enjoy the day of puro pinche pride? The celebration for Mexican Independence Day starts on Sept. 15 with El Grito. The tradition is that the president of Mexico stands on the balcony on Sept. 15 at 11 p.m. and rings the same church bell that Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang in 1810 to trigger the Mexican Revolution.
People are loving all of the celebrations for their homeland.
The original El Grito took place in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato in 1810. While most El Grito celebrations take place at the National Palace, some presidents, especially on their last year, celebrate El Grito in the town where it originated.
Honestly, no one celebrates their independence day like Mexico and we love them for it.
¡Viva Mexico! Mexico lindo y querido. How are you celebrating the Mexican Independence Day this year? Show us what you have planned.