The award-winning ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist presents a narrative history of the progression of Mexican cuisine in the United States, sharing a century's worth of whimsical anecdotes and cultural criticism to address questions about culinary authenticity and the source of Mexican food's popularity. 25,000 first printing.
[email protected]’ Presence in the Food Industry takes the holistic culinary approach of bringing together multidisciplinary criticism to explore the diverse, and not always readily apparent, ways that [email protected] relate to food and the food industry. The networks [email protected] create, the types of identities they fashion through food, and their relationship to the US food industry are analyzed to understand [email protected] as active creators of food-based communities, as distinctive cultural representations, and as professionals. This vibrant new collection acknowledges issues of labor conditions, economic politics, and immigration laws—structural vulnerabilities that certainly cannot be ignored—and strives to understand more fully the active and conscious ways that [email protected] create spaces to maneuver global and local food systems.
The act of eating defines and redefines borders. What constitutes “American” in our cuisine has always depended on a liberal crossing of borders, from “the line in the sand” that separates Mexico and the United States, to the grassland boundary with Canada, to the imagined divide in our collective minds between “our” food and “their” food. Immigrant workers have introduced new cuisines and ways of cooking that force the nation to question the boundaries between “us” and “them.” The stories told in Food Across Borders highlight the contiguity between the intimate decisions we make as individuals concerning what we eat and the social and geopolitical processes we enact to secure nourishment, territory, and belonging. Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University..
American diners began to flock to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese food the first mass-consumed cuisine in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country's most popular ethnic cuisine. Chop Suey, USA offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the rise of Chinese food, revealing the forces that made it ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption. Engineered by a politically disenfranchised, numerically small, and economically exploited group, Chinese food's tour de America is an epic story of global cultural encounter. It reflects not only changes in taste but also a growing appetite for a more leisurely lifestyle. Americans fell in love with Chinese food not because of its gastronomic excellence but because of its affordability and convenience, which is why they preferred the quick and simple dishes of China while shunning its haute cuisine. Epitomized by chop suey, American Chinese food was a forerunner of McDonald's, democratizing the once-exclusive dining-out experience for such groups as marginalized Anglos, African Americans, and Jews. The rise of Chinese food is also a classic American story of immigrant entrepreneurship and perseverance. Barred from many occupations, Chinese Americans successfully turned Chinese food from a despised cuisine into a dominant force in the restaurant market, creating a critical lifeline for their community. Chinese American restaurant workers developed the concept of the open kitchen and popularized the practice of home delivery. They streamlined certain Chinese dishes, such as chop suey and egg foo young, turning them into nationally recognized brand names.