Pastries are wonderful and I love to visit local German bakeries, French pâtisserie, or a Mexican panadería. It’s interesting how many of the wonderful things we eat from around the world are actually products of cultural appropriation. That act much maligned by the left has given rise to popular dishes quite associated with a particular country, from which they did not originate. Food is the best, the absolute best way to get to know people, their culture, and to find common ground with them.
One of my favorite shows is Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods which, if you watch, is less about the actual bizarre nature of the food and more about what that food means to the people serving it to Andrew. He always makes a point to explain the food in context.
He says, “As unique as food is to each culture, it’s a common thread that ties together all people I think we should celebrate what we have in common—like food—and not concentrate too much on our differences.” I agree with that. As different as cultures can be from one another the truth is those differences still exist to fill common needs. Though one culture may fill a need in a way you don’t, they still fill the need. Since filling our bellies is a universal need, one that we know at a very base level all humans must assuage, we find the easiest common ground over a meal.
I think the left wants to keep people divided. All they say about unity is countered by how they act and what they complain about. Crying about cultural appropriation, for example, is quite clearly saying remain in your group, don’t go outside of it, don’t get to know others, don’t show any appreciation for their culture, it’s theirs alone, effectively boxing everyone into their cultural cage. The right does this too in response to much of the left’s cries of racism. It’s about as silly as silly can be.
it’s time we let our curiosity about other cultures fly strong.
Find your local Asian market (or if you are Asian your local Mexican Market) and find a fruit or a desert that you have never tried. Try it! Take picture, and share with your friends what you thought, good or bad, and how you felt trying it. Better yet, invite them all over to try it with you and bond over something fun and delicious…or fun and disgusting…you won’t know until you try.
In Mexico City, bakeries are more plentiful than gas stations and grocery stores. An element of daily life, they service customers for breakfast, a mid-day bite known as la merienda, post-lunch coffee breaks, and pre-dinner snacks. Savory loaves of bread are found at these bakeries, but more common and more plentiful are the pan dulces. Literally translated as “sweet breads,” it’s a category of sweetened breakfast pastry that includes, by some estimates, up to 2,000 unique varieties. And though most bakeries do not produce a menu as broad as Mexico City’s Pastelería Ideal, every Mexican bakery, all over the world, makes conchas. They are the quintessential Mexican pan dulce.