But, Taco Bell is Mexican Food!

Being raised as an American, some may say I have had ‘blinders’ covering my eyes to the world of food. Growing up, authentic Chinese food was exactly what they served at ‘House of Good Fortune’ down the street, and traditional Mexican food was what popped out of the drive through widow at the local ‘Taco Bell’. Say what you would about it, there was no doubt my developing mind that I was tapping deep into other cultures tradition when indulging in these foods.

“This is how the other people eat!” I would think, stirring my chicken Chow Mein.

Looking back on my ignorance of food from my perspective now years later, it worries me to no end that other people still look upon food from the perspective of my own a few years ago. What American’s don’t realize is that the word authentic only holds so much meaning when plastered high up on a road side sign, and that Cheese Whiz isn’t a universal delicacy shared around the world. When American’s become consumed by the game of “who can serve my food the fastest and cheapest”, they completely lose out on the complexity and cultural necessity that food plays around the world. Now, being able to consider food something sacred and not what it is marketed to me, I can identify that eating authentic and traditional meals of other places is one of the most unique ways to accurately experience the culture of somewhere else.

Parker Stidham


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