Growing up in Mexico, my friends and teachers frequently asked me about my Japanese background, so I got used to ask my parents if some particular food, word or tradition was Japanese, Mexican, or a blend. When I came to Canada as a young grown-up, I found myself talking again about food, words and traditions, but the questions had mostly turned to Mexico, my country of origin. I knew some answers, but sometimes it was hard to put them into context or, shamefully, there were many I simply did not know. That motivated me to find meaningful answers to those questions, and what started as brushing up on colloquial Spanish, Mexican history and its food, became a new experience, and stuff I learned in school or took for granted, acquired a new dimension. It has been very satisfying to finally understand why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico (Cinco de Mayo: Beyond Margaritas), or being able to cook Mexican classics such as Verdolagas en salsa verde in Canada, from the ground to my table (Purslane: weeds from my backyard). Throughout the years, I have shared these findings with friends, teachers, colleagues, and even curious strangers, and I am very excited to begin documenting them here, today. Topics will be featured each week, including recipes, gardening tips, and developing stories, as I share My Slice of Mexico.
Irene Arita February 18, 2018