In class we watched a clip about a family who makes tortillas in Lexington, Kentucky, also known as Mexington. It made me realize the way that food has a connection to culture much deeper than what other people can see. The Ramirez family spoke about their hardships coming into a foreign land where they did not speak the language and the way that they created a community through the food.
The business started out due to the demand of tortillas and Mexican food in the area and the profit it gave. However the food did so much more than just bring a new type of cuisine into the area, create jobs, and deliver profits; it binded together a community allowing Mexicans in Kentucky to share their traditions and culture with their kids and families. It also aided in starting a conversation with non hispanics in the area. Laura Particias Husband speaks about non hispanics coming into and trying different foods and coming into a part of the town they would not before. Food works as a binding agent for those who wanted a taste of home and they also serve as a binding agent for two different cultures that in the south have a history of racism, to share space and ‘cut bread’ (or tortillas) with each other.
This video touched close to home in a way. While my experience and the Ramirez’s family experience are not by any chance similar, I have been able to enjoy the comfort that home cooking has. I spent a semester abroad my sophomore year of college traveling for 5 months between Ireland, Italy and France. Towards the end of my experience I was home sick, not for New York necessarily, but for my family and a familiar culture. My friends and I found a Colombian restaurant in Paris and being greeted in Spanish and being able to order the food my mom cooks everyday brought me a little closer to home. While it was not as good as my grandma’s cooking it was a small space that felt like home for a couple hours.