Am I an Elitist?
I read and hear the word elitist thrown around a lot and wonder if I would be considered one. I am well-educated and read the New York Times and the Washington Post. I keep up with what is happening in the world. I believe in science and vaccines. I don’t live on the East Coast or the West Coast. Well, while trying to understand why a Spanish-surnamed individual bad-mouthed our Raza brothers and sisters. I decided to investigate him through his prior writings when he attended Yale. Below is an excerpt from one of his articles.
But the more time I spent in this world of homemade ice cream and duck and kale, the more familiar it became to me. Further moments of alienation helped accelerate my assimilation: “Oh, you’re from the Rio Grande Valley?” a professor with limited experience of the area once asked me. “That’s where they think Olive Garden is a fancy restaurant, right?” My new peers might have been ignorant of the foods that raised me, but I wasn’t going to return the favor.
I have expanded my culinary horizons. When I moved to New York in 2021, I decided to stock my kitchen with many of the pots, pans and gadgets recommended by the website Serious Eats. I bought and skimmed the cookbook “Salt Fat Acid Heat.” I learned how to brine and roast a chicken. I started buying salads from Trader Joe’s.
By the latter half of 2022, I’d turned my temporary job into a permanent one, renewed my lease and had begun to ease further into the life of a member of the professional-managerial class. The maelstrom, if not completely calmed, was abating. Around that time, I began to experience odd cravings. One evening, I wanted lettuce. With apples and walnuts. And chicken — cold. I had to Google it to be sure, but I realized I wanted a Waldorf salad.
My culinary tastes have changed along with my socioeconomic position. I have come to accept that the kinds of food we eat and appreciate signal to the world and to ourselves something about who we are, about who we were, about who we have become. I’m fundamentally happy to now live a life where I not only understand references to the madeleine in Proust but have actually eaten one (and at a writing class in the South of France, no less).
But I am mourning the loss of something I loved — I wish eating a McNugget could still transport me to a time of warmth and love and safety, a time when I didn’t know what a madeleine was, when I didn’t know any better. Here is the article for the quote.
Chale vato, I am no elitist. I still love my flour tortillas and prefer to eat my food with the tortilla then with a fork or a spoon. My aunt once told me that they would never take the ranch out of me, she was so right. As Popeye says, I am who I am.
I am no elitist!
If your mom loved you the way ours’s did, you would get fresh homemade tortillas every day. Not any of the store bought bad tasting stuff.
The feature image is my mother preparing the dough for the tortillas.