Thursday, August 12, 2010
Dear Gabacho: Are you a proud New Yorker – or a proud Manhattanite? The Big Manzana historically didn’t have great Mexican food (although it did have a crucial role in the development of Mexican food in the United States – you’ll have to wait next year for my upcoming book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America (And Soon, the World) for the details) – because Mexicans didn’t migrate to the region in large numbers. That changed in the last 20 years, with the 2000 Census showing that Mexicans were New York’s fastest-growing ethnic group – and that was before the Reconquista truly wrapped its mestizo hands around Gotham! You have some of the highest concentrations of people from Puebla and Hidalgo in the United States, so feast on barbacoa and cemitas poblanas – and leave the whining to Arizona governor Jan Brewer.I sat down this morning to drink my mocha and realized that I had no idea how Mexicans like their coffee. Europeans have espresso, Americans have McDonald’s mud, but what do the Mexicans have? Help me, amigo! -Caffeine Cabrona
Dear Gabacha: Café de olla – coffee from the pot, preferably lead-lined. Spiced with cinnamon and piloncillo and unrefined brown, café de olla is like a Mexican woman – spicy, sweet, caliente, perfect for late nights, early mornings, and slow, gentle blowing on its top before sipping.