Throughout this course I have learned so much about how important food is to who we are. Of course we focused primarily on Mexican food, which means that a lot of that knowledge came from researching and eating (yay!) lots of Mexican food. There are so many things about this course that I am grateful for but I think that the best part about it was that it inspired me to try new foods and visit restaurants that I never would have before. For example, if you have been following this page, you know that Taqueria Coatzingo is now one of my favorite places to eat. I also really enjoyed having a reason to go out with friends to the restaurants. I took this class with one of my best friends (Alexis) and we usually could get a pretty big group together to come eat tacos and drink margaritas with us! Even though this semester was cut a little bit short, I have a lot of great taco memories with friends from it.

Taqueria Coatzingo with friends 🙂
Taqueria Coatzingo in Jackson Heights

You will also know that I tried tamales for the first time and loved them so much that I focused on them for one of my projects. By researching tamales I learned so much about how food is never the same, and that does not mean that any version of it is wrong. Every region of the world has a different version of tamales and I learned the same to be true about pierogies


when I interviewed my grandpa about Polish food.

Mole Tamal from Taqueria Coatzingo

I think the thing that I enjoyed the most about this class was learning how important food is to culture and how much history plays into the foods that we eat. I learned that the reason tamales and tortillas are made with corn by the process of nixtamalization to create masa dates back all the way to the Aztec empire. It is the same as how my Papa described in Assignment 4 that cabbage is used in a lot of Polish food because Poland is a poor country and it has harsh winters. Cabbage stays good for a long time and is very cheap, so they developed delicious dished like golumpki to help them survive.

What is Nixtamalization, and Why Should I Care? - Chop's Kitchen

Lastly, at the beginning of the semester I was really caught up on the idea of “authenticity” in food. In assignment 3, I decided to dive into that question and it lead me to a realization that I will carry with me throughout my life as I encounter different foods. The blending of culture is a good thing. If you are respectful and appreciative of where the food that you are eating came from, then it doesn’t really matter if it is the same as it was when it was first created. That being said, during this course I have learned to appreciate food for its history, taste, and ability to bring people together, and for that I am really appreciative.


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