From the racial defamation and mocking tone of “Mexican” restaurants geared toward the Anglo customer to the high-end Latin-inspired eateries with Anglo chefs who give the impression that the food was something unattended or poorly handled that they “discovered” or “rescued” from actual Latinos, the dilemma of how to make ethical choices in food production and consumption is always as close as the kitchen recipe, coffee pot, or table grape.
In Food Fight! author Paloma Martinez-Cruz takes us on a Chicanx gastronomic journey that is powerful and humorous. Martinez-Cruz tackles head on the real-world politics of food production from the exploitation of farmworkers to the appropriation of Latinx bodies and culture, and takes us right into transformative eateries that offer a homegrown, mestiza consciousness.
The hard-hitting essays in Food Fight! bring a mestiza critique to today’s pressing discussions of labeling, identity, and imaging in marketing and dining. Not just about food, restaurants, and coffee, this volume employs a decolonial approach and engaging voice to interrogate ways that mestizo, Indigenous, and Latinx peoples are objectified in mainstream ideology and imaginary.
About the Author
Paloma Martinez-Cruz is an associate professor of Latinx cultural studies at The Ohio State University. She is the author of Women and Knowledge in Mesoamerica: From East L.A. to Anahuac.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
Introduction: A Close Fight 3
1 Farmworker-to-Table Mexican: Decolonizing Haute Cuisine 17
2 On Cinco de Drinko and Jimmiechangas: Culinary Brownface in the Rust Belt Midwest 40
3 Homegirl Café: La Conciencia Mestiza as Culinary Counterstory 60
4 From Juan Valdez to Third Wave Cafés: Lattes and Latinidad in the Marketplace 88
Conclusion: Big Vehicle Food Fight 116
General readers interested in food culture, activists, and scholars of food and Latinx studies.