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Will Mexicans stomach a Canadian invasion?

20 April 2013

Foreign foods of various kinds have been incorporated into Mexican cuisine. While there are obvious exceptions like the cream cheese on a cracker and hunk of dead fish called “sushi” (and last time… and it will be the last time… I tried some, I came closer to admitting myself to the emergency room than any time in my 12 years in Mexico), “foreign” foods in Mexico usually do well, when they are Mexicanized. Some of our most “traditional” foods are foreign — tacos al pastor being Arab cuisine and bollios being a Mexican version of French bread… and about the only thing worthwhile the French occupation troops in the 1860s left behind.

But, of course, the Arabs and French cuisine can be eaten just as it comes originally, but , we’ve managed to incorporate a few items from the … er… cuisine-challenged corners of the world by Mexicanizing them into a more edible and tasty product:  back in the early 19th century, Cornish miners working in Pachuca introduced “Cornish pasties” which aren’t bad, just boring.  Mexicans who had the good sense to at least add chiles and create pastis.   And, “thanks” to NAFTA (and U.S. cultural imperialism), Mexicans are eating crap like potato chips  and hamburgesas, though the best of the lot comes with chiles and lime or at least something more intriguing than the U.S. version … but, until now, the OTHER NAFTA partner’s cuisine has been overlooked.

If you’re wondering what Canadian cuisine is… and I was… the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture is trying to change that. They’ve invested $50,000 (that’s Canadian dollars… about 600,000 Mexican pesos) in answering that question. They’ve dispatched a clean, well mannered roach-coach to serve out such “traditional” fare (concocted in the finest greasy-spoons of rural 1950s Quebec)  as “poutine.”

Canada Food Truck.jpg

Papas fritas en salsa de carne con cuajada not exactly being familiar to your average Mexican, the   Canadian marketing geniuses (?), taking their cue perhaps from the Mexican cooks who spiced up Cornish pasties to create  pastis have put a lot of work and research into finding secret that will get Mexicans to raise their cholesterol levels … and think they have the answer:  replacing the curds with hunks of Oaxaca cheese.


No chiles?

(National Post, thanks also to David Agren)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 20 April 2013 3:43 am

    As I read this post,my tummy did a little dance and not a happy one. I am Canadian but Ihave never eaten poutine. It sounds truly awful but my children have had it and tell me it is wonderful. Canadian cuisine is not among the more adventurous but having that dish representative of the county’s cooking is almost as crass as when Wayne Gretsky left his Edmonton team to go play hockey in Los Angeles

  2. AllenG permalink
    20 April 2013 8:38 am

    Ugggh, poo – teen. Kraft cheese heated and poured over greasy french fries. Available at every hockey rink in Canada. Must be better versions, but rarely seen, even Bigfoot is easier to spot.

  3. Mary O'Grady permalink
    20 April 2013 10:11 am

    Poutine is the ultimate junk food. I found it highly addictive.

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