“No Tortilla in Sight”-Rudy Rodriguez

Rudy Rodriguez

“No Tortilla in Sight”

Food Review

El Rocoto

 

What do you mean you don’t know eat tortillas? This was the beginning of my enlightenment. It coincidently began while I was eating a huge bowl of menudo at my prima’s house. And yes, menudo does cure hangovers. My cunado or my cunie, as my prima refers to, is a Peruvian-American and has family from Peru and is very much into his culture, especially if it’s food or pisco. My prima, like most Mexican women in their family do, she tossed a huge mound of tortillas right in the middle of the dinner table. Or in this case the breakfast table. Does that even exist? I don’t know. But my cunado didn’t even budge! Not one tortilla, not one! I was in utter shock. He was going to eat his menudo sin tortilla. Everyone knows that the tortilla is just one of many keys in the menudo curing hangover remedy!

“We eat bread”, was the slow words that crawled out of his mouth. After the Tylenol and Gatorade kicked in, I started questioning him about other foods that Peruvians eat. Now, I know they eat bread instead of tortilla, pisco instead of tequila, and they even use banana leaves instead of corn husks. Two words: culture shock. Yet, it was a good kind of shock. For me, Mexican food is synonymous with SoCal, but I began to wonder and ask myself. Is it really true in this country of ours that a Mexican is the same thing as a Cuban? It is all the same. They all eat the same thing? There is no real difference between a Guatemalan and a Peruvian? I think not. I think it would be a fair question……if you were an idiot. We have so many types of food from down south; it should be easy to say that regional food is attainable here in SoCal, specifically here in Cerritos, in a city on a county border. Here we are in Southern California, we love the taste of food from south of the border. Thanks to my cunado, I wanted to try authentic Peruvian cuisine and El Rocoto, in Cerritos, is the place to eat and experience that.

I began my journey looking for a large building with valet or at the very least high class cars, like Mercedes and Audis, but I had a rude awakening when I drove up to this shopping center that looked like it was cut straight out of The Block’s planning book. It had all kinds of cars driving in and out. The sounds of cars screeching and horns barreled in my ears made me cringe. I began to think this was a bad idea. Damn Google told me this was the place. This was the address for this dang restaurant. I began to panic. I nearly jumped into the horn frenzied battle, but then there it was. El Rocoto. My first thought was, this is it?  A tiny little door. Boy was I wrong.

As the door swung open I heard more noise, but this was more soothing. It was continuous to the herd of machines outside; nonetheless, this was the sound of a party. Glasses clinking, metal spoons hitting the porcelain dishes and ice chiming the silver shakers was all I heard. Once the door slam shut, there was an absence of horns and the smell of burned rubber depleted. This sound and smell was delightful. Music to me, really. I never been to Peru, but the smell in the kitchen and the colors of red and yellow made me feel like I was in Lima. The first thing my waitress brought me was two pieces of bread with butter and two crème salsas, one was yellow or orange that’s up to a debate really, the other was “guacamole” green. For a split, a very split second, I asked myself “where’s the chips?”, but I remembered the discussion I had with my cunado. I guess it comes naturally.  I definitely, love carbs, so I think bread was going to be a great start. There it was. The heat was radiating off the bread, I could smell the steam rising up off it into me. The smell brought this warm feeling that this was going to be a fantastic meal. I honestly didn’t know what the cream was. I really thought it was going taste funky, and the green sauce, well, I thought it was guacamole. Man, was I completely wrong. I hesitantly dipped my finger in the orange sauce, thinking it was going to be sweet flavor. WOW! I felt this sharp burning on the tip of my tongue and I finally knew this was salsa in a cream form. I fell in love. I quickly cracked my bread and dunk it into the junior bowl. The taste was a mixture of soft tenderness with a slap in the face kind of burning heat. It was feelings from that summer fling you will never forget or a wife or mistress. I am not too sure, but you can get my drift. This stuff was intense and I was enjoying every minute of it. I noticed how hard the breads crust was, but so moist and fluffy on the inside. Once I dipped it into the green sauce I immediately knew it wasn’t guacamole. Not even close. It tasted spicy with a hint of lime. The mixture confused my taste buds. At first it gives you the heat straight on and your mouth expects relief from the freshness of the lime, but it actually makes it worse. It was definitely a double agent. But in the end the green jalapeño sauce was delicious, but it did not match up against good old yellow jalapeño sauce. The yellow sauce tasted thicker and went better with the bread compared to the fresh lime flavor of the green one.

Once I devoured my bread, I was ready to order and since I am at a Peruvian Restaurant I ordered the arroz chaufa especial. It comes with fried brown rice with shrimp, beef, pork and even chicken. Wow. This is my kind of plate. All kinds of meat and seafood put on one plate? I’m in. I was pretty confused and I thought it was interesting that my waitress, Susan, looked a tad bit Asian. There are actually a high percentage of Chinese-Peruvians that exist. There have been Chinese or Asian immigrants in Peru since the early 19th century. Because of this migration, Peruvian food has some Asian influence like arroz chaufa. Arroz chaufa consists of egg, fried rice, and different meats like shrimp, beef, chicken or pork. They usually add Chinese onions or scallions. Arroz chaufa is even cooked on high heat and usually on a wok, just like other Chinese or Asian food, like stir fry and chow mein. Soy sauce and chile usually go hand in hand when it comes to arroz chaufa. This mixture of people in Peru, like Susan, who spoke perfect Spanish and was Asian, parallels the mixture of people at El Rocoto.

As I waited for my entrée, I looked around and saw so much color in the room. It was refreshing. Behind me was an older white lady dining with a Latino. They seem to be laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Across from me was a family that seemed to be from the Middle East and to the right of them was a party of 8 of an Asian family dining together. Interestingly enough, on that table there was one white guy hugging and laughing with his Asian girlfriend. Laughter and smiles all around. And through all this, in the background, the sound of sizzling meat and silver hitting glass was exhilarating. This is a melting pot in the center of Cerritos.

Across the entire room and over people’s heads I see this mountain of food on a dish. I had this gut feeling it was mine. The arroz chaufa especial serves two, but it only served one that day. The brown rice was tender and moist. The shrimp was plump and meaty. This shrimp was in a class with the shrimp from Ports O’Call, San Pedro. It was piled on with beef and chicken that were cooked so well that the meats were tender and melted in my mouth. On the side, in a small cup, was sliced carrots and sweet ginger. I really felt like a newbie. I didn’t know what I could eat or not. Should I put the salsa on? Do I even eat the carrots and ginger or are they just garnish? So many things were going in my head. Finally, I splashed a gallon of the yellow sauce on top of the mountain of arroz chaufa and dove in. The mixture of heat from the sauce and the coolness from the ginger and carrots, with the meats and rice in the middle, was just amazing. It created this fusion and balance of temperature and taste. I would definitely recommend this plate at El Rocoto to anyone I know. I spent only $20 on an entire meal. The place looks elegant with cherry wood surrounding the restaurants wine, and the entrees showing, but the price is affordable and the food is amazing. If you want authentic Peruvian food, experience it here. El Rocoto is the real deal. If you don’t believe me, ask my dehydrated cunado.

 

El Rocoto,

11433 S St, Cerritos, CA 90703                                 

 

 

Ska Music; It’s not dead

       Ska music was created in the 1960 in Jamaica by various artist who
were trying to find a new music that would set people’s feet moving.
The artist had to make Ska because the music scene in America was
going from Jazz and Rhythm & Blues to Rock n’ Roll; the dance steps
for the latter were not what Jamaicans preferred. These various artist
like Rolond Alphonso, Don Drummond, and Dizzy Moore took from their
favorite types of music: Jazz, Rhythm & blues, American Bee pop, and
Traditional Jamican/Caribbean music to make the Calypso music we now
call Ska. Ska was Jamaica’s first real Jamaican owned music; made in
Jamaica for Jamaicans. Ska became a booming hit. Musicians would play
it at clubs, bars, weddings, on the streets, and just about anywhere
they could go because the people starved for it. Even after the
popularity of Ska died out in Jamaica, it bred new music into the tiny
little Island of Jamaica. Later on in the same century Rocksteady was
born and right before the seventies were born the music called Reggae
was born–both having a direct ancestry to Ska music.

The reason behind the name ‘Ska’ is said to come from the sound of the
way the guitar rings in a “skat, skat, skat” sound. This sound is
fairly unique, but it gives you a continuous beat like you hear in
other music like Reggae, Reggaeton, Pokka and Mariachi. Yet like those
genres of music, Ska does not rely on the guitar, but on the Rhythm of
both the Drums and Bass. Most people today that saw a Ska band from
the 60’s would probably think it was a big band, like the ones you see
in Swing music. Most bands would consist of three to four horn players
consisting of various Trombone, Saxophone and Trumpets. Lastly, the
Uniqueness of the sound of Ska would come from the Organ player.

       The talented band Viernes 13 has been around since the 90’s and has
gained great popularity. Their combination of trumpet, trombone, and
drum create a dancing rhythm that energizes the audience to their
beats. Their simple lyrics of “tell me how you feel,” help the
audience connect with the singer by addressing a universal subject
such as love. While listening to this band, all I wanted to do was bop
my head to the rhythm of the trumpet and the voice of the lead singer.
This band has gained such a positive reputation in the music scene of
Los Angeles and has allowed it to grow in years. I will have to one
day attend one of their show, because I was very impressed by their
music. Music is universal and the fact that the music was in Spanish
did not bother me. I don’t listen to a lot of Spanish music but this
band was so catchy that all I could do was focus on the beats.

Fullerton Library-Rudy Rodriguez

As I rushed to the library to see Gustavo’s book signing, I just realized I did not bring cash. Completely bummed out. I was running late as it is, so I did not want to miss it. I arrived to see a normal library, people walking in and out, kids checking out books. But Once I walked into the event room and saw people of all ages chit chatting and laughing I realized this is where I wanted to be. Gustavo was introduced and he began to speak about his experience with the book and started to read excerpts from it. He spoke of doritos from an Anaheim company and the revolution of the taco. It was brilliant. It really hit home when he spoke of soCal and our connection to mexican food. I began to ask questions. I asked a writer, a parent and a food lover.

                              The Writer

WHY DID YOU COME TO THE EVENT?

So many reasons. I love food, especially mexican food. I read Gustavo’s work and I wanted to meet him.

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS EVENT?

The OC Weekly. I read it every week. I like Gustavo’s food blog. I like to write and dabble.

ARE YOU IN THE OC WEEKLY?

No, but I do a food blog.

DID YOU ENJOY IT?

Loved it.

IS THIS YOUR FIRST BOOK SIGNING YOU HAVE BEEN TO?

No, I love to read and write.

WHATS YOUR FAVORITE MEXICAN FOOD?

Love chile rellenos.

       The Parent

WHY DID YOU COME TO THE EVENT?

Oc weekly and I like mexican food.

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS EVENT?

My daughter told me about it.

DID YOU ENJOY IT?

yes I did. I really liked the mexican history part.

IS THIS YOUR FIRST BOOK SIGNING YOU HAVE BEEN TO?

yes.

WHATS YOUR FAVORITE MEXICAN FOOD?

Chile rellano with batter, not the naked ones.                  

                             The Food Lover

WHY DID YOU COME TO THE EVENT?

I love food.

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS EVENT?

I bought some of Gustavo’s books and I read about it in the OC Weekly

DID YOU ENJOY IT?

Yes I really did.

IS THIS YOUR FIRST BOOK SIGNING YOU HAVE BEEN TO?

No, I met Cheech Marin one time.

WHATS YOUR FAVORITE MEXICAN FOOD?

Carne Asada tacos with everything.

 

Taco USA book Signing @ The Fullerton library

As I entered the library, I had arrived early to grab a good seat. I have never been to a book signing before so I was excited. I enjoyed that it was a different crowd then what I was used to, I saw a lot of old Caucasian people who seem very educated and well off. The crowd started forming as it began I especially enjoyed Mr. Martinez, the “hype man” in the beginning gave a very good introduction.  He explained how a driver’s license can take you far but a library card can take you farther. He started by saying some people don’t like Mexican people but love Mexican food. He introduced Gustavo as a professor, book writer and editor of the OC weekly.

To begin the speech the professor by calling out a black Honda who left there lights on, and to his students to make sure they email him papers. Off the bat his speech was very free flowing unrehearsed and naturally connected with the audience. He began with some adventures of where his book had taken him, like some Mexican tater tots he tried in South Dakota, a really good burrito in central Kentucky. “Mexican food is a hybrid of all food”, he explained and at one point a story about a neo Nazi sting where he found them eating at a local Del taco after a meeting.  Why did he write the book?  because he loves Mexican food and very few know the history of Mexican food. He stated he loves unknown history and is giving credit where credit is due. Like the origin of taco bell, burritos, chimichangas, nachos, one fact that was surprised to know was that the Dorito was invented at Disneyland. The tamales in 1890 America went crazy and for chili con carne which dated all the way back to1880’s. I didn’t know that it had been in America that long. The Braceros brought the first burritos and on 1880’s the taco was given its name. It felt like a food history lesson and I was amazed. I enjoyed how he used humor and Mexican food to glorify Mexican culture.

At one point I laughed when he spoke of white washed Mexican restaurants  like Mexi-casa, I overheard some old white lady in the background whisper hey I love that restaurant. He offered many good recommendations and I liked that he brought his whole family onstage. He is a great man who values family, questions authority, teaches to think outside the box and loves his Mexican food and his Hispanic culture. He is breaking stereotypes by using food and humor to bring people together.

After the speech I interviewed three gentlemen to see what they thought about it

Wally

Why did u come here today?

I was invited by a friend

How did you hear of the event?

Same friend had invited him

What did you think of the event?

Interesting the history of Mexican food there is so much to know

Is this your first book signing?

yes

What is your favorite Mexican dish?

Burrito with everything on it and very spicey

Adam

Why did u come here today?

His step dad shoots video for the OC Weekly

How did you hear of the event?

From his dads work

What did you think of the event?

He liked the stories about the Doritos

Is this your first book signing?

Yes first one

What is your favorite Mexican dish?

He said a muleta cheesy meat in a tortilla

Ricardo

Why did u come here today?

Cus of a friend

How did you hear of the event?

Same friend

What did you think of the event?

Funny informative and his personality

Is this your first book signing?

yes

What is your favorite Mexican dish?

Burrito

New CSU president! A Latino female!?

 

Weeks ago I walked by the CSUF library and picked up a paper with the front page showing a new Fullerton president appointed Mrs. Mildred Garcia. She is the first Latina president in the CSU system, I was surprised to see it was a female and she was a minority. So I went online to see a short clip about her inauguration. She seemed like a very smart and well-spoken lady. She spoke of being a first generation college student, She spoke of her experience in Brooklyn and working at a factory at age 14 after her parents migrated from Puerto Rico. She studied business education and worked her way to the top.  She has 10 years’ experience as president and had previously come from a president chief position at Dominguez hills, so she has experience. While she served her tenure at Dominguez she helped launched the community outreach program to boost the number of Latinos and other minorities. The CSU trustees like her because she helped steer 14,300 students through several years of state budget cuts while granted enrollment expanded. She will begin her position on June 1st   as Fullerton new chief. Some are criticizing her because she will receive 324k plus housing and 12,000 per year car allowance. That is 10% more than the previous Cal state Fullerton president had received.

I think this is not right since our tuition has increased so much and all these budget cuts have happened. But at the end this is all a business in this money game and she knows it very well having received a degree in business education. I do not know how the future of Cal State Fullerton will go but I hope the students and teachers continue to protest from trustees to keep increasing fees and decreasing services to us students.

A taco a day couldn’t keep the gabachos away…

…it’s proven quite the opposite in fact. While most would consider it a common fact that Mexican food is extremely popular in the United States, our untrained eye could never see the magnitude with which our neighbor’s cuisine has altered American eating forever. Luckily, for us common-folk, we’ve got the insight and guidance provided by comida aficionado himself, Gustavo Arellano. While a great number of OCWeekly readers may only be familiar with his witty and seemingly controversial column ¡Ask a Mexican!, as the editor of the greatly acclaimed publication, Arellano is a well-trained writer in the ways of investigative and hard hitting journalism. Having worked with questionable politicians and neo-Nazis alike, he has an eye for the truth and a thirst for proof. After spending countless hours buried in information, Gustavo has recently turned his questioning eye toward a more delicious culprit; Mexican food. In his most recent book, Taco USA: How Mexican food Conquered America, Arellano scoured the states in search of Latin love in the form of food. Having sacrificed his time and palate to the many variations of burritos and more traditional meals, Arellano includes a detailed and surprising account of the migration of Mexico’s food from across the border to our kitchen tables.
While on a pit stop for his book’s U.S. tour, Arellano and friends provided a show an a lesson. The show, including hot sauce swag and humorous readings from his book, served as an outstanding show of who Arellano is as a writer, professor, and son. His words were only as swift as his sarcasm and his family members could no better hide their pride than the sun could hide it’s rays. The lesson was found within the passages, dated back from Anaheim’s earliest encounters with Disneyland, and even earlier establishments of Latino communities. The earliest of businesses set to mass produce Mexican food could not have predicted the crave endured reactions, and it seems that only a mister Gustavo Arellano could tell it’s story.
After being introduced by Ruben Martinez, a man well known in his community as a bookstore owner and educational advocate, the crowd knew that they were in the presence of a great mind, an insightful mind, and a strong voice for the Chicano community. While disputing stereotypes and even less supported food-related myths, Arellano used his passion for food to connect every listener to one another. We were no longer strangers but people who loved food, wanted to hear the truth, and enjoyed a good read almost as much as a quality burrito. We were a group hungry for knowledge…and tacos.

Immediately following the event, I was given the opportunity to speak with three very different fans, all of whom had may not have been avid readers of sustenance related history, but had been drawn there regardless. The first, an older woman seated in the very front row, had appeared outspoken and critical throughout Gustavo’s discussion. When approached, and quickly diverted by the husband, I was compelled to understand what would bring an older anglo-woman to such an event. Her responses, which were provided with an air of all-knowing knowledge toward the Mexican community, were wrapped as though a gift. While my sarcasm my not be quickly understood, I can assure you, the reader, that she was hoping to communicate her well-travelled experiences rather than her interest in Taco USA. The respondent, or Tina, said that she had only been brought to the signing by her husband, after hearing about the event on NPR and appeared to have been intrigued despite the apparent coercion. Her reaction was excited to say the least when asked what her opinion was of the event, and she expressed that “Of course, [she] loved all of it.” She most especially enjoyed the background provided on some of her favorite foods. While it wasn’t her first book signing, obviously (sarcasm again), she could hardly handle the long wait in the line to get her book signed. Although our interview had long since ended, she made sure to catch up with me and critique not only my interview, but the organization of the event and the rate at which she was advancing toward the front of the line. In between complaints and expressions of superiority, I was informed that she had been to every region of Mexico, frequently travelled, and enjoyed cuisine at a place whose name she surprisingly could not recall. Similarly, her favorite dish was an item which she could not recall the name of, but started with a chiles el…something-or-other.

[With all sarcasm aside, I would like to say that I rarely react well to the rude, and was forced to include her in this post lest I lose credit for our assignment.]

The next, and definitely unlikely interviewee, was Shuji, or better known as Arellano’s cameraman. During the chaos of the event, I was left with little opportunity besides the questioning of an employee of the writer himself. While his reason for arrival, and all other logistical information was moot, it was most assuredly fascinating to gain insight into the world in which writers may live. Shuji seemed jovial despite being questioned while working, and appeared to be a happy member of “The Mexican’s” team. His favorite dish, then, would be tacos acorazados, or anything with tripas.

Lastly, my final interview was with an accidental attendee whose interest had most definitely been sparked by all of the topics discussed. As he awaited his wife’s return from speaking with her professor, Julio could hardly retain his excitement when asked what his favorite parts of the signing had been. While he hadn’t been drawn there purely by his need to hear about hamburger burritos, Julio seemed more than happy to have accompanied his wife to the signing. He considered the event to be funny as well as informative, and especially appreciated the research presented, the “silly facts”, and the story regarding Taco Bell and the Doritos Locos Taco. What appeared most interesting to him though? He could not, for the life of him, think of a favorite Mexican dish of his. When posed with the question earlier in the evening, he had thought continuously for an answer and was still at a loss. His only requirement or a dish to be tasty is that it be authentic and healthy. As a man who is hoping to maintain his cholesterol and his taste for home-cooking, Julio asks only that he be fed the foods of our neighbors the way our neighbors had intended.

With all foodie fun and sarcastic comments aside, the signing proved inspiring and informative. As a Mexican-American student in a financially despairing time, it has been tempting to give into the pains of society. But, after seeing and hearing the accounts presented by Martinez and Arellano, I am reminding of my duty to myself as well as those I represent. Whether we like it or not, all Mexican American students become examples of others in our culture, and are thus made open to ridicule and encouragement alike. It took only a few words from some peers to remind me that our people have affectively changed American cuisine and culture forever, thus proving the importance of our presence in it’s future.

Taco USA, at the Fullerton library

Gustavo Arellano hosted a book signing at the Fullerton library, of his recently released book Taco USA, How Mexican Food Conquered America. I was fortunate to attend the event with my fellow classmates. The event was full of positive energy, with everyone eager to listen to Gustavo talk about his most recent book. The room was completely filled, and their wasn’t enough chairs to accommodate everyone who attended the event. Over all it was a great event and it was great to listen to the experiences he had while writing the book. The people I interviewed as part of my assignment appeared to also have enjoyed the event. Here are the interviews that that I conducted with the people that attended the book signing.

 

Emon

Why did you come her to the event?

My girlfriend is a fan of the author, and I accompanied her. Well she told me I that I needed to come with her.

How did you hear about this event?

My girlfriend told me about it.

Have you heard of Gustavo before?

I have not heard of him until my girlfriend began to mention him. When she was reading one of his books, since then I began to read a few of his articles.

What did you think of the event?

It was good. I didn’t think that it was going to be so crowded, but I really enjoyed it.

What has your favorite part of the event?

My favorite part of the event was when he was talking about the history of Doritos and how it is connected to Disneyland.

Is this the first book signing you attend?

Yes this is my first book signing I attend.

What is your favorite Mexican dish?

My favorite Mexican dish is tamales.

Any particular kind or from a certain place?

Well I like red pork tamales, and I really don’t have a favorite place where I eat tamales.

 

Mani

Why did you come here?

To hear him talk about his book, and so that I can get a copy of the book signed.

What is your favorite book by Gustavo?

So far my favorite book has been Orange County.

Why is Orange County your favorite book?

Because I live in orange county my whole life, and I found the book to be insightful.

How did you hear about it?

I read about the event in the OC weekly 

Is this your first time at a book singing?

Yes

Did you enjoy the event?

Yes I enjoyed it, specially listening to him read portions of the book.

What is your favorite Mexican dish?

My favorite Mexican dish are chilles rellenos.

Where is your favorite place to get them?

I know Gustavo isn’t going to like this, but my favorite place is Mexicasa on Main.

 

Esteban

Why did you come to the event?

Because I’m a fan of Gustavo and have read his previous books

How did you hear about it?

I heard of it on face book.

What did you think of the event?

I really enjoyed it, it was great to see how many people showed up to the event.

What was your favorite thing about the event?

I really enjoyed listening to him talk about his research and the interviews he conducted for the book. I really enjoyed and was surprised with the history of Doritos and how it was connected to Disneyland.

Is this your first time at a book signing?

No I have attended other book singings, and attended Gustavo’s last one.

What is your favorite Mexican dish?

My favorite Mexican dish are cheese enchiladas, I could eat them all the time.

Where is your favorite place to eat them from?

Well my favorite place closed, it was called Chavez.

“Taco USA”……book signing at Fullerton Public Library.

What can one expect from a food connoisseur such as Gustavo Arellano? Nothing but the best of course….the wonderful writer and editor for the OC Weekly has once again released a new book for mass consumption. In fact this is what this book may make you want to do, and that is because of the topic it covers. In his new book Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, he discusses the ins and outs of Mexican food in United States as well as goes into a lot of trivial stuff such as where Doritos were invented, to how Glen Bell conjured up the idea for Taco Bell.

I had the pleasure of attending the book signing at the Fullerton Public Library on April 12, 2012, and what can I tell you. The house was full and hot sauce was provided courtesy of Gringo Bandito. Being that this assignment was to ask three individuals a set of questions, I did just that and below are some of the responses.

Christina

Why did you come to this event?

I wanted to come and see one of my favorite individuals, and hopefully get him to sign my book.

How did you hear about the event?

Being that I am an avid reader of the OC Weekly, I knew about the event for a while now, but KROQ actually had a bit on it so that is how I got here.

Did you enjoy the event?

Yes, of course it was interesting and fun to see such a great person from Orange County that could possibly share so many similar experience as myself. Also it is not everyday that you get to see celebrities even if it may be a local one. ( She proceeded to laugh)

Is this the first book signing you ever attend?

Unfortunately, this is the first signing I have been too, but the big reason I came out is because I constantly follow his work.

What would you say you favorite Mexican dish is?

Oh boy, where to start, and in fact I am not sure if I can just name one. For the sake of time I would have to say that mole is one of my favorite dishes that I would enjoy eating any day, along with a side of home made corn tortillas.

Marilyn/ Karina

Why did you ladies come to this event?

We actually came because we live in the area, and heard about it through KROQ. We kind of just pushed each other to come because we like Gustavo’s stuff, and are big fans.

How did you hear about the event?

Like we said thanks to KROQ we heard about the event, and if hadn’t been  because of that we wouldn’t be here.

Did you enjoy the event?

It was great, and worth while because we wanted to see him as well as get our books signed. He is like a celebrity to us, and enjoy listening when he speaks.

Is this the first book signing you ever attend?

It actually isn’t because we both have been to other signings for more fiction books that we enjoy reading.

What would you say your favorite Mexican dish is?

When it comes to both of us we really enjoy eating sopes with green salsa. If anything homemade sopes are the best and probably what we both eat the most when it comes to Mexican food.

Senor Arellano

As crazy as it may seem I actually had the opportunity to speak to Gustavo’s father; what was suppose to be an interview with him turned into a conservation about where to get good carnitas as well as carne asada. Senor Arellano talked to me about how proud he was of all his children because of his background as an immigrant who had limited access to education. Also he even went into how certain things about coming to the U.S. were difficult, but that now things are better and is happy to be here. He even went on to tell me how much he enjoyed tacos with the red sauce from King Taco on 3rd street in East LA. I think if time would have permitted he would of kept going, but being that he had to go, he did give me one suggestion that if I wanted good carne asada that I should go to La Vendita in Carson.

This event was not only entertaining but also very uplifting. The reason being that finally an individual has come out, and brought light upon the fact that people may not like Mexican but they sure love the food!

Quotes about the book

In this entertaining nod to culinary and cultural histories, journalist Arellano traces the roots of Mexican food in the U.S. and explores the cuisine’s many offshoots, underscoring why salsa is now our #1 condiment… Arellano makes the point, one that’s particularly relevant in today’s heated immigration debate, that as much as some Americans may protest Mexican immigrants, they’re in love with Mexican food.”Publishers Weekly
“An appealing cultural exploration of Mexican food in the United States…. Readers will come away not only hungry, but with a deeper understanding of the Mexican people and their cuisine.”Kirkus

“[Arellano] manages to squeeze in mentions of just about every Mexican restaurant (including, believe it or not, both Taco Cabana and the dining room of the Austin Hyatt), product line, and preparation in the country. If you’ve ever wondered about the roots of Taco Bell or why fajitas are called that or who invented the frozen-margarita machine, you’ll find answers here.”Slate Magazine

Rosendo Corona book signing located at Fullerton Public Library

Hello all, I recently attended the magnificent book signing at the beautiful town of Orange County located at Fullerton Public Library at 353 W Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832 by an intelligent bright Professor and Editor Gustavo Arellano on his book called ‘Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.’ The event was full of people; it was fun, good learning and inspirational. Gustavo was talking about some features of his book about “How the Frito Lay’s Doritos were actually first made” and “How Taco Bell started.” Furthermore Gustavo went along and said of how the Mexican Taco was created and introduced in the U.S.A. and also how the Tamale was first made in San Francisco, California. I really liked the event because it made me realize how Mexican Food is delicious and popular to us Hispanics/Mexicans and for the American people.

After the event, I was able to interview three people.

Q1:  Why did you come to the event? She attended the event for a requirement of her Fullerton Community College Chicano Class.

Q2: How did you hear of the event? She heard the event by her professor.

Q3: What did you think of the event? I really like the event and made me think more about my Mexican Culture.

Q4: Is this the first book signing you’ve been to? It was my first book signing and I am going to go more often.

Q5: What’s your favorite Mexican food? My favorite dish is Sopes with carne asada and lettuce.

Q1:  Why did you come to the event? I came to support my girlfriend because she had to be here.

Q2: How did you hear of the event? I heard it through my girlfriend because she is taking Professor Gustavo Arellano class at Cal State Fullerton Chicano Studies.

Q3: What did you think of the event? I really liked it because it was really a learning experience about the Mexican food. Also how Gustavo mentioned about the Frito Lay’s Doritos was first made at Disneyland.

Q4: Is this the first book signing you’ve been to? It was my first time.

Q5: What’s your favorite Mexican food? My favorite food is Tamales located at Santa Ana called “Los Tamales.”

Q1:  Why did you come to the event? I came with my cousin to support her.

Q2: How did you hear of the event? I heard it by my cousin.

Q3: What did you think of the event? I really thought the event was interesting of how Gustavo wrote an awesome book and how the American People love the Mexican Food.

Q4: Is this the first book signing you’ve been to? It was my first time.

Q5: What’s your favorite Mexican food? The Enchiladas with green chili and chicken is my favorite dish.

Overall my first book signing was an incredible and learning experience. Gustavo really inspired me especially when he took the stage and talked about his book and other books he wrote. It made me realize of how Mexican Food conquered U.S.A. Also, I really enjoyed when Gustavo mentioned, the history of Mexican Food.  Gustavo did an awesome job of his three years or more of research of his recent book.  The book will make a good seller because a lot of work was put into the book. Just by attending my first book signing, I am going to attend more often.

Book Interview at Fullerton library

I interviewed 3 individuals that night. I gotta say that I was really impressed with Mr. Arellano. He did a good job in representing himself and his new book. I think the support of his family was also great. The whole idea of Mexican food taking over America is pretty amazing, for the simple fact that mexican food is everywhere and most people like mexican food, regardless of their ethinicity.  With that said I interview a friend of mine that came along with me, and also two students that attend Cal State Fullerton.

Q: Why did you come here?                           

A: because you invited me. lolololol

Q: How did you hear about the event?

A: From you, dumb ass. lolololololol

Q: What did you think about the event?

A: It was good and interesting history about mexican food.

Q: Is this the first time at a book signing?

A: yes

Q: Whats your favorite mexican dish?

A: carne asada tortas.

2nd interview.

Q: Why did you come here?

A: To support and buy Mr. Arellano’s book

Q: How did you hear about the event?

A: On his radio station.

Q: What did you think about the event?

A: I thought it was a good informative speech about mexican food, made me hungry, lol, can’t wait to read his book.

Q: Is this the first time at a book signing?

A: yes

Q: What’s your favorite mexican dish?

A: green salsa enchiladas.

3rd interview.

Q; Why did you come here?

A: A friend invited me here that has Mr. Arellano for a Chicano class.

Q: How did you hear about the event?

A: Through a friend in school that takes a Chicano class.

Q: What did you think about the event?

A: It was really good and funny, that Doritos where made in Disneyland,  I would of never guess that.

Q: Is this the first time at a book signing?

A: yes

Q: What is your favorite mexican dish?

A: Camarones ala diabla estila sinaloa.

 

By: Jose Arvizu

good night everyone!