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Taste of the NationThe New Deal Search for America's Food$
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Camille Bégin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040252

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040252.001.0001

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An American Culinary Heritage?

An American Culinary Heritage?

Mexican Food in the Southwest

(p.100) Chapter 4 An American Culinary Heritage?
Taste of the Nation

Camille Bégin

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on how the construction of Mexican food as southwestern heritage taste in the 1930s paradoxically participated in affirming the American identity of the region. The exploration of the links between tasting place and tasting race in the Southwest details how the construction of sensory racial authenticity intertwined with economic exchanges. The commodification of Mexican food as the region's culinary heritage spurred the development of practices of sensory sightseeing that participated in the making of the modern identity and wealth of the region, while curtailing Spanish speakers' participation in it as it confined them to the past and lumped together populations with vastly different immigration, social, and political histories.

Keywords:   Mexican food, southwestern heritage, American identity, racial authenticity, Spanish speakers

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