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Anthony Bourdain Blasts the “Racist Assumption” That Mexican Food Should Be Cheap

Anthony Bourdain on Mexican Food and Latino Culture

By Yara Simón, remezcla.com

September 22nd, 2016

Earlier this year, The Atlantic explored why certain cuisines can price their food higher than others. The piece hypothesized that things like capital, military power, as well as the wealth of its immigrants directly correspond to the price of a country’s cuisine. In a Wednesday Reddit AMA, famed Chef Anthony Bourdain touched on the same topic, and he didn’t mince his words when it came to discussing why Mexican food deserves more respect.

“I would like people really to pay more for top-quality Mexican food,” he said. “I think it’s the most undervalued, under-appreciated world cuisine with tremendous, tremendous potential. These are in many cases really complex, wonderful sauces; particularly from Oaxaca, for instance, that date back from before Europe. I’m very excited about the possibilities for that cuisines, and I think we should pay more attention to it, learn more about it, and value it more. This is frankly a racist assumption that Mexican food or Indian food should be cheap. That’s not right.”

In his The Ethnic Restaurateur, author Krishnendu Ray analyzed the average check prices of cuisines on Zagat-listed restaurants. Mexican and Indian cuisines both ranked near the bottom.

Given a chance to answer what foods the US needs to embrace more, Bourdain once again highlighted Mexican cuisine and gave Peru a shout out.

Question from the Audience:

    1. Which ethnic food do Americans need to embrace more?
  1. Which foods do Americans need to stop eating?
    You are an inspiration… When I watch your shows, I know older guys can still be cool! THANK YOU!

Answer: Anthony Bourdain
2813 points2 years ago

    1. There are a lot that I think are underappreciated. Chinese food still remains a mystery to us, it’s not really anything like what they eat in China. Our knowledge on Japanese is not so wonderful. Countries who’s food is underrepresented, Brazil, Peru, higher-end Mexican food, Burmese, West African. Food from Senegal and Ghana is amazing, delicious, complex and interesting. So many of the fundamental flavors of what we call American food, in fact, came from those places. “Traditional Southern Food” so many of those textures and flavors and ingredients can trace their roots directly to West Africa
  1. Well look, do you really need a pizza that’s stuffed with cheese? County fair novelty food? deep fried butter. We can eat a lot less deep fried stuff, for sure. I’m not a big fan of the major fast food chains. Anything that’s oversized. Giant jugs of soda. I’m a father and I think about these things, sugar intake. I’m gonna be fair to junk food, I have trashy taste, but some of the fast food concoctions are pretty heinous. I personally don’t like fake Italian or fake Mexican food. One of the joys of having lots of Mexicans and Mexican Americans around is they make delicious food! Why would we go to a fast food outlet, for more money, selling us bad food? I wouldn’t mind seeing the end of these monster nacho concoctions. Anyone who would insist on putting BBQ in a Nori roll kind of offends me. Theme restaurants…not so great. There is a restaurant in Vegas, I think it’s called The Heart Attack Grill, where if you are over 350lbs you eat for free. I think that should be pretty much a war crime.