(1) Tacos! Tacos!

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May 19, 2019 01:30
A long time ago, I heard a few American friends of mine complaining about the absence of Mexican-American in China. They, especially the Californians, missed the food very much. From then on, I became curious about how Mexican food tastes. I heard it’s typically spicy, which made me crave it even more. Being from Hunan, I grew up eating hot peppers. "Foreign spicy food" sounded pretty appealing to me.

However, for various reasons, Mexican food hasn’t made inroads into the Chinese market. Over a very long period of time, I tried many times to look for Mexican food but never worked out well. My city is quite cosmopolitan and famous for its foodie culture. Japanese, Thai, French, Italian -- you name it, we have it. Despite my best efforts, I managed to find a place tucked away in a small alleyway, but to my disappointment, the food didn’t taste good at all -- the tortilla had gone damp, and the fillings tasted strange.

“This can't be real Mexican food!,” I said to myself. My yearning for the cuisine has never died. Despite visiting America a couple times later in my life, I still didn’t make it to a Mexican restaurant. Those previous stays were very short and the itinerary was determined by others. Sadly, Mexican food wasn’t on the menu. Sitting in the back of the car, I watched one Taco Bell outlet after another pass by. I suppressed the urge to ask the driver to pull over for a taco, because it would’ve been awkward.

In November 2017, I finally got to eat some Mexican food. While strolling in San Francisco, I noticed a Chipotle across the street. Though I’d never heard of this restaurant, my intuition told me it was Mexican. “That’s it!” I stormed towards it.