I interviewed my mother’s assistant who is originally from Guatemala in order to find out more about her culture. I have known her my entire life, yet I don’t know exactly what kind of background she comes from and what values her people have. I talked to her about a few things one of them being recipes that she is very familiar with.
Collector: “What kind of food do you normally eat when you are at home? What recipes?”
Informant: “We basically eat just a lot of beans, corn, and tortilla. These foods are mainly what grow around the area of my home so thats easiest thing to eat and also the least expensive because a lot of my family just grow the food.”
Collector: “Any specific recipes?”
Informant: “There is one recipe that we serve a lot called Chilaquiles. This is a traditional dish from my home town. It has corn tortillas at the bottom with beans and salsa poured over the top. Then, usually chicken or beef is added on top with some shredded cheese and guacamole. It is really good but after a while it gets old because it is practically the same thing for every meal.”
This was a good learning experience for me because I got to learn a lot about the kind of food that she used to eat and cuisine is a very significant part of culture. This dish is popular in many parts of South America and is even served in many U.S. border states and there are even some U.S. recipes for the dish dating back to 1898. Chilaquilas is derived from the word chil-a-quilitl which literally means “herbs or greens in chili broth”. It was interesting learning about Guatemalan cuisine.