What Does our Mexican-American Hyphen Taste Like? - Sietefoods.com

May 25, 2021

As a Mexican-American family, we give a lot of thought to our hyphen—the combination of both Mexicanand American cultures, derived from the Garza family’s experiences. It’s our succinct and symbolic way of talking about an identity that feels more authentic to us than either culture on its own. For example, it’s: living in Laredo and Austin; understanding Spanish but speaking English; cheerleading at football games and singing in the high school mariachi group.

When asked what our Mexican-American hyphen tastes like, the Garza’s further explain their hyphen through one of our favorite topics: food. 



Siete Family Foods Rob Garza
Rob

Q: What does your Mexican-American hyphen taste like?
A: Frijoles,carneasadas, mariachis (breakfast tacos),and frijolizzas (a bolillo which is a type of roll, with a layer of pizza sauce, a layer of frijoles, and a layer of cheddar cheese).



Siete Family Foods Veronica Garza

Veronica

Q: What does your Mexican-American hyphen taste like?
A: Barbacoa tacos from Cotulla's restaurant on a Sunday morning.

What Does your Mexican-American Hyphen Taste Like: El Taco


Siete Family Foods Becky
Becky

Q: What does your Mexican-American hyphen taste like?
A: Paletas and strawberry/tamarindo raspas.

What Does your Mexican-American Hyphen Taste Like: La Raspa


Siete Family Foods Linda Garza
Linda

Q: What does your Mexican-American hyphen taste like?
A: When I was struggling through my first year of law school,and pregnant with my first born, I would often visit with my grandparents who lived in Baytown. I was attending UH Law. My absolute favorite dish of my Grandma Alicia was her arroz con pollo. Everything she made was delicious, but this dish was the best. I can still smell the melding of comino, tomato, garlic, onion and chicken that filled the house as it simmered on the stove. I never asked her for the recipe, although I wish I had. I’ve tried to emulate the dish from time to timeand although mine is almost just as good, my Grandma Alicia’s arroz con pollo will always be el mejor del mundo!


Siete Family Foods Miguel Garza
Miguel

Q: What does your Mexican-American hyphen taste like?
A: Potato chips with hot sauce and lime juice.

What Does your Mexican-American Hyphen Taste Like: Potato Chips with Hot Sauce


Siete Family Foods Aida Garza
Aida

Q: What does your Mexican-American hyphen taste like?
A: All kinds of food! People sometimes ask if we eat mostly traditional mexican foods—this was not the case for me when I was growing up, or when raising my family. 

Growing up, we always made flour tortillas in my home—not corn. Corn tortillas were more typical in Mexico—where my grandparents were born and raised, and I visited each summer—but my family always had flour tortillas instead. 

When my children were younger, I cooked a variety of things like: chicken fried steak milanesa, macaroni and cheese, enchiladas, papas con huevo, or spaghetti.

I think sometimes the expectation is that we only ate traditional Mexican foods, when, in reality, it wasn’t until lately that I learned what an horchata was! 

 
At Siete, we create heritage-inspired foods that are nostalgic and reminiscent of the foods the Garza’s ate growing up: tortillas, hot sauce, cookies, and potato chips. So it’s no surprise that we love talking about food. It’s a vehicle for our gathering-lifestyle, business, and passion.

But it’s also a part of our hyphenated identity as Mexican-Americans, experiencing foods and flavors from both cultures: potato chips from convenience stores, doused in hot sauce and lime juice; tangy and icy paletas in the summer; and frijolizzas on weeknights with family. In the words of our Grandma Campos, our Mexican-American hyphen tastes like “a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.”



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