Dear Mexican: Okay, sour cream! Growing up in a Mexican family, my mom never ever used sour cream on the food she cooked. Now when she comes to visit me, I take her to Mexican restaurants here in the Dallas area. Almost every time she orders an entrée, she always asks me why they put sour cream as a side item. Is it me, or is it a gabacho thing with the "got to have sour cream thing on my Tex-Mex food." Am I too old-fashion, too old-school?
—I'll Love Tony Romo Forever
Dear Pocha: Your mom might not use sour cream, but si es old-school, I guarantee you that she use crema fresca, or crema salada, or even jocoque if she's from from Jalisco. Those are the Mexican versions of sour cream—in other words, a dairy product that enlivens dishes with a tart milkiness. When Mexicans came to the United States in the early 1900s and started making Mexican food, the substitute for crema was sour cream because there was none in los Estados Unidos at the time due to a lack of concentration of Mexicans. It's the same reason why Tex-Mex food uses cheddar cheese and that pointless cabbage salad on the side of a combo plate—you make do with what you tienes. I don't have a problem with it, but real Mexicans like you do because ustedes can't comprehend that mestizaje is a two-way calle that makes our culture thrive. Man, y'all must also be mad at Mexicans in the U.S. for learning English instead of staying monolingual in Spanish—good luck with that!
I'm a gay gabacho who has been in a relationship witha Mexican for seven years. His family knows about us andthey love me. They treat me almost like a celebwhenever they come to Dallas and visit or when we goto Mexico. At first, they didn't like me for thesimple reason they didn't trust white people. Oncethey got to know me, that was all over with. Hismother is the family matriarch and treats me as if Iam one of her own children. So, whenever we get aroundthem or his friends in Mexico, he acts like I am noteven there. I actually spend more time with everyoneelse (between my broken Spanish and their brokenEnglish, we communicate rather well). Is his distancefrom me caused by the fact that I am white, or that weare in a gay relationship? I ask only because hisfriends and family don't have a problem with it, sothis stumps me.
Dear Gaybacho: I can't answer this question fully as a cishet cabrón, but I can offer this: Mexican families don't take kindly to their kids being grabby-grabby with their significant others in front of them, because no child of any Mexican parents have ever had sex in their lives. Your papi chulo obviously likes you—otherwise, you'd never have met the family in the first place—but he might be taking the commandment I just shared with you a bit too seriously. Check in with him, and see what's up. And if it doesn't work out? Get one of his male relatives. As I've said before in this column, what's the difference between a straight hombre and a gay one? Three beers.
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