I once ate at a Cuban restaurant in Florida and ordered Cuban black bean soup. It was unbelievably orgasmic!

I never ate rice when I was growing up. My mother was German and GERMANS DO NOT EAT RICE! PERIOD! She never once cooked rice. I did not discover rice until I ate in the high school cafeteria.

Then when I was old enough to have a car and take girls out on dates I discovered rice that was a thousand times better than that which was served in the high school cafeteria.

At that time I was growing up just a stone's throw from the Rio Grande River. I could see Mexico from the upstairs windows of our home.

But I never got to eat Mexican food until I ate it at the school cafeteria. It is a common given fact that school cafeteria food sucks. But at least I got to sample a variant of Mexican cuisine.

Once I had a car and some freedom to go beyond the Hitlerian restrictions of food that my mother held us kids in I discovered REAL Mexican food. I was instantly addicted.

In REAL Mexican food beans and rice were a partnership. They always came together. And Mexicans did not have a monopoly on this concept! Once released from the shackles of my mother's racist food ideologies I discovered that rice and beans were a complementary food the world over.

But both rice and beans were two foods that my mother vehemently refused to ever cook. (She was an extreme Trumpian racist.) Once on my own they were foods that I craved.

Throughout my life I have always sought out authentic culinary food and authentic restaurants. I am a food lover.

When I moved to the little town in which I currently live on the Great Plains of Turtle Island, very far from the Rio Grande, one of my first impulses was to seek out the local Mexican restaurants.

I first went to the most popular one and to my utmost horror I found out that rice and beans were never served together! With every meal one had to choose between rice and beans and could not have both without an additional charge of three dollars.

WTF?

I sought out and talked to the owners of this so-called Mexican restaurant. They were Mexicans in the country on green cards. I asked them why they would not serve rice and beans together.

They told me that in order for their restaurant to survive they had to tailor their menu to American Midwestern tastes. The American mid-west was settled by Scandinavian and Germanic people for

whom rice and beans are not even considered real food.

Needless to say I have not eaten at that restaurant in over eight years. I realized that I don't need Americanized versions of Mexican restaurants. Every apartment that I've lived in here has had a kitchen. I can cook my own Mexican food. I know how. While the ingredients may be hard to come by, I can cook that wonderful food that I love--a kind of food that involves the natural combination of rice and beans.

I have realized that no matter where I live I can still eat rice and beans together--even if I have to cook them myself.

Earthling — Lifelong novelist & essayist — https://whitefeather.substack.com/

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