Mexico: Cross-Cultural Food
By Jack Keogh
An interesting story in broke on the newswires October 10, 2007. It says Taco Bell is opening restaurants in Mexico. By changing the branding strategy – “Taco Bell is something else” – the company will attempt to distance itself from comparison to Mexico’s taquerias. Taquerias sell traditional corn tortillas stuffed with an endless variety of fillings, from spicy beef to corn fungus and cow eyes. Taco Bell plans on selling the same menu items as in the United States. It’s like bringing ice to the Arctic,” complained pop culture historian Carlos Monsivais.
Carlos Monsiváis is Mexico’s leading cultural critic, and Mexico City’s greatest living chronicler. He has written extensively and in evocative journalistic detail about Mexican history, culture and politics. He was born May 4, 1938, in Mexico City, and studied philosophy, economics and literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
Because Taco Bell’s version of “Mexican food” is so unrecognizable to Mexicans, it is being promoted there as American fast food. That’s a change, since Taco Bell uses Mexican themes in the US to sell how “authentically Mexican” it is. One of the company’s many slogans will work in both countries — “Make a Run for the Border”…