Ms. Martha Sims
Writing Project #1: Folklore or Pop Culture?
Due to heavy casualties brought during some of the most infamous battles in the Texas
Revolution, Anglo-Texans were quickly able to draw their emotions towards Mexicans and their
culture. According to Montano, they were also quick to draw the conclusion that since they were
such an inferior race to Anglo-Texans, so was their cuisine. It was determined that their cuisine
was too rich in spices and had poor quality meat and therefore unfit for human consumption. The
negative and derogatory assumptions about Mexicans and their cuisine lead to many derogatory
slanders towards their culture such as “Chillis” or “Beaners”, all strangely deriving from their
food ways and no other aspects of their culture, according to Montano. Although Mexican
cuisine had been considered for years to be unworthy and unacceptable to the dominant culture,it
has rapidly grown in popularity over the last few years. This has been so due to the process of
“Cultural Hegemony” by the American food industry. They have successfully incorporated and
reinterpreted Mexican cuisine and relabeled it as “TexMex”, defined as an “earthy, happy,
celebratory cuisine that was once peasant food but has now been elevated to a sophisticated art
form.” The only problem with essays such as these is that it is hard to find the line between what
is folklore and what is popular culture, which in turn makes the general message and theme of
the essay harder to interpret. In this essay we are going to find that line in Montano’s essay and
make it apparent in order to fully understand it.
From what we know of folklore, we know that it is NOT popular culture. Popular culture
refers to things that are heavily in demand by large groups of people for a definitively short
period of time. It is created and quantified in massive amounts and spread through the dominant
culture by mass...