The latest edition of the When Readers Attack! series comes courtesy of the poorly educated and embittered Colombian resident in America, Abraham.
Abraham’s comment below is another on my article disparaging Colombian food (yawn).
Colombians are very sensitive to spices, for that reason you may call Colombia food flavorless. Im from Colombia, and I have lived in the USA for 6 years. Perhaps, I would not trade a Colombian plate for anything else, why because I was raised to that. I can not eat spicy food, it is not for me. Yes, US has wide variety of food due to many cultures that are here, but whatsoever, Americans dont add much season to their food. What can be expect it from Americans? All yall know to do is judge and be racist. You all are bunch of uncultural people. If you were to study anthropology, you will actually learn that none of your meals where actually original from white europeans. Everything yall believe is your culture was actually stolen from a different land. Before judging a culture, you should actually get one.
I don’t normally argue with every Colombian whose feelings were hurt at my accurate representation of what expats in Colombia say about the food behind their backs. But this comment has more to dig into. So let’s get started.
Colombians are very sensitive to spices, for that reason you may call Colombia food flavorless.
It is in fact well documented that Colombia was populated by a unique clan of supertasters. Supertasters are hypersensitive to all flavors. Their over-developed taste buds sense flavors more than the average human being. That’s why a little garlic or pepper provoke an extreme stimulation to the Colombian palate, extreme in an unpleasant way.
However, that is not why I can call Colombian food flavorless. I can call Colombian food flavorless because it is prepared with little to no spices or seasonings and has very little distinct flavor. Colombians being spawned by supertasters may be why they intentionally prepare their food with little flavor, but semantically you’re making a logical leap in saying the food can be called flavorless because Colombians were spawned by supertasters.
In other words, the food can be called flavorless because it lacks flavor. It is prepared that way because Colombians are supertasters. There is a logic tree there, but Colombians’ being supertasters alone is not enough to conclude that Colombian food is flavorless. First there must be the missing link of flavorless Colombian food.
Im from Colombia, and I have lived in the USA for 6 years.
I would just like to stop right here and thank you for choosing my country as your place of residence. You must like it very much to come for more than a short visit.
According to the authoritative feet vote, no matter what criticisms of my country you may have, none of them combined weighs more than your implicit and abundant praise in choosing to spend years of your life, blood, sweat and tears in the United States over Colombia.
There is nothing wrong with your liking the United States more than Colombia. Many readers of this blog like Colombia, Peru and other countries in Latin America more than they like the United States. To my dismay, “globalism” has become a bad word in recent years. But I think it’s great. I say, come on in … Stay as long as you like and continue to enjoy my country more than you enjoy your own!
Perhaps, I would not trade a Colombian plate for anything else, why because I was raised to that.
Well, also because you have supertaster genes. Flavors like oregano and paprika cause an extreme sensation on your tongue, creating an unpleasant dining experience. If you were only raised eating Colombian food, you would eventually overcome your inexperience with flavored food when you inevitably try other cuisines. Definitely after years in the States. But if you still prefer Colombian food even after trying flavorful foods, you are something of a supertaster.
I cannot eat spicy food, it is not for me.
Right. We got it.
Yes, US has wide variety of food due to many cultures that are here, but whatsoever, Americans dont add much season to their food.
Abraham, you have made a fatal contradiction to your entire point so far. The 73 words in your comment up to this point, which we know took no small effort to type given your grammar and spelling, all justify the lack of seasoning in Colombian food. So why would you turn around and criticize any food for its lack of seasoning if that’s what you like? It doesn’t make sense. No logic tree.
I don’t know why American food keeps coming up in the comments of that article. It’s about Colombian food. Probably because American food is the world’s bestselling (and hence the world’s favorite) cuisine. And more so in Colombia than anywhere else I’ve seen.
But you’re also wrong, Abe. American food is the world’s favorite cuisine precisely because it incorporates BOLD flavors. Lots of ingredients, seasoning and spice. American food is the anti-ACPM, if you will, and that is the secret to its success. You also find bold flavors in the runners up cuisines: Italian and Chinese. And Mexican, Peruvian, Indian and so on. Most people not descended from supertasters prefer bold flavors.
Abe’s being so wrong in that statement probably stems from not knowing what American food is, despite his living there for years. American food is so diverse, many Americans don’t know what it is. Visit my definitive post, American Food: The World’s Best* Cuisine, to read about the world’s most popular cuisine BEYOND hamburgers and hot dogs.
Skip past the introductory sections and semantic arguments about “best” to see American cuisine categories such as the Steakhouse, Barbecue, Italian-American, Tex-Mex, Bar Food, Meal-Sized Salads, The Sandwich Game, Southern Cuisine, Breakfast Game and more. And realize that what you eat every day, while you don’t realize it, is mostly American food.
What can be expect it from Americans? All yall know to do is judge and be racist. You all are bunch of uncultural people.
Dammit Abe, you’ve done it again. You have completely undercut a point, but this time in the span of just 10 words (counting “yall” as one word, which is arguable).
All you know to do is judge and be racist – Abe, in this sentence you are judging a population of 330 million people. And judging them to be racist to boot!
Obviously there are judgmental and racist people in the United States, as there are anywhere. But to say all 330 million Americans are both judgmental and racist is absurd.
It’s like saying that all Colombians know is to traffic cocaine and have sex with animals. Obviously many Colombians traffic cocaine and have sex with animals, but it would be wrong to say that ALL Colombians traffic cocaine and have sex with animals.
It’s now more than the spelling and grammar that are painting you as a poorly educated immigrant, Abe, despite being a Colombian and hence not a “wetback” immigrant.
Not being as a sin visa immigrant is probably what’s at the root of Abe’s beef with Americans, even if he is sin visa now. Being from South America, he would have initially entered the country legally. And to obtain a tourist visa or student visa or whatever he has/had, he would need to hail from at least a middle-class family. If not upper-middle or even upper.
In that way, immigrants from South America are distinct from the traditional, poverty-stricken peasants who walk across the border with Mexico illegally. That distinction would be important in Latin America given the Spanish legacy of status and stratification. But unfortunately for Abe, most Americans don’t know or care about that distinction. Many Americans see Abe as no different from those unskilled peasants who come to pick lettuce in the fields.
Abe probably doesn’t like being treated as a dirty spic. Who would? Hence the animosity despite the United States being his favorite country in the world.
If you were to study anthropology, you will actually learn that none of your meals where actually original from white europeans. Everything yall believe is your culture was actually stolen from a different land.
Abe, you write at a 9th-grade level. You didn’t study anthropology. And don’t give me any shit about it being your second language. I’ve written legal documents in Spanish that didn’t need touching up. You’re not fooling anybody.
My definitive American food article addresses origins and fusions, in which there is a bit of gray area. Germans claim hamburgers and hot dogs as their own, while Italians want nothing to do with American pizza and Mexicans refuse to eat Taco Bell (as do I).
At the end of the day, there is almost nothing that is completely original. I mean, we’re not calling all pastas Chinese. I would give a country credit for a food if it has an innovation unique enough to be wholly recognizable as different from the original.
For example, nothing in a bandeja paisa was first developed and popularized in Colombia. But the combination of each food is definitely innovative enough to categorize the bandeja paisa as Colombian.
The gray area would lie in foods like chorizo and morcilla on their own. Definitely not Colombian in origin, but would you say they are NOT Colombian? That is difficult to reject outright.
And what in hell do white Europeans have to do with American food? I get you have a beef with white Americans, who are descended from white Europeans, even if the European part goes back centuries. But according to U.S. census data, only 60% of Americans are white and non-Hispanic. Aren’t the other 40% also Americans? Abe, do you not consider them American? Want to take away their vote? And you say Americans are racist?
Think that one over, Abe. Because cuisines such as soul food, Tex-Mex and Chinese-American fusion are as American as apple pie.
And what would that imply about Colombian food, do only culinary creations by white Colombians count? Because without the pescado pacifico, you would lose 25% of your full meals worthy of mention! You’d also lose the arepa, a pre-Columbian staple, but that would actually improve Colombian food.
Before judging a culture, you should actually get one.
Where to start? Are you referring to Culture with a capital C: film, books, music, sport, art? If so, the United States competes if not beats not just Colombia but Latin America as a whole. You can measure Academy Awards or top films by revenue, Grammy awards or top albums/songs by revenue, top Nobel laureates for Literature or bestselling books. How many of your channels in Colombia air American shows, how many radio stations play American music, compared to the Latin American counterparts in the States? It’s a blowout.
Although Puerto Rico is beginning to do some serious numbers with the reggaeton hits, but PR is in the United States!
I’m not pointing this out to act superior. I love Latin culture, both with a capital and lower-case C. I’m just trying to help your pull your head out of your ass.
Culture with a lower-case c implies all the customs of a given nation or people. Even the smallest countries have a culture. For example, playing tejo, snorting cocaine and having sex with animals are all parts of Colombian culture. It’s not high-brow culture, as Colombia is not much of a Culture-with-a-capital-C powerhouse, but it is still culture.
Abe, I have a Reading List for expats in Latin America to help them understand and better navigate their new cultures. You seem to need teh opposite, something for the United States. Like many expats in LatAm, living there isn’t enough.
But I’m not going to give you one today. Let’s start with one baby step: “y’all.” Obviously this is commonly used in the South and in black communities throughout the United States. You clearly learned English from one of those two. But DON’T USE in writing. I know you probably pecked this comment out on a phone and, like a good Latin, never write when not on your phone. But just remember, NOT in writing.
Because it makes over-educated gringos like myself cringe. And don’t you want people to stop treating you like a peasant? Thanks!
UPDATE: I have to give a shout out to Abe, who responded via email and is a good sport about this. He’s also much younger than I assumed.
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