If I’ve learned anything from my Mexican culture, it’s that nothing brings us together faster than food. This proved to be true yet again when guest speaker Professor Jeffrey Pilcher of the University of Toronto visited campus in collaboration with the LALC and History departments. Pilcher’s talk explored the topic of beer and food as a focus of cultural study and understanding. Prior to his lecture, however, professors, students, staff, and our guest speaker came together to make a traditional Mexican dish: tamales. Although different forms of tamales are eaten throughout Latin America, Professor Héctor Reyes Zaga revealed his family’s top secret tamale recipe from México. Many Latino and non-Latino students, faculty, and staff came together to enjoy the delicious history told through tamales. There’s nothing quite as gratifying as joining mi gente from all over Latin America to enjoy dishes I’d normally eat during holidays and instead creating new memories, bridging the invisible geographic borders that divide our countries. 3,000 miles away from home, I find community in sharing cultural dishes and joking about who cries first after having eaten a spicy dish. Food brings us together because regardless of whatever language you speak, or wherever you’re from, we can all enjoy a mouthwatering plate of rich food.
By Jacqueline Amezcua (LALC Studies major ’19)
Noted Latin Americanist and food historian Jeffrey Pilcher was in residence at Dickinson on March 30 and 31, 2017. He delivered the annual Pflaum lecture and participated in a Clarke Forum-sponsored salon to discuss his work. Before the lecture, students, faculty, and guests got together for a tamales-making session, supervised by LALC Studies and Spanish Department Professor Héctor Reyes-Zaga.