Gentrification of Food?
It seems nowadays all it takes is fancy camerawork, a celebrity Executive Producer and an Anglo-saxon interest to revitalize a craft once performed mostly by immigrant workers. I guess Hipsters rule.
Carniceros are now Butchers. Maybe it’s the neighborhood I grew up in (Inglewood, CA), but the cat behind the meat-case was always a man that looked like my dad. Equipped with an anatomist’s knowledge and a surgeon’s precision with the knife, they produced the finest cuts minus that “boutique” feel. To think, all it took was a twirly mustache a’la Doc Holliday, designer aprons and the internet to revitalize a craft which in all honesty has ALWAYS been there. Get the fuck outta here.
Loncheras are now Gourmet Food Trucks and we used to call them Roach Coaches? Get the fuck outta here!! The food is still prepared on the road, subject to the same road conditions and obstacles as before, but now they’re somehow Good Eats again? Blue collar workers are most familiar with the Dukes of Hazard-esque air horn that signaled, “The GRUB has arrived!” Now Hipsters drive from afar for a taste as commanded by Twitter.
Sobras are now Offal, defined as “animal entrails” or “waste material.” Farmers, Butchers and peasants survived on the cheaper cuts. Take out the Tenderloin, ribs, steaks, chops, etcetera and you’re left with waste… Nah man. What you’re left with is Buche, Tripas, Dinuguan, Chicharron, Cesos and Pho. We’ve been eating this stuff for ages, only now it’s somehow fashionable. Thank you Chris Constantine, John Shook and Vinny Dotolo for making it hip to eat shit. Get the fuck outta here!!! Incidentally, don’t be mad when my next article is about the deliciousness at one of their restaurants. Ironic?
What’s next Gourmet Paleteros? Organic Eloteros? Offal Tamales? Wait… it’s been done…
Don’t get me wrong, you should NEVER knock the entrepreneurial spirit. The above mini-docs are brilliantly shot, musically tasteful and respectful. My only argument is, don’t claim to be a Pioneer or Revitalizer of a craft that has been here and will be here FOREVER. Foodies are just fans of food… there is no training, you’re not bonafide and you don’t get to carry a badge. Don’t wait for someone to tell you to try something new, just try it.
For Your Consideration,