On the heels of discussing Tex-Mex cuisine, let us consider the larger category of Ameri- Mex. I nearly lost my tacos a few weeks ago when I read about Taco Bell’s move into the Mexico market. They tried once before and didn’t make the grade. Go figure. This second attempt just seems insulting to Mexico, embarrassing to America, and plain ridiculous.

Perhaps I’m being melodramatic, reading into the cultural implications a bit too much. After all, they are billing themselves as “American” to Monterrey residents, which isn’t exactly untrue. Mexican here, American there, it’s all marketing. But I do shed a tear over Taco Bell making itself an ambassador of American cuisine. No quiero Taco Bell.

Then again, maybe I am coming at this from the wrong angle altogether. Consider this insight, given by a Tijuana taco shop worker to the San Diego Union-Tribune: “Personally, I like the Jack in the Box tacos. Now those are good tacos. How come those guys don’t come here?”

Okay, now I am speechless.