Today is Mexican Independence Day. I started the day thinking about papel picado, yelling ‘¡Viva México! (¡Viva!), fireworks, and mariachis. Then, I over-thought it. What does independence mean? IS Mexico independent? I thought about imperialism—how almost all the foods sold at the Oxxo are American-owned, how practically the only commercials on TV for Mexican companies are the ones for Televisa itself. I thought about immigration—the friends Devin and I made who can’t visit us here, the friend in Texas who couldn’t go to her mom’s funeral. I thought about the drug cartels and ‘la inseguridad’.
And then I was like nope, not today. Today’s not for dwelling. It’s for celebrating. Even better, today could be for dreaming. And so I present unto you kristy’s solution to all of Mexico’s problems.
The solution is chamoy. Yes, I believe that a condiment is the answer. Hear me out.
Chamoy was created from Chinese dried pickled plums way back in the 1800s when the Chinese workers who built the railroad in California were kicked out of the US by the very government that benefitted from their labor (sound familiar?). The Mexican government was all, ‘Sure you can come over, bring food!’ Clearly I don’t know the specifics, but I imagine some people tried the plums and thought, ‘You know what would make this better? Chile piquín’. and thus was created a sauce in which spicy, sour, salty, and sweet flavors enhanced each other. A food with the potential to become the ultimate symbol of harmony.
Most people I’ve met outside Mexico have never tried chamoy. I always assumed it would be too much for people who weren’t used to it, but I was wrong. On our honeymoon, Devin and I ate lots of fruit with chamoy, and he declared that everyone should eat watermelon with chamoy because it is so much better.
We brought a big bottle back and have been revolutionizing our friends’ palates for the past two months. Everyone loves it. We took it to a church picnic last Sunday, and yesterday a womyn in our pew whispered, ‘I haven’t stopped thinking about that watermelon all week!’
I propose that Mexico makes chamoy its number-one export. Once people try it, they’ll love it, and it will be in very high demand. Drug users will decide it’s soooo much better than drugs, and the cartels will go out of business. The economy will be so buoyed that there will be plenty of legitimate jobs for everyone. Instead of narcocorridos, bands will sing chamoycorridos about the thrill of eating and sharing chamoy. Everyone will be so inspired by the harmony of flavors within chamoy that world leaders will decide barriers are bogus, and that life is better when we can all move as freely as chamoy spilling on a kitchen counter. All borders will be taken down, even the U.S.-Mexico border. And no Mexicans will have to migrate to have a better life, but anyone will be able to move anywhere without the fear of having to leave behind the world’s greatest sauce.