Hi Meltingpot Readers,
This past weekend el esposo and I drove the boys down to North Carolina to stay with my parents for spring break. Granted it snowed there yesterday so they won’t be coming home with a tan and sand in their shoes, but hey, at least they’re down South.
El esposo and I only stayed for two nights, but we managed to go out for dinner one of those nights with my parents, my grandmother and an aunt and uncle. Sadly, where my parents live is a wasteland when it comes to fine dining options, and when I say ‘fine’ I simply mean places where the food actually tastes good and is made with fresh ingredients. We ended up at a Mexican restaurant that caters to the gringo population. Just to give you an idea as to how gringo it is, the complimentary chips that arrive at your table came with salsa and creamy ranch salad dressing.
I warned my kids to order something simple so that they wouldn’t be disappointed. So one kid got chicken enchiladas and the other got a taco and burrito combination plate. I watched my older son tuck into his enchilada and instantly knew the night wasn’t going to end well. He claimed the thing was full of cheese. “It’s an enchilada,” I hissed. “It’s supposed to have cheese in it.” I didn’t want his stank attitude to offend my parents and relatives. Mind you, these were relatives from the side of my family who still believe children should be seen and not heard.
Two seconds later, my other son screwed up his face and claimed there was cheese all over his burrito and he couldn’t eat it. Now, my younger son is not a big cheese fan in general, meaning unlike his brother and sister, he’ll eat cheddar, Colby Jack, parmesan and aged Gouda, but refuses to eat any cheese made from goat’s milk or with a stinky rind. So, I couldn’t figure out why he was having a problem with the cheese on his burrito. I assumed it was cheddar. I watched both boys pick at their food and eat the salad and rice on their plates and then claim they were too full to finish. The older one had a serious scowl on his face too, like someone had personally insulted him. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and tasted the offensive enchilada and realized the problem.
It tasted like American cheese. My kids have never eaten American cheese in my house. I don’t suspect they eat it anywhere else either, seeing as how I told them American cheese isn’t really cheese. In general we eat a lot of cheddar, Colby Jack and all sorts of goat and sheep’s milk cheese from Spain and Greece. My mother tried to convince my kids that it wasn’t American cheese, but my older son wanted the truth. He wanted to know why his enchiladas were so disgusting. He actually waited for the waitress to come back to the table and he asked her directly what type of cheese was used in the enchiladas. She looked at my son like he was crazy for even having to ask, “It’s American cheese,” she said. And I knew she was thinking, ‘You know that cheese you gringos like.’
My son was triumphant and aghast. He turned to me and said, “How can this be a Mexican restaurant if they serve American cheese? That’s just wrong.” I had to agree. It was so wrong. My mother rolled her eyes and huffed, “Your kids are food snobs.” And I proudly threw my arms around them both and said with a smile, “Yes, yes they are.”
That is all.