When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Cinco de Mayo

In One California Town, a Holiday Co-Opted by Beer Companies Has Roots in a Celebrated Citrus Crop

What’s with Cinco de Mayo, anyways?

Corporate advertisers treat it as the de facto Mexican Day, if not Latino Day, in this country. In 1998, the United States Post Office issued a Cinco de Mayo stamp featuring two folklórico dancers. In 2005, Congress passed a resolution making Cinco de Mayo an official national holiday to celebrate Mexican-American heritage. And it’s customary for presidents to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on the White House lawn with margaritas flowing, mariachi music playing, and dancers in brightly colored traditional costumes.

Don’t they all know …

What Exactly Is Appalachian Cuisine?

Spam, Soup Beans, and Cornbread Define This Hardscrabble Region

On the first day of my foodways of Appalachia course at East Tennessee State University, I always play a one-minute audio recording. It’s the voice of Marilou Awiakta, a Cherokee …

What’s the Deal With Canned Cranberry Sauce?

The Pilgrims’ Plates Looked Nothing Like the Holiday Meal We Eat Today

No American holiday conjures up images and memories of food like Thanksgiving. Starting in preschool, most of us learned that Thanksgiving commemorates the moment in 1621 when Pilgrims sat down …

The Dowry My Mother Made

Her Albanian Family Stole Her Childhood. She Took Back Her Dowry and Gave Me an American Life.

My mother cuts open a brown cardboard box with a kitchen knife and pulls out colorful ceramic platters, cans of green olives, and jars of roasted red peppers. It’s the …

A Different Thanksgiving

On Growing Up and Not Going Home

In an age of radically changing pop-culture phenomena, technological breakthroughs, and economic downturns, I find it’s becoming increasingly difficult to rely on anything staying constant from year to year. By …

Zócalo Talks Turkey

Holiday Musings from Our Staff

Long before psychologists started linking gratitude to improved mood and health, we’ve known that being thankful was good for us. Perhaps science will even find that feasting to the point …