There’s a long simmering conversation in the food world about cultural appropriation — about who’s allowed to cook what, and why — but it’s usually a tad more subtle than what Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly confessed to Willamette Week in Portland, Oregon.
Wilgus and Connelly were profiled by Willamette Weekabout the delicious handmade tortillas they sell out of a food truck called Kooks Burritos on Cesar Chavez Boulevard in Portland. The duo said they learned their craft from women in Puerto Nuevo, Mexico.
“I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did,” Connelly told Willamette Week. “They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins. They wouldn’t tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look. We learned quickly it isn’t quite that easy.”
The problem, of course, is that it’s unclear whether the Mexican women who handed over their recipes ever got anything in return. And now those same recipes are being sold as a delicacy in Portland. Read more (5/19/17)