Why does a molcajete (a black volcanic rock) connect me with my food memories and my family? I grew up down at my grandma’s kitchen table, watching her making amazing and laborious Mexican dishes. One of those was a salsa cruda, which is a red raw spicy salsa. Each day she prepared the salsa with a lot of passion and dedication for my grandfather and the rest of the family. I got one of my “growing up” experiences when she let me prepare the salsa in the molcajete by myself. That was one of the most important moments in my life. When I decided to move to New York, she gave me a small molcajete, which is very special for me because I could bring a piece of Mexican tradition as well as my family memories. Here in New York, I don’t use it too much because I don’t have a big family here to cook for. However, this doesn’t mean it is not still important to me. Every day when I go to my small kitchen and I see it, it comes to my mind a lot of memories of my life in Mexico when my grandmother taught me that one of the best ways I can express myself and share with others who I am is through cooking. As an immigrant, it is hard to live far away from my family. My molcajete is one of the most valuable objects I have and it is part of my Mexican identity in New York. It always makes me feel close to my traditional food, my grandmother and my family in Mexico.
– Claudia Rincon Corona