Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Salsa Roja in My Mother's Molcajete
Salsa Roja in My Mother's Molcajete

In anticipation, I reached for a tortilla chip and dipped it into the freshly prepared bright red salsa in my mother's recently acquired molcajete. The sensory experience—spicy, flavorful, and crunchy—was interrupted by the unexpected presence of rock particles from the molcajete, rendering the salsa inedible. Hastily, I expelled the salsa, anxious about potential tooth damage. The molcajetes my mother purchased in the United States (U.S.) proved ineffectual. Subsequently, my grandmother procured a molcajete from Mexico, made of volcanic rock crafted in a  bowl-like base with a deep charcoal-colored surface. The accompanying pestle, also made of volcanic rock, was designed for efficient grinding. El Molcajete is not just a culinary tool but a testament to the heritage and history of the practice for centuries. Numerous Mexican restaurants in America use molcajetes as plates to hold food; in my household, the purpose is for salsa crafting. Despite stereotypes associated with Mexicans who love salsa, our passion for it does not bring shame to my family or me. Our homemade salsas, crafted in a molcajete with love and care, enhance the flavor of our dishes. One day, I envision crafting a vibrant, fiery salsa—a perfect accompaniment to my recreations of the cherished and flavorful recipes passed down by my mother. With each grind in my molcajete, I aspire to evoke the same zestful and vivid flavors from her creations that will linger in my memory.                                                                                  

Place(s): Mexico
Year: 2005

– Lezli Magana Contreras

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant