Fourth of July Food: Am I Unpatriotic?
Posted on August 21, 2009
Most holidays have food and/or drinks closely associated with their celebration. Valentine’s Day… chocolate. St. Patrick’s Day… a pint ‘o Guinness. Christmas… ham. Chanukah… potato latkes. New Years… champagne. Birthdays… well, birthday cake of course! But what about Fourth of July food?
Any good fourth of July celebration should include coolers filled with ice cold beer and grills covered in hot dogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob.
So, does it make me less of an American that I celebrated my nation’s independence in the deep south? The very deep south. I spent an extended Fourth of July weekend with sixteen members of my family in Mexico. Well, at least we were off to a place known for its delicious cuisine, right?
Since we booked our tickets, we all rehearsed the mantra, “Don’t drink the water.” We all remembered to brush our teeth with bottled water, not eat raw fruits or vegetables that could not be peeled and to ask for our Coca Lite with no ice and cervezas served sans limes.
So, why then, should it be that even with taking such precautions, and without getting too graphic, that my stomach decided to perform more somersaults and back handsprings than Shawn Johnson on the balance beam? I can only come to one conclusion. My stomach is a staunch patriot!
It was disappointed that instead of being filled with a medium rare cheese burger covered with ketchup and mustard, it was given tortillas coated in beans and topped with guacamole. It clearly wanted to celebrate with potato and macaroni salad, instead of delicacies of Yucatan cuisine.
And so, to my stomach, I apologize. I must also assume that my stomach was in cahoots with the mosquitoes who obviously believed that I was not properly celebrating my nation. And to show their allegiance to America, figured that if I was not going to eat the proper Independence Day menu, that I deserved to be eaten.
Now, while I was coated in itchy bumps which I am sure spelled out U.S.A in Braille, and my stomach was competing for the Gold in the floor competition… and while there were no Bruce Springsteen songs emitting through speakers while bursts of red, white and blue twinkled in the air, I was with over a dozen of my favorite people. And isn’t that what any good celebration is all about? While most holidays are surrounded with good food and drink, isn’t it the people who make for a good time?
Sure, we didn’t crowd around the grill or gather at a table like a Norman Rockwell painting. And even with my body having it’s own Revolutionary War, I can still say that I had an All-American style great time laughing at my young cousins getting drunk, hearing how my dad overcame his fear of the water, and jumping off a 25+ foot cliff into a watering hole with my fiancé to join members of my family with a post Chichen Itza-tour swim.
I do adore food, and yes, even my country, but no counter attacks could prevent the great time I enjoyed with my family.