Under the theme of Culture, our project compares cultural diffusion within the respective Mexican and Jewish cultures through the study of food.  Gabriela Geselowitz developed the Jewish portion, and her partner, Heather Geiger, developed the Mexican portion.  We found that both food cultures, which were already blends of different traditions, further developed upon exposure to America, and changed into the common images of cultural food we have today.

The idea of (Ashkenazi) Jewish food in Eastern Europe pre-turn of the century mass immigration evokes the image of certain foods, but in truth many of these foods were simply traditional of non-Jewish Europe as well.  In addition, several modern “Jewish” foods found in America have greatly changed in the last century from their initial state, due often to industrialization, and the cultural “melting pot” of other immigrant groups discovereed by new immigrants.

Similarly, Mexican food “there” was also already a fusion of different cuisines. Over 500 years ago, the native ingredients and dishes of Mexico had blended with the new ingredients and food preferences of the Spanish conquerors. When Mexican food was introduced to the United States, it changed both to include ingredients more readily found in the United States, as well as to accommodate the American palate.

  • Click on the picture of the bagel for Gabriela’s discussion of Jewish food here and there.
  • Click on the picture of the tacos for Heather’s discussion of Mexican food here and there.

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