Immigration happens everywhere around the world. In Mexico, this old time element of every society happens usually in the bigger cities like Guadalajara, El D.F., Monterrey, and Tijuana, where people from all over the world arrive due to sports, commerce, industry, and sometimes it happens in the way of asylum or humanitarian help. Sometimes immigration happens but with smaller numbers and frequency in medium or smaller cities like Saltillo and Monclova Coahuila, -where I am from- due to their vast steel and automotive industry. Eventually, immigrants mix up with the locals or start their own businesses and now call Mexico their home. Think about it, the world famous marinara sauce would not have been possible without the old world finding the so-called “New World”. (hint: tomatoes)
Back when I was growing up, my knowledge of Argentina consisted of soccer and Argentine steak houses. My very first memory of Argentina, as a matter of fact, was of Maradona back in the summer of 1986, shortly before I turned six years old, during the FIFA World Soccer Cup that took over Mexico. I remember playing soccer matches out on the street with my neighbors.
For penalties, driveways would be the goal, and yes, we would scream GOOOOOOOOOOL! while running around with arms stretched like a bird. But it wasn’t until around 1992 that I enjoyed a full feast of grilled meats, empanadas, and, of course, chimichurri, at an Argentine restaurant called El Gaucho, located near the Estadio Tecnológico de Monterrey where los Rayados soccer team used to play and where I had the grand chance to participate in a few physical strength and cardio practices as a redshirt with the Borregos basketball team in college in 1997. Back to 1992, in that year, my dad and I took a trip to Monterrey with my uncle Ronaldo to watch my cousin Rony play his final football game (American football, not soccer) with Los Borregos Del Tec where he was part of the defensive and special teams. Testosterone filled every seat at our table, and just as if we were cavemen, our eyes got big with every round of grilled meats that servers would bring for us to choose from. Steak, sweetbreads, chorizos and more. The one thing that kept me entertained before appetizers and during meat rounds was the chimichurri accompanied with grilled baguette and my drink of choice, una Limonada Mineral bien helada. Limonada Mineral is a lime-ade made with
sparkling water added. I am not so sure this is a drink that’s offered in every restaurant in Argentina. It is, however, offered in pretty much every restaurant I’ve visited in Mexico. It’s no Sprite or Seven-up, but way better. The main difference between the last two and a house-made limonada is the delicious tanginess, as opposed to the flat, sugary profile that commercial soda offers.
To be continued..