Just add color… (Mexican flag snack!)

by Kathryn Baldwin

Black, White, Brown, Yellow, … I like to call myself peach…

In an effort to humor American culture’s obsession with colors, I will share a meal that was inspired by colors. Here’s the story:

It’s 8:15am, Wednesday morning. I have 45 minutes to make my way through East Bay traffic and settle in my desk at work before I’m officially late. I’ve already run up and down the stairs a million times since 7am: I forgot my ring; dang, I left the bathroom fan on, I forgot mascara; gosh, this shirts’ way too tight! (sound like a familiar morning?) I consider blowing through the front door without a packed lunch, but remember that being two minutes late is better than spending six bucks on a random, expensive, unmemorable lunch. (I know what you’re thinking: “wooord!”) My purse already on my shoulder, I yank on the fridge door. “Vegetables!” I think. “Find some vegetables!” I snatch cottage cheese from the shelf, a zucchini from the drawer, a tomato off of the bunch on the counter, and the cayenne out of the spice cabinet. Four hours later, I sit on the patio at work with a Mexican flag and a spoon…

When the juice of the tomato mixed with the cheese and cayenne, I felt like I was eating fluffy spoonfuls of chilled, pepper jack cheese. The zucchini added a crunch, making each bite unique. It was sweet and sour; bitter and spicy, Light and filling; simple and complex.

Most importantly, the meal was vibrant. I couldn’t help but think about how much the colors in my bowl changed my mood as I ate. I thought of cultures, of Latin flags, and of course, of Mexico.

What do you think of when you see certain colors? Does pink give you energy? Does black depress you? Does yellow make you hungry? Wearing blues, greens, and silvers can cool you down whereas reds, oranges, and golds can heat you up. When you see red, white, and blue do you think of the Fourth of July… or do you think of the Chivas?

Make a meal this week thinking of colors. Then, look around at who’s sitting with you at the table: what colors do you see? Is your friend really black?… or is he or she closer to cappuccino, peanut butter, or cumin? Is your cousin really white?… or is he or she closer to wheat, a pealed almond, or cous cous? What beautiful colors we have. I am so lucky to live in a place where I get to see laughing, and loving rainbows of color at every turn.

Black, White, Brown, Yellow, … I like to call myself peach…

…and you can call yourself purple if you so please.


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