Today's posting on TastingTableLA, about micheladas, an iced beer-and-something cocktail in a salt-rimmed glass (and similar Mexi-food centered posts all over the web), got me thinking about the holiday that Americans have come to associate with my native country to the South, a holiday that here might be called National Mexico Day, or National Tortilla Chips and Frozen Margarita Day, but that should not be called or confused with Mexican Independence Day. That day, which unlike Cinco de Mayo, is an actual holiday celebrated by actual Mexicans in Mexico, is September 16, a day that few Americans even know about, maybe because el diez y seis de Septiembre doesn't roll off the gringo tongue the way Cinco de Mayo evidently does. For the record, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French (yes, French!), who were attempting to advance toward nearby Mexico City, located about 70 miles to the northeast, in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Neither the day nor the victory is m ...

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Guacamole and Chips Until today, I was perfectly content with my level of achievement in the guacamole department, especially since my friend, the original celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman, cited me in the headnote to his guacamole recipe in his book, A Great American Cook. I didn't particularly like the part where he referred to me as "one of his Mexican buddies" because I thought it made me sound like one of the guys he shot tequila and played dominoes with in some smoky Deer Hunter-esque lodge, but I was probably projecting, and anyway that is, as they say, another story. Plus, I forgave him because I felt so proud that this great American cook, and a native Californian to boot, would source me, a psuedo-semi-Mexican guera for what is arguably my native country's biggest contribution to the American culinary landscape. (Salsa has been so misappropriated I don't even want to go there.) But all that was then. Before The Foodinista invited me to her first ever Guac-Off. On her blog, s ...

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