Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Jesus Recio is from Torreon Mexico and currently lives in Orem, Utah, where he works as a manager for a large restaurant. Living far from his home has been hard, but his life has been rewarded and enriched by three children. He loves cooking, but only when it involves sharing it with friends and family.
I got Jesus’s number from my mother, who used to work with Jesus as a manager. I texted him at 11:45am and asked if he would be willing to chat with me regarding two recipes he always talks about and has made for my family every time we would visit. He said he was at work but would me more than happy to talk when he got off. Around 8:00 that evening, he sent 50 text messages, each containing a snippet of information regarding the recipe and his connections to it. I interrupted only twice during the duration of the 50 messages. Each message contained a fraction of a sentence or a thought.
For several years spending time in another country far away from the ones you love, you need a peaceful time by yourself, and both recipes was brought when I have felt alone. I wanted to bring to the table something a little bit from Mexico to USA in my own way. These dishes help me out to connect with others, and delicious or not, it was the time I take to prepare them by myself. I have an American friend who loved it so much, even when it’s supposed to be more like a dip with tortilla chips, he just grabbed a spoon and was eating it like soup. Years later, I wanted to share with someone special for me, but she is really picky with food. This is because she rocks as a cook! When I go I tried to give to her some, but she made a face saying she doesn’t like fishy things. Few moths ago, I want to spoil myself and made some for me and I went to knock her door, and with a huge smile I said hi to her. I gave to her, she made funny face and she was polite and said “thank you Jesus, you are too generous” and told me she doesn’t like fishy food. I told her everything was fresh and hand-made and fully cooked, and asked her to try it. The next day after 2pm, she send me a picture of the dish at her desk and she told me how much she love it, and how exited she was to eat it again the next day.
Food is an excuse for me, to bring people together, and I think it’s part of my culture, does not matter what you make, what matters is what you have you are willing to share with others a lot or a little bit. This is a typical dish from Mexico especially in the cost, but I like to combine spicy items with sweetness, just like life, you have amazing days and rough days.
Leaving Mexico, family, and my closest friends was extremely hard. Food as I said can bring new opportunities to meet new people, and make connections with them. It might be comfortable for me to make, because it’s something different for people, it’s unique for this culture and cannot go wrong. I guess, unless you serve it with all stuff and it’s fishy.
Cook shrimp and marinated with lime juice (it’s more common with lemon juice, but I like lime better).
While you are preparing, dice tomatoes, white onions, red onions, serranos, jalapenos, cucumbers, mango slices or peaches.
Add salt, pepper, and ketchup
Drain the lime juice from shrimp 95 percent and add to the ceviche.
When you are ready to serve, add sliced avocados.
Since our families are pretty close, I have been fairly aware of the trials that Jesus has been going through the past few years, particularly with his family. I could tell that he was missing his parents, who have only been able to visit a couple times in the past 10 years. While each of the 50 texts came in, I imagined the face he usually made when talking about hardships. He’d lengthen his lips, tilt his head slightly, and give a small shrug while giving off a small sigh. Coming from a culture that shares food until the guest explodes, I imagine he made a batch of ceviche tonight to share with his neighbors.
Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
G1: Groups/Social Customs
Wright, Glen, "Shrimp Ceviche" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 387.