I had something entirely different to write about on the schedule today, but two events over the weekend made me think I should first address the quesadilla. Everybody likes them…until you find yourself in a rural area of an island nation…and every red-blooded American knows what they are. Right? Wrong. First, the less exciting of the two stories.
Last night, like so many Sunday nights, I sat on a couch with some friends, played video games, watched a movie and ordered food. After much deliberation, the person who had only recently shed a nasty parasite of inexplicable origin (my guess is dumpster-swimming in Williamsburg) was allowed to choose where we’d order from, seeing as he’d just lost about 10 pounds to a microworm. Mexican it was. He called up and placed the order.
“…and a chicken quesadilla,” he finished. “Wait, does that have cheese on it? I want a quesadilla with chicken and cheese.”
We all stared, gaping, and as soon as he hung up, exploded into a torrent of verbal abuse for not knowing the contents of a quesadilla.
“That’s where the ‘quesa’ part comes in!”
“You’re an embarrassment. You should leave right now.”
“Dude, have you never had a quesadilla before?”
It was harsh. He briefly defended himself, then allowed the berating to continue because it was 4 against 1. Kids can be so cruel with their bullying. When the food arrived, he was made to answer the question, “Hey, does your quesadilla have cheese in it?” multiple times.
I went to Jamaica with two friends for spring break junior year of college. Our goals may not necessarily have been the same as the goals of other girls in Jamaica that spring break — deep relaxation and the total ignoring of everyone else being key — but eating horse was still not among them. I reminisced on this instance with one of the friends, who now lives in Park Slope, over dinner Friday night. You may have seen this taco-stagram.
“Yeah, that was not a meat I was familiar with,” she recalled.
We’d taken a day trip to climb the waterfall in Ocho Rios and, repelled by the touristy prix-fixe place we stopped at halfway there, proceeded to a hole in the wall café down the street. It was…Mexican? No, it was not Mexican, but vaguely Mexican-looking things were on the menu. We went with the quesadillas, only to find the meat within was horsier-smelling than any beef we’d encountered lately. I was no expert back then, but I was still 90% sure it was horse.
Nevertheless, a VHS of Cool Runnings was playing on the bus ride back to the city, which is awesome because that was one of the things on our Jamaica bucket list and we soon forgot all about the horse meat, if you can imagine.
Tomorrow, that thing I was going to write about today.
More Mexican food for lunch on Food Republic: