What is Santa Ana Food? Episode 3
When I get stuck in the eternal crawl of traffic on Bristol Street, I don't blame the construction (What are they building over there, anyway...the Arc de frickin' Triumph!??).
Instead, I calm my rising nerves and restore my patience by imagining that this whole inconvenience is being caused by a pick-up truck ahead who's just inching along, completely unimpeded, save for the driver's own desire to keep upright a precious olla de pozole.
On their menu, they tell the story of how their soup is as old as time: "Having had its origin in pre-Hispanic México, pozole is recognized as one of Mexico's most traditional foods." The culinary tour continues, explaining that the word pozole translates to "foam" because of how the Cacahuazintle (lye-treated corn kernels) bloom and elicit a foamy broth.
The literature mentions that pozole was originally a broth offered to the Aztec Gods, though the story selectively omits that pozole's original protein was sacrificed human flesh. The Spanish later replaced the human flesh with pork, (though I always get the lighter, cleaner tasting chicken pozole with a side of green salsa).
The soup overwhelms your spirit as you step out of traffic and out of time. It's wholesome. Delicious. Restorative. Fortifying! It renews and hardens the spirit. After a bowl, one feels ready to take on the world in the name of Monteczuma. Or, at the very least: Bristol St. at five miles per hour, gleefully rubbing your tummy.
Story by Ryan Smolar