Anthony Bourdain Blasts the “Racist Assumption” That Mexican Food Should Be Cheap

Lead Photo: Birria Taco by Stuart Spivack is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Birria Taco by Stuart Spivack is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
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Earlier this year, The Atlantic explored why certain cuisines can price their food higher than others. The piece hypothesized that things like capital, military power, as well as the wealth of its immigrants directly correspond to the price of a country’s cuisine. In a Wednesday Reddit AMA, famed Chef Anthony Bourdain touched on the same topic, and he didn’t mince his words when it came to discussing why Mexican food deserves more respect.

[RELATED: 6 Times Anthony Bourdain Has Spoken Out About Latinos’ Struggles in the Food Industry]

“I would like people really to pay more for top-quality Mexican food,” he said. “I think it’s the most undervalued, under-appreciated world cuisine with tremendous, tremendous potential. These are in many cases really complex, wonderful sauces; particularly from Oaxaca, for instance, that date back from before Europe. I’m very excited about the possibilities for that cuisines, and I think we should pay more attention to it, learn more about it, and value it more. This is frankly a racist assumption that Mexican food or Indian food should be cheap. That’s not right.”

In his The Ethnic Restaurateur, author Krishnendu Ray analyzed the average check prices of cuisines on Zagat-listed restaurants. Mexican and Indian cuisines both ranked near the bottom.

Given a chance to answer what foods the US needs to embrace more, Bourdain once again highlighted Mexican cuisine, and gave Peru a shout out.