The phrase “too cool for school” seems more and more irrelevant these days, given that college has gotten so much cooler since I graduated. I mean, you can major in comedy now, which was the raddest course I knew of until today, when I found out you can study tacos.
This isn’t some bunk dopey ad by Jack in the Box where you can expect to see bloodshot freshman loadies enlisting in a fake on-screen program called Jack’s Little Learners for some half-hearted weed joke. No way, this glorious course is called “Taco Literacy: Public Advocacy and Mexican Food in the US South” and it’s at the University of Kentucky.
The course syllabus is pretty much poetry for simply existing.
“Students will explore the history and networks of Mexican and Mexican American food in the United States writing about recipes as well as rhetorics of authenticity, local variations to preparation or presentation, and how food literacies situate different spaces, identities, and forms of knowledge.”
And it’s legit. They have homework (visiting a restaurant and writing a narrative blog post about it) and reading assignments.
Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food by Jeffrey M. Pilcher
Tacopedia by Deborah Holtz and Juan Carlos Mena,
Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America by Gustavo Arellano
Tortillas: A Cultural History by Paula E. Morton.
It’s not as silly as you might think, given how much you can learn from a culture by way of cuisine. It introduces why certain food was eaten throughout history, how families interact with each other, and what led to other cultures appropriating or depending on it.
I guess I’ll just add this to the growing list of majors that are more relevant than my print journalism degree.