Mural is subtle reminder of Mexican restaurant's former national cuisine

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They ate pandas? White or dark meat?


When the panda restaurant in our neighborhood closed I was so bummed. Now I have to drive across town to get a good plate of panda ribs.


Nailed it!


You have to be careful. Pandas in restaurants can be dangerous. Just look them up in the encyclopedia. Eats shoots at leaves.


I never knew that pandas used to be eaten in Mexico, before they all went extinct there.


Actually, no, it was a bamboo restaurant. Went under when the local pandas started demanding fresh organic locally grown bamboo shoots.


Clearly panda express cornered global supply and drove them out of business.

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I’d hang that in my bar area, basically anywheres in the house.


It is definitely awesome.


I’m disappointed it’s not hanging in a Mexican-Chinese fusion restaurant.


And I want to eat here: “It’s like a fusion, Mexican ingredients with the Chinese.”


I don’t remember having ever been in this particular restaurant, but yeah, Chinese food in Mexicali is really good.


These fried yellow chilis look awesome! “Their sauce has kind of a margarita flavor: lemon with lots of salt.” OMG nothing wrong with that!


Chino Bandido in Phoenix AZ, great Mexican/Chinese/Jamaican fusion:


A universal truth seems to be that Chinese restaurants around the world have more to do with local cuisine than China’s. In Mexico’s case, given that Chinese immigrants were coming in the 19th century and contributing to Mexico’s cuisine (cilantro was introduced by the Chinese, for example), it’s not that big a stretch.

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Long before that. Spaniards in Mexico started carting Peruvian silver across the Pacific, in order to trade it for Chinese luxuries (silk, porcelain, lacquer furniture, etc) as early as 1565. The crews of those Pacific trade galleons, especially for the eastbound trips, were mostly not Spanish but Asian. And after a hard and dangerous journey across the ocean, it was common for sailors to jump ship and not go back to the sea, at least not right away. So you had communities of Filipinos and Fujian Chinese in New Spain, building ships in Acapulco, making faux porcelain in Puebla, and working as goldsmiths in Mexico City. By the 1620’s, Mexico city had its own Chinatown, and a Dominican monk complained that Chinese goldsmiths in Mexico City had driven Spanish goldsmiths out of business.

Spaniards were hiring Japanese samurai to put down Chinese rebellions in Manila in the early 1600s, and when Japan closed its borders around 1630, many samurai were stranded outside their homeland. Significant numbers of them ended up in New Spain, where they became the only group of Asians permitted by the Viceroy to carry weapons - they were hired to patrol the roads and guard silver shipments against hill dwelling bands of escaped slaves-turned bandits.

Source: Charles Mann, 1493, Chapter 8.

Mann doesn’t talk about the reverse flow of people, but almost certainly some Aztecs and Africans forced to crew silver galleons going west were jumping ship in Manila. Multiculturalism goes a lot further back than most people think.


Yep. Basically it started when people were people and never stopped. Only humanity’s improved ability to cross oceans changed the scope and frequency of distant exchanges.

I’ve stayed in Harrisonburg a bunch of times during trips in the last 20 years, and then just today was detoured through town because I81 was shutdown due to a flipped over truck full of POD storage containers. Some poor family had all their crap strewn across 4 lanes of highway.

I wish I’d seen this before that, I’d have paid more attention. I guess next weekend when I have to go back north I’ll have to jump off the highway and take a look.

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