Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Gluten Free Chicano. On-Line Floricanto

The Gluten-free Chicano is a monthly La Bloga feature, the fourth Tuesday of the month.
The Gluten-free Chicano Browses Hispanoparlandia Restaurant Ratings

Michael Sedano

Gluten intolerance creates an incessant quest for more information about the condition and especially products and new recipes suited to a gluten-free diet. The Gluten-free Chicano, as with many a chicana chicano, is happy to be not confined to English-language media. There’s a world of useful information and recipes in hispanoparlante resources.

La Bloga readers with friends or familia who prefer Spanish text will find useful websites in Spain, Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico. See for yourself; do a search for "celiacos de" and fill in a country name. (Links above).

As in Unitedstatesian gf websites, the sites feature a variety of puro news, advertorials, food lists, blogs, recipes, pop up advertisements, Q&A.

Browsing these is a good way to glean cooking tips. For instance, The Gluten-free Chicano might give this recipe a whirl, linked from Celiacos de Mexico:

Me acaban de pasar una receta de unos panquecitos (muffins, mantecadas, panqueques, o no sé con qué otro nombre los conocen, pero son panecitos de dulce) que yo adapté para hacerlos sin gluten y que les comparto por si los quieren hacer, para su deleite personal.

Recently, a friend tipped The Gluten-free Chicano to Guillermo Osuna Hi’s twice-weekly Noroeste viewpoint column, Puerto Viejo, and Osuna’s piece “La celiaca…” It’s an engaging essay that provides an informative introduction to the worst form of gluten intolerance, celiac disease.

Here’s Osuna Hi’s introduction:

El titulo de la presente colaboración no refiere el sobrenombre de alguna afamada chica porteña de cascos ligeros; tampoco es el mote de algún hijo del arcoíris que de manera notable haya escrito su nombre dentro del variadísimo catálogo de homosexuales mazatlecos de bien ganada fama pública y mucho menos, es el alias de alguna de esas dementes que deambulan por nuestras calles, para vergüenza del sistema y cuyas tristes figuras reflejan la frialdad e indiferencia de las instituciones oficiales de salud. 
Nada de eso. La Celiaca es una enfermedad de la que poco escuchamos; de esas que se esconden bajo las faldas de otros síntomas, lo cual, provoca que el organismo afectado sufra graves daños.

Osuna Hi tracks the earliest Western medical diagnosis of gluten allergy to 1st century physician Areteo de Capadocia. Colorful as the opening lines, the column's listing of symptoms comes gently but to the point.

Citing Eduardo Cerda Contreras via Celiacos de México, the columnist observes that up to a million Mexicanas and Mexicanos experience symptoms--a population enlarged when counting chicanas chicanos. 

Si usted tiene algunas de las manifestaciones señaladas, a manera de prueba, es recomendable que retire de su dieta los productos relacionados con el gluten y en el caso de los alimentos enlatados, también procure leer el contenido de los mismos y por supuesto, acuda a su médico de cabecera.  

Guillermo Osuna Hi has granted permission to reprint his column, which is linked here via PDF.

Restaurant Ratings In and About SoCal

The Gluten-free Chicano rates eateries in four groups:
  • Never Mind, just a salad.
  • Bad Dog!
  • Right Attitude…
  • Please, May I Have Some More?

Please, May I Have Some More?
This month, it’s a pleasure to recognize Dish Restaurant for continued excellence.

Dish Restaurant
734 Foothill Boulevard
La Canada, CA 91011
(818) 790-5355

The waiter immediately recognizes my gf requirements and confirms each selection would be comestible. As usual, I order Cobb salad because the stuff I desire, like the gumbo, is wheat-based.

Despite so many entrées being wheat-based, Dish is the best restaurant in Pasadena for gluten-free eaters who like Cobb salad. The restaurant hires, or trains, staff to ensure a customer’s highest satisfaction. The Gluten-free Chicano eats at Dish even when the restaurant is not running its two-for-one coupon.

Tam O'Shanter
2980 Los Feliz Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Phone: 323.664.0228

This is a Lawry's specialty restaurant for big spenders or special occasions. The waiter immediately translates my "flour" question reflecting keen gluten awareness. He takes care of the rest--can't have this or that. The Gluten-free Chicano is distressed to learn the "bearnaise" sauce contains wheat. Where The Gluten-free Chicano comes from, the only legitimate Béarnaise thickens luxuriously from puro egg yolks, and proper execution. Still, it's a lesson learned. Next special occasion I need Tam O'Shanter for, I'll know what not to order. The Gluten-free Chicano will be back.

For those who remember, don't you miss Lawry's California Center on San Fernando Rd and Ave 26? Its choose your steak grill, the pinwheel salad, the strolling troubadors, bands in the al fresco garden, and free parking, made it the right place for a weekend tardeada.

Right Attitude…
•Beckham Grill & Bar
77 West Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91103-3682
(626) 796-3399

Dang. Here I was all happy and comfortable at Pasadena’s prime rib theme restaurant Beckham Grill & Bar. The order-taker immediately recognizes I am asking about gluten and takes charge of the order.

I order a slab of meat, steamed veggies, and papas au gratin. My ever-charming companion orders an end cut and the standard wheat-bearing sides. In a while, a server places the plates. Pobre server's eyes widen in surprise when I draw back from the plate in asco. The kitchen has reversed the order.

Never Mind, just a salad.
This is not necessarily a disappointing place. Case in point, Pasadena’s Sizzler.

•Sizzler Pasadena
730 South Arroyo Parkway
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 795-9024

If you're coming to the parade, this place is a couple blocks north of where the 110 freeway ends and becomes Arroyo Parkway.

Menudo and tortillas de maíz on the weekends. Lots of salad greens and toppings galore. Carnitas and carne molida filling for hardshell tacos. Pasta and of course tons of wheat-based foodstuffs. Still, a salad bar is usually a safe place to eat. This particular Sizzler, however, has one thing that only this particular restaurant in the whole world offers.

It’s the gente, yes, the gente that makes a place just right. This Sizzler hires caring servers, good people who work their nalgas off because that's the right way to do the work. Last week, an incident proved this vividly.

A patron across from me had stopped eating her food and watched intently something to my left. I turned, it was an immigrant busing tables. The patron’s eagle eye was zeroed in on a puddle of water on a chair.

The immigrant hustles. His tub is stacked with dirties. He heaves the burden noiselessly onto the adjacent table. The worker turns to the table with the wet chair and vigorously rubs the formica top shiny. The patron narrows her eyes, a tight smile line pulling at a corner of her mouth.

The busman bends low, pulls out the wet chair and rubs the hell out of that water spot. Then he rubs it again. When he returns the chair to its spot, the patron’s shoulders fall. She had been sure the minimum wage worker wouldn’t care about doing a good job and some unfortunate soul would get a wet ass.

Another immigrant brings plates and bowls. No cheese toast, thank you, ¿pero hay limon?

On-Line Floricanto Closing November

This week's final Tuesday of November 2011 brings the work of poets familiar to La Bloga's On-Line Floricanto, including Francisco X. Alarcón, Richard Vargas, Raúl Sánchez, Tara Evonne Trudell, Victor Avila.

Alarcón, who is employed at UC Davis, was out of the country when the Chancellor and her cops callously pepper sprayed the camping kids. Francisco asked the Facebook group Poets Responding to SB 1070 to submit Davis and Occupy poems. The moderators select these five. You can start a conversation on a poet or poem by leaving a Comment at the link after the BIOS. Check the box to be notified when others pick up the thread.

"Spraying at UC Davis" (Poem) by Francisco X. Alarcón
"When You Beat Me" (Poem) by Richard Vargas
"Assault on Amerika" by Raúl Sánchez
"Occupy Earth" by Tara Evonne Trudell
"The Last Occupier" by Victor Avila

 by Francisco X. Alarcón

people use sprays
to get rid of pests

cockroaches running
with the kitchen light

insects eating up
flowers in the garden—

could somebody tell
our university police

students in the sit-in
on the Quad sidewalk

engaged in peaceful protest
and civil disobedience

are not bugs nor vermin
but real human beings—

thank you — now, who is
cleaning this big media mess?

all those responsible could
help by stepping down—

please pass on the mops
red pepper spray stains

on the cement and minds
are so hard to wash off!—

© Francisco X. Alarcón
November 21, 2011

when you beat me
 by Richard Vargas
does your arm tire
as you swing your
baton into the thud
of my flesh and bone
and you hear me
moan in pain
when you crack
my ribs and jab
my soft belly
do you feel like a
job well done when
you pin me on the
ground and harness
my wrists like a
rodeo cowboy
hogties cattle
no matter that
we are both looked
down upon by those
on their balconies
of glass and steel
who laugh and joke
as they spread caviar
on fancy crackers
that will never pass
our lips
while you choke me
knock me down
look at how they
raise their flutes
of exquisite champagne
sparkling in the sun
blinding you with
cold brilliance
and empty nods
of approval
--- Richard Vargas

Assault on Amerika 
 by Raúl Sánchez
 Here we lay down
on asphalt
city cemetery
for government
steam roller
to crush
our voiceless
When did we
become dead meat?
When did we
give in
to their economic
We’ve occupied
this land for centuries
there is no dream anymore
we have been castrated
eradicated, ejected,
thrown out into the ocean
of misery, despair
poverty our only friend
recession, depression
all is left
in this fruitful land
that once was
what it is
no more.

Occupy Earth
 by Tara Evonne Trudell
Occupy Earth
Stand Her ground
Protect Her veins
Our roots
Shielding Her
from poisonous injections
of Man
chemicals infiltrating
natural minerals
rising to surfaces
causing confusion
natural selection
for profit and greed
a mindset that does not see
how damaging
raping the Earth
can be
to a Woman
and Her People
Occupy Earth
stand Her ground
do not let them
take from Our Mother
the future of Our Children
the legacy of Our Ancestors
the present of Our moment
they lie to Us
feeding Us
misleading Us
with a hunger
We don’t need
created  statistics
by big gas and oil
run by hungry
overfed greedy
They lie to Our Children
painting fairytales
a true Dizzyland
encouraging them to believe
sabotaging the Earth Mother
is part of the process
of progress
in their made up society
Occupy Earth
Every color together
Our one last stand
We could weave
Our way around the Earth
protecting Her in every corner
in every heart
© Tara Evonne Trudell
November 18, 2011

The Last Occupier
 by Victor Avila
And as she turned
to face the final onslaught,
she took notice of how eerily silent
the park had become.
In front of her were
the ripped up tents, a lingering stench of tear gas,
and a hundred cops in riot gear
awaiting final orders.
And as they advanced in lockstep,
those polished boots moving forward...
She thought of her companions,
now beaten and arrested,
and the blows that rained down
though they offered no resistance.
Another thought occurred to her...
That this was no longer about her, or her friends,
or even the space that they now occupied.
It was about an idea...
About the vagueness and uncertainties
of such notions as Truth and Justice
and what a better tomorrow might look...
If given a chance.
Although now alone
she faced the black-clad goons
with their shiny batons
And raising her fist she shouted...
                                   "I'm not leaving".


"Spraying at UC Davis" (Poem) by Francisco X. Alarcón
"When You Beat Me" (Poem) by Richard Vargas
"Assault on Amerika" by Raúl Sánchez
"Occupy Earth" by Tara Evonne Trudell
"The Last Occupier" by Victor Avila

Francisco X. Alarcón, award winning Chicano poet and educator, is author of twelve volumes of poetry, including, From the Other Side of Night: Selected and New Poems (University of Arizona Press 2002), and Snake Poems: An Aztec Invocation (Chronicle Books 1992)  His latest book is Ce•Uno•One: Poems for the New Sun (Swan Scythe Press 2010). His book of bilingual poetry for children, Animal Poems of the Iguazú (Children’s Book Press 2008), was selected as a Notable Book for a Global Society by the International Reading Association. His previous bilingual book titled Poems to Dream Together (Lee & Low Books 2005) was awarded the 2006 Jane Addams Honor Book Award. He has been a finalist nominated for Poet Laureate of California in two occasions.  He teaches at the University of California, Davis.  He is the creator of the Facebook page POETS RESPONDING TO SB 1070 that you can visit at:
Richard Vargas received his MFA (with distinction) from the UNM Creative Writing Program in 2010. He has two books published, Mclife, 2005, and American Jesus, Tia Chucha Press, 2007. He was recipient of the 2011 Hispanic Writers Award at the Taos Summer Writers' Conference, and a community scholarship from the 2011 National Latino Writers Conference. Vargas was also featured last summer on National Public Radio's All Things Considered / Summer Sounds. He currently resides in Albuquerque, NM., where he edits and publishes The Más Tequila Review. You can visit his website at: http://www.wix.com/rvargas54/rvargas54

Raúl comes from a place south where the sun shines fiercely.
He lives in a place surrounded by asphalt, cement, full of rushing cars,
coffee houses, fancy houses, empty houses. Where seasons shine and hide
in the winter months. Where birds stop on their travel south to the land of the sun
Where blessed rain, oh! blessed rain falls.

Victor Avila is a widely published poet and a winner of the Chicano Literary Prize.  He also writes and illustrates ghost stories for comic books.  Three of the those stories will be published in the forthcoming issue of GHOULA Comix #2.


Amelia ML Montes said...

Orale-- gracias for the recipe and restaurant reviews regarding Gluton Free eating. Very important! Y tambien gracias for the Occupy poems---

Amelia ML Montes said...

I meant to write "gluten" free pero hmmm . . . I also like the spanglish sound of glutOn!