Happy Mexican Independence Day!
It's the 16 of September, and we're celebrating all things Mexico. So grab a Corona and a plate of comida, and celebrate the festive holiday with your family and friends! And while you're at it, take a moment to appreciate just a few of the wonderful things you have Mexico to be thankful for:
The first recorded evidence of chocolate was found in Mesoamerica, in the region that later became Mexico. Yes, you have Mexico to thank for Hershey kisses, Abuelita hot cocoa, German chocolate cake, and French silk pie.
Do you really want to live in a world without tacos? While the precise origins of the taco are unknown, Jeffrey M. Pilcher, a professor at the University of Minnesota and taco expert, believes that they date back to 18th century Mexico when men working in the silver mines invented the delicious food.
3. Flamin' Hot Cheetos
Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (aka the BEST chip of all time) were invented by Richard Montañez, a Mexican immigrant and janitor at the Frito-Lay plant in California. He pitched his idea for a chili powder coated chip to the president of the company, who loved the idea. Now, Montañez leads the Multicultural Sales & Community Promotions branch of the company! Talk about a great product -- and an even better story.
4. Color TV
While you’re snacking on your Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and watching endless episodes of Orange Is The New Black on your LCD 40” screen TV, remember: the inventor of the color television was a Mexican. Guillermo González Camarena was the first person to patent the product when he developed an “improved chromoscopic adapter” for color television transmissions.
There would be fewer sloppy nights without Mexicans, and don’t you forget it. It’s believed that tequila was first produced in the 16th century, although the Aztec people had previously brewed an alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant -- long before the Spanish arrived on this continent.
Fiestas would be a whole lot less fun (and less violent) without piñatas. Okay, so originally piñatas are from China, but the tradition took on new meaning when it was introduced into Europe in the 14th century and later brought to Mexico. Mayan tradition called for a pot filled with decorative feathers to commemorate the birthday of Huitzilopochtli. The Mayans would then blindfold themselves and break the pot with a stick or club, causing the treasures to fall to the floor. This festive ritual later became the basis for the piñata as we know it today.
7. Caesar Salad
Que? Yes, it’s true: your favorite diet go-to was invented in Mexico. An Italian immigrant named Caesar Cardini operated restaurants in both the United States and Tijuana, Mexico. During one Fourth of July rush, he depleted the kitchen supplies and had to make do with what he had on-hand. Thus, the Caesar Salad was born on the Mexican border.
Do you want to live in a world without corn on the cob, cornbread, or corn tortillas? I didn’t think so. So, next time you dig in to a delicious cup of esquite, be sure to thank the Olmec and Mayan Indians who first cultivated the vegetable in Mexico.
9. Birth Control
Birth control was invented by a Mexican? Claro que si. When Luis Ernesto Miramontes Cardenas was just 25-years-old, he co-discovered the compound which became the chemical basis for the first oral contraceptive. In other words: he invented the world’s first birth control!
10. ...And A Whole Lot Of Amazing Latinos!
Louis C.K., Salma Hayek, Lupita Nyong’o, Selena Gomez, Alfonso Cuarón, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Eva Longoria, Mario Lopez, Paulina Rubio, Jessica Alba, Sara Ramirez, Diego Boneta, Thalia, Ryan Guzman, Michael Trevino, Kid Cudi, Miguel, and many more talented actors, singers, rappers, dancers, comedians and more have roots in Mexico!
Have fun, and remember to celebrate all the amazing contributions Mexico has made in your life as you celebrate Cinco De Mayo this year!