Academic journal article Language Arts

Salsa: A Cooking Poem

Academic journal article Language Arts

Salsa: A Cooking Poem

Article excerpt

Salsa: A Cooking Poem Written by Jorge Argueta Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh Groundwood, 2015, unpaged, ISBN 978-1-55498-442-8

"Ummmm, it's so delicious/this salsa,/red salsa./It tastes like love." Salsa is Jorge Argueta's latest addition to his growing collection of poems for cooking. In Spanish and in English, Argueta invites readers to taste, dance, and experience an indigenous, Salvadoran history and sauce. His prose evokes an ancient people and their tradition of preparing food and recalls the ways of the Nahua, Aztec, and Maya. Argueta's poetry also establishes ties to nature and the earth, particularly in his descriptions of the tools and fresh ingredients, such as molcajetes, tejolote, limes, and cilantro, needed to make salsa. "Just like our ancestors we use the molcajete,/and while we make it we dance and sing salsa." Two siblings appear to narrate the spicy recipe, and together they heat up the kitchen as they wash, peel, cut, and mix the fresh ingredients in their lava rock bowls. They even return the ingredient scraps to mother earth as compost so that she, "will keep dancing and singing salsa,/giving us more lime trees,/more tomatoes,/red peppers,/cilantro/and onions. …

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