Here is the eight guest author, Monica Reyes, from Robin's Somers' writing class at UCSC, "The Meaning of Food." Her students are offering up their memoirs of childhood food, and it's my pleasure to publish them here.
Monica Reyes, a sophomore at UCSC, was born and raised in El Salvador, where she ate more than her share of wild lobster. Her story of lobster reeks of nostalgia and nausea as she wistfully recollects her special family treks to the balmy seaside. Here, on El Salvador’s warm, salty beaches, her father caught and cooked lobster for his family, creating precious memories of a homeland which Monica revisits through the process of writing.
No More Lobster Please!
by Monica Reyes
For many people, their traditional dish comes from their native homeland. For Salvadorians, it is either popusas or tamales, while for Mexicans it may be posole, tamales, enchiladas, sopes and birria. The list goes on. One of my family’s favorite dishes is lobster with a side of salad—not what one would call a typical Salvadorian dish, but it happens to be our favorite.
I am not saying that we eat at Red Lobster. Instead we catch our own food, cook it, and eat it. In the summer, when the sun is shining, and when it is the perfect time to go to the beach, we do what my dad likes to call “lagostear.” My mom gets the sandwiches and chips ready, and my dad packs his surfing wear, while my siblings and I wait in the car with our swimming suits on. It is on days like these that we have lobster for dinner, and it is precisely here where my story begins.