A Letter to Spain: What’s with the Mexican Sombrero?

Dear Spain (and the rest of the world),

This one is for you! I’ve been getting some heat about my “Casiedilla” logo, and the Mexican sombrero I wear ever-so-proudly at the top of my page. Well folks, question no more! This post is going to break down my logo for you, and answer the question that has been flooding my inbox for the past week…

NO! I don’t think Mexican sombreros, quesadillas, guacamole, or anything of the sort has ANY relation to Spain.

Sure, Spain and Mexico might speak the same beautiful language (but not really, as the Mexican accent sounds like a completely different language, with different slang, different vocab, different pronunciation… you get it). There’s a few reasons as to why I call myself “A Wandering Casiedilla,” and it has nothin’ to do with my home away from home, España the beautiful. I’m going to break it down from the basics.

So, what is a quesadilla?

Quesadilla [kay-sah-dee-ya]: A flour tortilla (similar to flattened bread), that is folded over and filled with cheese, and any other yummy-licious filling you so please (carne, chicken, onions, peppers, etc…). Then, the tortilla is fried in a pan to golden perfection, and cut into triangles. Hence, my hot bod’ 😉

Allow me to demonstrate:

 

In the USA, there is a huge Mexican influence. As a result, Mexican food has essentially evolved into a form of American cuisine. Ever heard of Tex-Mex? You will find as many Mexican restaurants in almost any given US city as burger joints. So, everyone and their grandma knows what a quesadilla is. No explanation needed when I tell the peeps about AWC. “Oh, your face is attached to a triangle thing? You must be a Casiedilla!”

Now, when I arrived to Spain that conversation went down a little differently. “Oh, your face is attached to a triangle thing? Uh, that’s cool (….blank stare).” I was shocked at how many people had never heard of a quesadillaI knew it wasn’t part of the Spanish culture, but I thought it was a food that was commonly known by the world! But, we live and we learn :)

So, WHY am I a Mexican Casiedilla?

REASON #1) It’s a play on words! In case you don’t know by now… this blog you happen to be reading RIGHT NOW is a food and travel blog! Hence, “wandering” (meaning errante in Spanish), “Casiedilla” (my name+the Mexican food)!  While the majority of my travel-ventures have taken place in Spain over the last year, it’s not a blog solely about Spain. It’s a blog about wherever my hungry adventures take me! Whether it’s Spain, Mexico, Alaska, Timbuktu…the one and only AWC will be there, Mexican sombrero and all. Why the sombrero? Well, I’m a Mexican quesadilla for peeps sake! Wandering Mexican food that just so happens to be residing in Spain? That deserves a big, joyous, Spanish OLÉ! Don’t ya’ think?

Via Flickr @ JD Hancock, original photo edited
Photo Edited, Via Flickr @ JD Hancock

REASON #2) I have a confession to make. I didn’t come up with the name Casiedilla  myself. Guacaommy did. It all started when I was just a tiny little tot, at the tender age of 3-years-old. I went on a quesadilla kick, where the ONLY thing I would eat were quesadillas. Literally. My mom even tried shoving chocolate down my throat, and I wouldn’t eat it unless it was in the shape of a triangle with cheese oozing out of it (but could ya’ blame me?) So, one day, while I was eating my beloved quesadilla, it happened…

She called me Casiedilla.

Photo edited, Via Flickr @Harald Kanins
Photo edited, Via Flickr @Harald Kanins

And that clear, brisk September evening…A Casiedilla was born.

Years later, in the summer of 2014, sprouted my baby blog. Along with it, came the whole fam of Mexican foods; Guacamommy, Daddy Halapeño, Stepmom Barburrito…and the newest addition soon to be added? Best friend FAELLA! (Her name is Fallon, and she is the Spanish ambassador  😉 )

Now, RIDDLE me this: What’s A Wandering Casiedilla without a fork and a Mexican sombrero?

Reply in the comments section if you think you know the answer! As for my Spain friends, did that clear things up for you?  And more importantly…whose heating up their stovetop RIGHT NOW in prep to make a quesadilla? If you are, tweet @A_Casiedilla with yo’ yummilicous pic!

__________________________________

What’s next on the adventures of AWC?

  • Casiedilla celebrates Father’s Day in the US  with Daddy Halapeño at what better than….A Mexican Rodeo! Stay tuned…
  • AWC is going BILINGUAL! Starting with this post. Watch out for the Spanish version, coming soon!

24 thoughts on “A Letter to Spain: What’s with the Mexican Sombrero?

  1. Hey, I am a former Spanish teacher and I was a bit miffed at the rigidity of some of the comments. I have a grandson who adores quesadillas! I also have a Chicano food writer friend (Javier Cabral–the Glutster, and much ,much more) who tells me that, in spite of what appears to be “queso” dripping out the side, a quesadilla DOES NOT HAVE TO HAVE CHEESE! Who knew? I have to ask: is your dad a Harold, thus Hal-apeño? Love it.

    Anyhow,the presumption to make assumptions (this girl! She is so ignorant! NO YOU ARE NOT!) I love Spain so very much, and envy you your time there!

    Having just found your blog, I have to ask: what do you have in the way of typical Spanish recipes, especially the less well known like the many bean dishes? My husband’s favorite of all dishes is “judiones con chorizo”

    Keep it up, mujer!

  2. Yummmmmmeeeeee! Love those Casiedillas – I clike to get very creative with the ingredients that I put in between those delectable tortillas…..just whipped one up with sauteed onions, a little chicken, some sundried tomatoes and of course the beautiful, ooey, gooey “glue “that holds it all together, the cheeeese:-D Thanks Casiedilla for showing us how to make the basic quesadilla! What other variations can we come up with?

  3. I think you’re brilliant, bold, beautiful and basic!!!! Maybe it’s because your Auntie Lenore (leonora ? more foreign)))) has lived 85 years she sees things a bit differently – but you did say it in your blog!!!!! IT’S FUN!!!!! IT’S A PLAY ON NAMES, OR WHATEVER!!!! it’s about my delicious Casie (dilla or not) doing her thing!!!! And doing so fabulously!!!! C’mon world of Casie’s – you’re great friends and family – whether she wears a sombrero or a Sheitel (Jewish description of wig which I probably spelled wrong) whether the names are Mexican sounding (we should all try to do that in different languages – what fun) –
    It’s all about CASIE – – – – who is giving us all such joy – great info on food and travel – and how to be young, positive and loving!!!! Be grateful for her being in our lives – and good people – don’t sweat the small stuff – smell those roses!!!!!!!!! I love you Casie! xoxox

  4. Hi. I suppose your explanation means some angry spaniards wrote you telling that Mexican hats aren’t spanish stuff from Spain. It is not my case; I read your blog and found your explanation of your funny pun. But I fear that my countrymen are little given to reading and deepening texts, and usually they aren’t going far away than holders or heads of news. It’s a sad thing about this country that probably you took notice in your months here. Greetings.-

    1. Hi Señor Casette! I appreciate your input. The matter of fact is, anywhere in the world there will always be people who make brash assumptions before doing their research! But I wrote this post to clear things up for anyone who might have question, and to give a little background to those who want to learn more about my little logo! Not to mention, an excuse to make a video about quesadillas 😉 Thank you or understanding and spread the word! Happy wandering and reading :) -AWC

      1. Hi señorita Casiedilla. I discovered quesadillas at my first -and only- travel to México (Honeymoon at Cancún in 1992). Then I became an addict to Mexican food, even cooking it often in the last twenty-something years ago. Quesadillas aren’t my best but pollo borracho (using brandy or red wine, I haven’t usually Tequila at home) and guacamole. Happy wandering :)

  5. Thats fantastic!
    I am from a small city in the North of Spain. I have really enjoyed all your Comparative-sociological Essays. All them are wonderful.
    I use to do just the same between USA and Spain (in reverse of yours); and sending them to my friends and relatives.
    Let me tell you that when I was in a sabbathical year in NYC and I told som of my students that I was going to Mexico for the Eastern Holidays, several of them automatically said to me that I was going to enjoy the (supposed for me) “familiar” taste of the Mexican food… remembering my home (and spanish food flavours)…

    Mexican food is really amazing… but not at all similar to the Spanish.

    Thanks

  6. Yeah, we are tired of americans getting confused between mexico and spain. Touchy subject. By the way, the quesadilla without the hat looks to me like a slice of pizza so… yes, I guess you need the mexican hat.

  7. Yummmmm ÑAMÑAM! mexican food is the best! Well, so you superWonderWanderCaseidilla discovered the legacy of our imperail past Yeah! Generally speaking… LatinoAmerica thinks Spain is the best and Spain don’t even consider them. That’s a classic. The miscontructions and ignorance about all those magic countries is something I have been battling all my life. Well, another thing that all those superfantastic 40 years of Franco dictatorship helped for as well 😉 It is very sad indeed, ignorance allways is.
    OH!
    What’s A Wandering Casiedilla without a fork and a Mexican sombrero? Claro! it’s a wandering amazing wonder of international besos
    YEAH! :-)

    1. PS- “amazing wonder of international besos”…I LOVE IT! That wasn’t my answer, but I might have to change it to be 😉 Ignorance is indeed sad, but the only way to fix ignorance is to EDUCATE! Which is why I hope my article can spread as many people as possible who “didn’t” know. Keep spreading the knowledge, reading, and following! A huge beso!

      -The AWC

  8. SuperCasie! Mira: http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2015/06/29/actualidad/1435594709_241683.html La monarquía… esa institución siempre tan cerca de la gente y del día a día desde sus magníficos palacios 😀 😀 Sí, hay gente que conoce y siente México, y hay mucha, mucha gente que ni la más mínima idea y tiene una imagen de una país rico y complejo solo a partir de cuatro ideas tontas fijas y sobre todo que los alejan de nosotros, que es una reliadad triste de la percepción de España hacia toda Latinoamérica. En fin, hija mía, es que estas cosas me cabrean mucho. OOOOOMMMMMM

  9. Hello, I just started reading your blog.

    I got to this post and yes, it sure is a touchy subject, BUT actually, the origins of the mexican hat has probably a lot to do with a region of Spain between Salamanca and Avila, maybe even more places.
    Evidences I got: well, my village is a small one in Avila and, surprise surprise, my grandparents and grand grandparents and others ancestors used a hat when farming and all. When they had to work under a hot sun they wore a hat which had exactly the same form, colors and even small balls made of cloth hanging from it, just like the mexican one but smaller.

    I don’t know if anyone has investigated the origins of the hat, but here’s my humble theory. Maybe we got it from them or they got it from us, who knows

    So, don’t worry, haters gonna hate. We’re all still full of prejudices, whether we like it or not, and some spanish people are not ready (yet) to accept our past and our relationship with South America(a very troubled one, spaniards subjected and almost exterminated some cultures in Latin America and some people even feel proud of it because of the manipulated history of that time we are sometimes taught in school). Hope it helped and also hope someone teaches us something else about that great hat

  10. Loved your blog. I spent over four years in Spain while in the Air Force and you hit the nail right on the head about the Spaniards. They are the nicest people I’ve ever met. I was mostly in Madrid and Torrajon but ventured off to the smaller villages around Spain and made many friends and after thirty some odd years we still keep in touch. I currently live in Germany and planning a two month vacation to Spain this summer. My wife and I are both excited and have all kinds of plans and sites to see. She’s never been to Spain and can’t wait. You brought back a lot of memories when I read your article. The one that still amazes me is how they party all night and still manage the next day, but that’s the culture. Thanks for the memories.

  11. Just a note add a comment to say that in the Spanish region of Extremadura, “quesadilla” is actually a type of cheese. It is only found in local shops in rural areas and is so fresh you need to eat it within a day or two, because it goes off quickly. If anyone is curious about it, there’s a picture of it on my blog: http://www.piggytraveller.com/blog/travelling-extremadura-spanish-vocabulary/

    Keep up the good work on the blog, Casey!

    1. YUM! Yes, I have tried it and it’s delicious (I’m a cheese fanatic). However, ironically I found out that “quesadilla extremeña” exists, long after creating the name for my blog! Funny how that works out 😉 Cheers, salud, happy cheesing! -AWC

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