The Stigma of Taco Bell

Buzzfeed’s “Mexican People Try Taco Bell For The First Time” depicts Mexican people of various ages trying different items from Taco Bell. Throughout the video, some tacos and burritos were better received than others. The trends I noticed between the older generation and the younger generation eating the food were the different motivations behind their reviews. The older individuals who commented, whether or not they liked the food, seemed more genuine. It was something that I could take at face value. When it came to the input of the younger generation, probably comprised of individuals in their teens or young adulthood, their comments seemed extra harsh. It’s perfectly fine not to like something but from their tone, it sounded like there was an agenda behind their review which made their words more difficult to accept. It seemed as though the younger test tasters not only disliked the food, but disliked it because they felt like they were obligated to dislike it. Taco bell, known to create food as NOT authentic to Mexican cuisine as possible. I think this mindset kept them from admitting that they liked even a shred of lettuce on their plate. There’s often this opinion that because it’s fast food, it shouldn’t be liked on principle; especially if it is inspired off of ethnic cuisines. Scrolling through the comments section of the video, I found the opinion of one Franio Zippy to be quite agreeable, “In all fairness, I don’t think that Taco Bell wanted to be authentic. They just wanted it to taste good to Americans.” And technically speaking, Taco Bell is authentic in its own special way. There’s this knee jerk reaction to snub it because of what it represents, inauthenticity, which I believe is unfair.

While this blog post mainly discusses the Buzzfeed video on Taco Bell, I should mention that this difference of attitudes from the varying generations toward the food is the same on Buzzfeed’s other video on Chinese people trying Panda Express as well. Again, the younger generation would not stop their barrage of attacks on the “Chinese” food presented to them while the older generation had their various likes and dislikes. On both videos other viewers picked up on this difference as well, with some commenters criticizing the young reviewers of being untruthful or hateful for no reason other than feeling as though they shouldn’t like the food. The reviewers were even called spoiled, pretentious, know-it-all, entitled and stuck up. Did they feel as though they had to prove how close they were to their ethnic background by spurning dishes from Taco Bell and Panda Express? I think there was some truth to their words (after all, as with anything else, there’s only so much to like from Taco Bell and Panda Express) but to what extent, I’m not sure. At the end of the day, an opinion is an opinion. There’s no right or wrong opinion, I just wish some of them could have been a little more honest.

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