How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Arroz con calamares en su tinta

Photo by Boca Dorada/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Mmm, inky. Arroz con calamares, February 2007.

Today marks the launch of a week's worth of posts about food. Not just any food, but those dishes in every ethnic cuisine that may not seem appetizing to those who didn't grow up with them, or require more than one taste to fall in love with, but are delicious to those in the know.

I'll be compiling a list throughout the week of tastes worth acquiring, and suggestions are welcome. The idea is to spread the culinary wealth. Those who grew up drinking Vietnamese-style avocado milkshakes may never have tried Oaxacan-style huitlacoche empanadas, and vice versa. Big town, lots of food to try.

Most of my own food tastes are acquired, courtesy of Los Angeles, but I'll kick off the list with a dish from my upbringing: Arroz con calamares en su tinta, or rice with squid in its own ink. This is not to be confused with the more mildly flavored squid-ink risotto or black pasta that foodies order at upscale Italian eateries order when feeling adventurous. This is the brawny, briny, fishy peasant version from the Caribbean, best eaten locally in one of L.A.'s traditional Cuban joints.


On the Internet, there's still no such thing as a post-racial America

Most of the data out there on interracial relationships doesn't come from online dating sites, but it's high time more of it did, because the results are fascinating.

The online dating website OkCupid's dating-trends research component, OkTrends, posted a dizzying set of graphics with analysis the other day illustrating how, in spite of new census data telling us that the United States is becoming more diverse, there is still no such thing as a post-racial America in the selective world of online dating.

According to the post, the dating service analyzed 82 million messages sent in recent months, running the numbers in different ways. On its face, the result showed white dating-service users receiving more messages per capita than non-whites, even from non-white users. But OkCupid, the majority of whose users are white, did an interesting experiment, redoing the math on the hypothetical assumption that white users weren't the dominant majority.


In the news this morning: The fate of different state immigration bills, Persian New Year, deportees in Haiti, skinheads in Claremont, more

Immigration reform: Glimpse of the future in Arizona and Utah? - Christian Science Monitor The fate of two very different sets of immigration bills last week, one in Arizona and one in Utah, suggest that the business community can play a critical role in shaping immigration legislation.

Celebration at City Hall -- for Nowruz, not budget prospects - Los Angeles Times The occasion was Nowruz, the Persian New Year. L.A.'s large Iranian American community marks the holiday every year with a party at City Hall.

Strangers in a Strange Land - The New York Times A video documents the experiences of deported Haitian Americans, some who came to the United States at a young age, surviving in post-earthquake Haiti. "This is hell," one says.

National Guard to leave Mexico border in June - WDAF More than a thousand National Guard troops brought in last year to assist with security on the U.S.-Mexico border are set to leave in June.


Is revealing immigration status the new 'coming out?'

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A student's shirt at a coming-out event in Orange County, March 10, 2011

What began as a small number of undocumented college students going public with their immigration status in recent years, done as a political act, has developed into a growing movement that embraces a term once synonymous with the gay rights movement: coming out.

During the past week, a national campaign mounted by student immigrant advocacy groups has urged students and other young people to reveal their status. Advocacy sites have solicited coming-out stories via social media and posted them. Student groups around the country have held coming-out events, including one last week in Orange County.

The movement began as a strategy to attach names and faces to the young people affected by the Dream Act, proposed federal legislation that would have granted conditional legal status to undocumented youths brought to this country before age 16 if they went to college, or if they joined the military.