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Repast Past

Living La Vida Locavore

By Summer Batte

I'm a native Californian. What most of the United States calls Mexican food, we call . . . food. We don't flutter our fingers and suggest, "Mexican tonight?" Californians "could really go for carnitas." There's a difference.

At Stanford, there were, of course, people from all over. But I hadn't grasped how deep-down-to-the-pit-of-their-stomachs differently my fellow Americans had experienced life until one evening early in our freshman year. My roommate Carrie Charpentier and I grabbed our plastic dining hall trays. A sign informed us that we could choose tacos or burritos; just under the sign were the delicious-looking foods themselves. Carrie—who previously had said she was from upstate New York, not born on Mars—asked, "Which is the burrito and which is the taco?"

I saw the innocence in her eyes and explained with as straight a face as I could muster. We became best friends, and these days she graces the finest upstate New York taquerías with her decidedly Californian presence.

Summer Moore Batte, '99, is senior digital content editor at Stanford.

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