Aarón Sánchez Dishes On His New Spanish Language Show, El Sabor De Aarón - Exclusive Interview
What was the initial inspiration for "El Sabor de Aarón?"
I live in a very interesting lens, because I'm bicultural. I'm the perfect example of a Mexican American in the sense that I've been able to hold onto both of my cultures, American and Mexican. I was brought up speaking Spanish as my primary language, living in two different worlds. Then, I wanted to have that synergy and have them collide, and what better way of doing that than through food?
This show is something that really does a great job of capturing what the current Latino diaspora looks like as far as all the diversity and all these different faces from different parts of Latin America who are cooking fantastic food and highlighting them, and letting this show be the jumping-off point in that platform for them to start to get more attention that they rightly deserve.
This show is in Spanish, and you've talked in interviews before about the importance of second-generation Latinx folks keeping their language. Can you touch on why that's so important for you?
I have an 11-year-old son who's starting out in his early years in an immersion school in Los Angeles to try to make sure that he has a grasp of the language. I'll tell you why it's so important, because we all have family members that are in our respective Latin cultures and countries. Then, imagine those summer vacations that you go with your cousins and your nephews, and your aunts and uncles — you're the only one that doesn't speak the language. You feel alienated, and you don't feel you're part of the group. That's one of the big touchpoints that I wanted to emphasize, at least in my family, but that idea of keeping your language is the best way to keep a connection to your culture.
There's a saying in Spanish: "When you lose your tongue, you lose your country." There's a lot of young people claiming that they're Latinos or Latinx, but they're not necessarily speaking the language. That's extremely important.
Do you think that Spanish language food media is going to expand in the US?
Absolutely, because right now, we're living in a very interesting time where you have second-generation Latinos who are desperately trying to rescue their roots and going back for those authentic experiences and those authentic moments. What's going to happen more often is, if someone's struggling with Spanish, for instance, one of the best ways you can learn is either through music, then also through television.
On that medium, I really feel that the food will speak for itself. You're going to understand when I'm talking about a carrot, it's "zanahoria." When I'm talking about onion, it's "cebolla." It's also a really good exercise for people to learn their Spanish and improve on it based on food.
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