Feast For the Eyes: Tortilla Soup (2001)

Cinco de Mayo is almost upon us.

It is the anniversary of the battle of Puebla, a victory of the Mexicans of Puebla over the French in May 5, 1862. It is not Mexican Independence Day, which happened on September 16, 1810. It is not even a big deal for Mexicans outside of Puebla. But it is an excuse to drink ample amounts of Corona, Dos Equis, Modelo, and margaritas, and be ‘unofficially Mexican’ for an evening.

A perfect foodie movie for this time of year is 2001’s Tortilla Soup, a Latin-flavored story set in Los Angeles. Widower (Hector Elizondo) is a retired chef with three grown daughters, Leticia, Carmen and Maribel.  Eating large dinners together is a family tradition, but its evident each daughter is restless with tradition and wants more for her life. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps fate just might have what each woman wants.

The plot of this movie was inspired by the Ang Lee film Eat Drink Man Woman, originally released for a Taiwanese audience, in 1994.

Tortilla Soup is not just a catchy title, it really is a dish. It is a chicken broth-based soup containing tomatoes, peppers, and oregano, with crispy tortilla strips served on top. In the US, it contains chunks of chicken meat as well. I especially love this soup when I feel a cold or sinus issue coming on—chicken and hot peppers loaded with vitamin C are just what the doctor ordered, not to mention delicious.


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