Hello world! Ellis Island aside, we all speak English here and claim some sort of American identity. Some of you might choose the Signature Salad while others go for a Cosi melt. Here at Food and Drink, we think ethnicity is both oppressive and glorious!

Claire: Shalom! Konnichiwa! Affirmative action! Don't be fooled by the whiteness of my name, appearance, and associations (namely with CBS, Staples Office Supplies and people who wear pearls), because I am as ethnic as they come, encouraging all to uncover their heritage and make it cool. When I started touting my Croatian-ness, it was a really depressing war-torn country; look at it now, it's a full-on Euro hot-spot! But don't just take my ethnic success story as the only justification for jumping on the diversity train of mixed salads (from Cosi, Qdoba, or even the super-edgy Nara), because we can all benefit from a society full of different kinds of people. Homogeneity, like fondue and several types of stew, is totally boring. I wish you all the best of luck in your pursuit of cultural capital. See you at DuBois! Just kidding, I'll be on Pine Street, with the rest of my yuppie friends. But I'll probably have a salad later so....there's that.

Yvonne: For once, I want to look beyond my schnoz with my almond-shaped-verging-on-squinty eyes and nosh tenderly with porcelain grace on my Beef Chow Fun and gefilte fish. For once, when the sisters of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi come to my door and beg for my membership, I want to proclaim with confidence: "I, too, am a daughter of the Revolution. I am a real American girl."

Oh melting pot! I want to divorce my cultural identity. I want to be one of you people, a part of the great American tapestry of homogeneity, an overcooked ingredient in the bland stew of you.

Oh melting pot. I want to leave my cultural playground and run free in the backyard of averageness. I don't want to be a Chew, anymore. I'm tired.

So stand up with me, join me in the fall of pluralism and sing:

You simply melt right in,/It doesn't matter what your skin.../ To the great American melting pot/The great American melting pot./Ooh, what a stew, red, white, and blue./Ooh, what a stew, that red white and blue...

Eh, who I am kidding? We all know I'm way too attached to Dim Sum and Jew jokes. Guess I'm really all about that Signature Salad. Cosi anyone?


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