Mexican meat Matzah Balls: Burciaga as a Culinary Ambassador

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Gladstein M.R. (2013) Mexican Meat Matzah Balls: Burciaga as a Culinary Ambassador. In: Soler N.P., Abarca M.E. (eds) Rethinking Chicana/o Literature through Food. Literatures of the Americas. Palgrave Macmillan, New York


José Antonio (Tony) Burciaga was a unique artist, multi-talented, equally able with the paintbrush or the pen. He wrote newspaper columns, poems, painted murals, drew cartoons, wrote short stories, and collected and translated dichos (sayings). His interests ran the gamut from Quetzalcoatl to linguistics. One could say that for him borders and boundaries were to be crossed or ignored. A pioneer in the Chicano Arts community, Burciaga won an American Book Award for his book of poetry, Undocumented Love. He was also one of the founding members of Culture Clash, a Latino comedy troupe. His iconic mural “The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes” was painted on the wall of Zapata Dormitory at Stanford University.1 The evidence of his varied talents is telling. At the end of his too-short life he was awarded the Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature.