by Mehroz Baig
Omar Corona, 28, works as a cook at the newly opened Metate, a Mexican restaurant in Riverdale. Originally from Mexico City, he moved to the United States when he was 15 years old and he’s been a Bronxite for the last six years. For Corona, keeping Mexican traditions alive is important, and one of the ways he marks his Mexican roots comes in the form of preparing Mexican dishes , especially his favorites, fajitas with pipian verde, a green sauce served with a variety of meat.
“You have to put green tomatoes, cilantro, cebolla [onion], garlic and a chicken base,” says Corona.
His favorite Mexican food to eat also happens to be pipian verde, “because the taste is Mexican,” Corona added.
Corona remembers growing up in Mexico and celebrating Cinco de Mayo. “In Mexico, all the schools would close and we’d celebrate for like two to three days,” Corona said, adding that the Cinco de Mayo celebration in the U.S. is admittedly more subdued.
Corona also celebrates another traditional holiday, Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead. He says that during the October holiday, he creates an altar in his house with traditional offerings of milk and flowers.