Look, there’s a special day every month—every day—I get it. But sometimes I write this column and it pisses people off, and it struck me that September contains within its 30 glorious days, a day which we can all get behind. It’s truly something worth celebrating, and it is my pleasure to bring it to your attention.
This month, on Saturday, September 25, the nation will recognize, honor, praise, Dia de la Quesadilla.
In case you’re worried that I’m about to write an entire column about a quesadilla, let me just squash that anxiety and tell you, yes, I am. There, now that you know for certain, you can relax into the gooey goodness that is my ode to a quesadilla and how I think the indulgence of such a delicacy may actually save us all.
First of all, we all need to eat. That’s just a fact. Food is the one thing we can probably agree on, even if you and your friends can’t ever pick a place to go on a Saturday night (or, since this is the mountains, find a place consistently open). But food as a necessity is an undeniable fact of life, therefore, even you and your worst enemy have eating in common. Sorry if this puts a damper on your decades-long feud.
Now, once you break away from the basic need for food and start considering tastes, well, things can get a little trickier. Still, basic analysis would suggest that there are certain foods that tend to appeal to most people (and even to those who won’t admit they find them appealing). At the top of this list is pretty much anything greasy and cheesy. Pizza. Burgers. Anything fried that you dip into something slightly resembling cheese. These are crowdpleasers. In its purest state, a quesadilla is fried dough and melted cheese, so it seems a pretty sure-fire way to make diners happy.
Of course, a quesadilla can be versatile, which is why it reaches the masses. Not a dairy eater? You can melt vegan cheese on a quesadilla. Not a meat eater? Me either! I prefer mine with black beans or refried beans when I’m feeling extra naughty. Maybe you can’t stomach a flour tortilla? Honestly, I’m always delightfully surprised at the texture and flavor differences of a corn tortilla quesadilla.
I’m sure I eliminated like 10 people who don’t like my substitutions, but for all the rest of you, now we can get creative! Seriously, you might have more in common with your enemy than you thought. They have to eat, they probably like cheese, and they can find a suitable way to build a quesadilla according to their weird, modern-day dietary restrictions. With that much common ground, you might even discover you like building something together! Are you a grilled onions inside kind of guy? Maybe you’re a guacamole on top kind of girl? Seriously, half the thrill of melted cheese foods are the toppings, so you should really go wild here. Maybe use sour cream and salsa.
If you’re still with me but you’re rolling your eyes that I’m trying to bring the community together around some melted cheese, let me just say: this is exactly why Dia de la Quesadilla was created! According to the National Day Calendar website, “V&V Supremo founded National Quesadilla Day (Dia de la Quesadilla) in 2020 to bring people together to enjoy authentic and delicious quesadillas.” They say that the most important ingredient to celebrating this holiday isn’t salsa or sour cream, or grilled vegetables or just the right protein (though they give some mouthwatering suggestions that are worth checking out); but that it’s actually family. Which is, you know, sweet and sentimental and all, but before we dive into the holiday season, can’t we all admit that sometimes you’d actually rather eat a quesadilla with a townsperson you only kind of know or like than attend a post-pandemic Thanksgiving dinner with your in-laws?
This to say, sometimes it’s the simplest, most wholesome pleasures that make the world a better place. Sometimes, when the world is at-odds and everyone is convinced that it must all soon end, that we’re on our way to blowing it all up, I think it’s important to remember that life is delicious! That there are things we can all get behind! That getting along and being silly is well worth coming down off that high horse. So why not celebrate Dia de la Quesadilla?
P.S. If you want to get really fancy with it, my favorite “special” quesadilla is: flour tortilla, generous slabs of melty manchego, and some quince paste. It’s honestly like dinner and dessert all at once. Maybe serve it at that upcoming family dinner and everyone is bound to be happy.