American diversity can be as good as 15 bean soup

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readFeb 12, 2022

I always wonder why people in our American culture are afraid or find “weird” the customs and habits of our foreign friends. I remember reading in high school American History textbooks the stories of migration and the lines at Ellis Island. The phrase melting pot was a popular one with authors and teachers.

I like that — the melting pot. Like a bowl of soup made by mom, it gives me a sense of comfort. I see all kinds of ingredients mixed together and somehow producing something that tastes so good. What’s really good about most soups is that most of the ingredients don’t fully melt.

You can point them out and see them floating around. Scoop up just a potato with your spoon and it will taste like a potato even if you pick up the other flavors that have come together. You still want to taste the potato and know it’s there.

So why are we afraid to taste a little of everything that has come together into the big bowl of soup we call America today? I still think America has a great flavor to it.

I think most people around the world feel that way they too, and many are going to great lengths to get a taste. Some people, in their attempts at just one bite, give their lives. They don’t make it all the way. We lose out at getting to know how they would contribute to our soup.

Where I live, most soups are called caldos. They have similar ingredients but they are all different in their own way. What has made them caldos is that they combine ingredients and flavors from the region, and from the people who settled in this region. There are potatoes and zucchini (calavacitas), corn and different kinds of meats. The further into the United States, caldos become stews, and then stews become chowders. All different and all tasty. All made up with a diversity of ingredients.

I like the name of the 15 bean soup and I like just looking at it. In a bowl are beans of all sizes and colors. Like the people of your own family and town, the beans are referred to by their region, color, and size: northern, pinto, large lima, yelloweye, green split, kidney, small white, black bean, and more.

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Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting. I write about them and what makes them interesting.