It’s also called Fideo.
Now, I don’t have a whole lot of experience with the latter – i’ve only eaten Ramen Noodles a handful of times (I know, shocking). But Vermicelli/Fideo…
I was practically raised on it.
This may come as surprising to anyone who knows me and might be reading this, because Vermicelli, like its Asian cousin the Ramen Noodle, is not just known for being a staple food item for the ‘lower class’ – in my area of Southwest Texas, it is commonly associated as a meal for Mexican day-hands.
It’s been over 10 years since i’ve last eaten it, and I made it tonight.
My version is missing some rudimentary chopped, un-skinned potatoes and too much of a really spicy chile pequin. It was always served straight from the skillet over a fire on the ground, into a moderately warm tortilla – which you started ravenously eating. (If we were really lucky, it might have some meat thrown in there.) As I ate my vermicelli taco washed down with a hot soda or water from a water-hose nearby, my hair would be in a pony-tail, I’d be wearing a bloody, greasy, dusty t-shirt and even more dirty Posted western jeans, along with some boots that had seen better days. My arms below my short sleeves would be grey and caked with dust and dried blood, and my neck and face covered in sweat. The smell of hundreds of goats and sheep (and their waste) would be strong in the air, not just because we would be eating next to the working pens but also because their hair, dirt, and grease would be all over me.
I think about the little skinny girl with raggedy hair, wearing red wrangler bootcut jeans that came up past her belly button with tennis shoes, walking down the school hallway in 6th grade, being teased by her peers of a different race, specifically and only because they assumed I was a spoiled kid because of the color of my skin.
They never would have guessed that I would be eating vermicelli tacos that weekend.