Domingo Martinez, a 2013 National Book Award finalist, recalls Sunday luncheons with his family in South Texas eating pit-roasted barbacoa:
As soon as I was old enough, which in rural Brownsville was around fourteen, it was my job to get up before anyone else those mornings and drive to the barbacoa place for our ration. I was expected to have the food on the table before the rest of the family woke up. Dad would leave $20 on the dining room table the night before, and I would find my favorite mixtape and then zoom off about seven-thirty or so in my sister’s Volkswagen Rabbit. I looked forward to those Sunday mornings—the simple rush of freedom as I pulled away, that transcendental sense of liberation when you lock into fourth gear and hit 55 on a dirt road, as some ageless punk rock blares from the speakers. It should give you a sense of how malnourished the rest of my life was that this was magical to me, this drive to some nearby colonia where Dad knew someone who was making backyard barbacoa in a burst of free enterprise that may or may not have been legal, churning out tortillas in their garage on a tortilla-making machine (I don’t know what those are called). I took my job very seriously, though I didn’t really understand why. I just wanted to take the car out for a spin.