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Monthly Musings - El Colibri

Interviewed by Leslie Criss | Photographed by Joe Worthem

Oxford’s John T. Edge muses on El Colibri, a food truck in Oxford that serves up authentic Mexican cuisine and exemplifies how food, as a shared experience, creates community.

“Keys jangling from belt loops, four men in boots walk a gravel lot, bound for El Colibri, the bright-red taco truck on North Lamar, backed by a curtain of kudzu. White paint tattoos their blue jeans and the black phones in their back pockets.

Owner Maria Rodriguez, mother to three, a veteran of the City Grocery kitchen, works the front window. Behind her, a cook toasts football-shaped torta loaves to layer with refried beans and pile with chorizo and potatoes. Crowned by a half-pineapple, stacked with marinated pork, a vertical spit turns. At a picnic table beneath a red umbrella, a man haloed in drywall dust opens a foam clamshell to reveal two gorditas.

People frequent El Colibri, an Oxford taco truck owned by Maria Rodriguez, not only for its authentic Mexican food but also for the community that gathers for it.

Chunks of pork, carved from that spit, spill from those griddled cornmeal pouches. Seated alongside my new friend, torta in hand, brick-red salsa drips down my forearm as I watch Oxford change in real time.”

John T. Edge hosts the television show TrueSouth on the SEC Network, ESPN and Hulu. At the University of Mississippi, he directs the Mississippi Lab and serves the Department of Writing & Rhetoric as writer-in-residence.

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