Mexican X Part XV: Shook by Xoquía

One of the hardest things about growing up Mexican [American] is learning to clean. If you don’t wash dishes right or wring out the mop properly, you leave behind an odor that moms and abuelas despise.


The name of this elusive but unpleasant odor has several forms: the main choquía, plus regional variants choquilla, choquío, choquillo, choquiaque, chuquía, chuquiaque, chuquije, choquis, etc.

It’s tough to explain the smell to people who aren’t familiar. A general suggestion of mold with light hints of egg and…



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David Bowles

A Mexican American author & translator from South Texas. Teaches literature & Nahuatl at UTRGV. VP of the Texas Institute of Letters.