Tex-Mex knockoffs have become popular in the food industry. Traditional Mexican favorites have turned into Americanized Mexican food to appeal to the American palate.
Nearly every Mexican restaurant across the country, including fast-food joints, serves Mexican cuisine with a touch of American flavor to make it more interesting, more flavorful, or just more palatable.
Authentic Mexican cuisine dates back to the early 1500s. It is a fusion of Mesoamerican recipes that incorporates indigenous staples freshly harvested like corn, beans, tomatoes, avocados, and chili peppers.
The Spanish have introduced meats like livestock and other ingredients like dairy products and old-world herbs and spices.
Tex-Mex originated along with the southern border states of the U.S. The term stands for Texans and Mexicans. Hence, you would expect a blend of Mexican, Spanish, and American flavors in the food they serve at Tex-Mex restaurants.
The Spanish mission era opened the fusion of Mexican and Spanish cuisine in the 17th century.
In fact, the first Spanish settlers, named Tejanos, officially invented Tex-Mex. There have been variations after that until the 20th century as it remained a constant along the Mexico-US borderline.
Currently, with a long series of variations, it has evolved with Americanized flavor and ingredients.
This Tex-Mex favorite was invented in Piedras Negras, Mexico, in 1943. Are these the ultimate Mexican appetizer? Certainly not because of how it is being prepared in the United States.
When you order nachos in the U.S., they are topping-loaded chip piles that contain lots of yellow cheese, pulled pork, sour cream, guacamole, and ground beef.
The original nachos are a far cry from this. The very first nachos were made with tortillas cut into triangles and fried, cheese that melted over the triangles, and pickled jalapeño peppers.
Nachos are a favorite snack that can even be turned into a dinner dish. It is considered by many as a Mexican dish, but they don’t really count because they were invented for the American wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan.
It soon became a Tex-Mex staple that you could literally order at any Tex-Mex restaurant or fast food joint.
“Fajita” means “little strip.” Despite the name, fajitas are as American as burgers and fries.
Fajitas were inspired by the ingredients of Mexico but would have seemed foreign to most people living south of the Rio Grande.
They were Americanized by using white flour instead of the original corn tortillas served alongside the meat and vegetables.
Gustavo Arellano writes in Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America that fajita, or the outside skirt steak of the cow, was considered a lower-class food for many years.
Fajitas turned the tide and became revolutionary in 1969 when it was served on a sizzling platter by a Laredo restaurant called Round-Up.
Chili con Carne easily tops the list of Tex-Mex recipes. Raul Molina Jr. of Molina’s Restaurant in Houston said, “Spaghetti and chili was the original Tex-Mex dish.”
The name of the dish means “Chili with meat“, and although you might think it’s a traditional Mexican dish, this stew of ground beef, tomatoes, beans, spices, chili peppers, sour cream, and cheese is not 100% authentic.
Chili con carne was created by Texan settlers and the version you would be served in restaurants and diners are not authentically Mexican because they are overloaded with cheese.
When you order burritos in the U.S., you can get a burrito approximately the size of a newborn baby. The filling you’d get for your burrito would literally be anything from rice, vegetables, beans, lots of cheese, sour cream, and anything else you can imagine.
Traditionally though, burritos were made with just two or three simple ingredients: a meat or seafood base with rice, beans, white cheese, or chilies. It’s a far cry from the humongous burritos you would eat in the U.S. Tex-Mex restaurants today.
Though not authentically Mexican, the Mexican version of this dish is called tacos de harina. They are thinner and smaller than the American version.
According to Gerry Torres, owner of City Tacos in the San Diego area and born in Mexico City, “Tacos are a perfect size and have the right protein to tortilla ratio, whereas burritos are often made using giant tortillas and not as much filler,” he told Reader’s Digest.
It is interesting to know that you won’t find chimichangas in Mexico today. The unproven story of this dish says that it originated from Arizona. It is a Mexican-American dish that is not actually eaten in Mexico although it is served in many Tex-Mex restaurants.
When you order a chimichanga, you will literally get a deep-fried burrito served on a plate. The name of the dish is believed to be the Spanish equivalent of “thingamajig”. But in slang, chimichanga means deep-fried wet burrito.
Tex-Mex foods can sometimes be deceiving to be authentic Mexican cuisine because they are non — traditional Mexican food.
Though they are based on traditional Mexican recipes, they are said to have very little authentic Mexican spirit left in them.
You can still enjoy delicious authentic Mexican dishes prepared by an experienced chef who uses authentic Mexican ingredients. Get the best experience for your palate, and satisfy your Mexican cravings from restaurants that have embraced the real taste of Mexico.
El Rincon Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar or known as El Rincon among the locals around the restaurant serves Mexican food and drink made from the freshest ingredients.
Mexican cuisine is very much alive and thriving in the United States. In whatever state you are whether, in Texas or California, you would always see restaurants serving various kinds of Mexican food. And most of these restaurants are very popular in whatever city they are in. It is then not surprising that even at… Continue reading Mexican Food You Can Cook and Order for All Seasons
Surprise your guests and give them the time of their lives with a Mexican-themed party that they will not forget for the rest of their lives. And, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on this kind of enjoyment. A party is a remarkable time when you can gather your friends and family… Continue reading How to Host An Affordable Mexican Themed Party
Who doesn’t love taco night? It’s a tradition in many households, especially in Texas, where the love for Mexican cuisine runs deep. But do you find yourself getting bored with the same old hard or soft shell tacos every week? Why not mix things up and reinvent your taco night with some creative twists? In… Continue reading Fiesta Like There’s No Tomorrow: Tips for a Fun and Festive Taco Night