Tequila Shots - © The Daily Mail

When Is Mexican Food NOT Mexican? When It’s Tex-Mex

As so often happens, I stumbled upon today’s post topic when I was looking for something else. While navigating the back roads of my usual Food News Sources. I was surprised to discover that some of my favourite Mexican Foods are not Mexican at all, but ‘Made In The USA’…

Clasic Margarita - © Kraft CanadaThe Classic Margarita: Not Mexican at all! Well, maybe a bit…

I’ll bet you’re going to learn a thing or two from  today’s post, too. In fact, some of the Southwestern Foods I’ve always considered most ‘Mexican’ turn out to be Tex-Mex creations.

Tacos with Cheese

Real Merxican street food Tacos always have two Corn Tortillas on the outside, but usually have only Meat of some kind, Onions and maybe some Cilantro on top. No other Veggies, and certainly not Cheese or Sour Cream. Just so you won’t be disappointed with what you get when you visit your first real Mexican Taqueria.

Beef Chili

While Chili in Texas (and elsewhere) is often just Beef and Hot Peppers, Chili in Mexico is often just Beans, Onions, Tomatoes and Hot Peppers. No meat is the usual rule. And, while they will eat Chickens in Mexico when they’ve stopped laying Eggs, Cows are far to valuable to put on the table.

Queso

Anybody who has visited a ‘Mexican’ restaurant will have experiences Queso – that creamy Cheese Sauce they put on Nachos and slather on other dishes to add Cheesy goodness. In Mexico, Queso Fundito is made with real fresh Cheeses such as Oaxaca, Chihuahua, or Manchego and is topped with Chorizo or roasted Poblano Chilis. The stuff you get outside of Mexico is usually made from melting Processed Cheese (like Velveeta or Kraft Singles) and just pouring it on. This so-called ‘Cowboy Queso’ was created, like most other Tex-Mex delights, in Texas.

Crispy Corn Tacos

These do not exist in Mexico. All Tortillas there are served hot and fresh and flexible. The hard kind you’re used to were invented elsewhere, for the convenience of Food Service workers and Fast Food Consumers.

Fajitas

… Are the favourite Mexican dish of millions. But they were actually invented in Texas back in the 1930s. They weren’t even widely known until the 1970s, when Texas entrepreneur Sonny Falcon opened BBQ stands across the state featuring the familiar selection of Meats and Veggies seared on iron griddles.

Taco Salad

This is a really far out one. Taco Salad was invented in Clifornia bu the inventor of Fritos Corn Chips, Elmer Doolin. According to Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America the original was composed of, “ground beef, beans, sour cream and cheese served in a small bowl made entirely of Fritos.”

Beer with Lime Wedge

That’s an abomination that northerners brought south w0th them. It used to be that no civilized visitor would trust Mexican Beer or Soft Drink Bottles, so they ordered Lime wedges which they would use to swab the rims of the uncapped bottles, hoping the Acid in the Lime Juice would kill any germs.

Tequila Shots

What you’re used to is entirely the invention of Gringos who brought the distilled nectar of the Agave plant back from Mexican vacations. In Mexico, they do T-Shots alright, but there’s no Lime or Salt involved.

Margaritas

You’d think that there’s nothing more Mexican than the Margarita. But that’s as far from the truth as Porto Vallarta is from the Moon. According to one authoritative account, the Margarita was probably invented in Mexico, but by foreigners running a big tourist hotel. According to Delish.com, a more authentic Mexican drink to order would be the Paloma; Tequila on the rocks with Grapefruit Juice and Lime. Sounds to me like somebody at the hotel invented the Margarita in an attempt to improve on the Paloma. Those crazy Gringos just can’t leave well enough alone!

~ Maggie J.

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