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What is comes to our mind when thinking of Mexican food are beef burritos, fajitas, nachos, and cheese dip, however, it is not right to say that a dish is an authentic Mexican food with ingredients like beef, black beans, cheddar cheese, and wheat flour. What we call as Mexican food has been influenced by Texas, when Mexico and Texas became a Spanish colony called as New Spain for over three hundred years. Even though Texas became a part of the United States in 1845, it still maintained its ties with Mexico, thus influencing food, culture, and tradition. When Mexican settlers arrived in Texas, they have experienced a Mexican-like cuisine, and this appreciation grew and people began incorporating Mexican cuisine with Texan ingredients such as beef and wheat flour which are scarcely found south of the border.
Tex-Mex became popular when Tejanos or people of Mexican descent living in Texas made “chili con carne” that grew in popularity. After chili con carne was discovered, nachos were born around fifty years later, and the rest is history. The most common are soft-shell tacos with lightly grilled or steamed tortillas because hard-shell tacos are also scarce in Mexico. Fresh white cheese, cilantro, onions, and limes are the common ingredients in authentic Mexican tacos, while the genuine Mexican salsa is a combination of fresh tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. Down south, you won’t really be able to find wheat tortillas, and rather than fajitas, you can try an authentic dish such as shredded beef with avocado and lime. The two authentic Mexican desserts are three milk cake (pastel de tres leches), and flan. There was a higher demand in Mexican food because of Mexicans settling in Texas, and people attempted to make it themselves in their kitchens using wheat flour and beef which were not common in Mexico. Eventually, Tex-Mex came to existence when Mexican restaurant owners incorporated Texan and Mexican cuisines such as putting ground beef in enchiladas.
Generally, the difference between Tex-Mex food and Mexican food is the use of key ingredients found in the US that are scarce in South or the Rio Grande such as beef, wheat flour, yellow cheese, canned vegetables, cumin and black beans. Texan ranchers’ meat of choice was beef which was hardly used in Mexican cuisine, outside of the country’s extreme Northern reaches, while cumin was imported to the US from India. The general rule to determine if it is an authentic food is that the more Tex-Mex the food is when there is more starch. If you need more information about Mexican recipes and Mexican groceries, you can always visit our website or contact us directly. Find out the famous Mexican snacks, chili sauce, Mexican food, and a lot more!5 Lessons Learned: Foods