Understanding The History Of Authentic Tex Mex Food

Many popular foods came about as a blending of cultures in the U.S. For example, African, French and Canadian flavors influence the food of Louisiana. Another example is the blending of foods from Texas and Mexico that is known as Tex Mex. The term Tex Mex was first used as a nickname for the Texas-Mexican Railway in 1875. Later, in the 1920’s, the term was used to describe people of Mexican descent born in Texas. Tex Mex was first used in 1945 to describe food and the rest is history.

Historically, Spanish and Mexican-Indian foods were a way of life for white people who lived in Texas. This cuisine started with the Texans of Hispanic descent. Soon, it became the regular fare served in southwest Texas. Many of the cooks were Mexican so they used a lot of their cooking mixed with beef and other items found in Texas. Authentic Tex Mex Food has several main dishes, including:

  • chili con queso
  • chili con carne
  • fajitas
  • nachos
  • chalupas
  • crispy tacos
  • Mexican-style tortillas
  • beans
  • heavy use of meat (beef)

Many dishes that people think of as Mexican are actually Tex Mex. For example, serving tortilla chips with salsa as an appetizer is Tex Mex. In addition, Tex Mex borrows from other cultures like the use of cumin. Cumin is common in some cultures but not in many Mexican dishes. Further, Tex Mex cooks used yellow cheese because it was cheap and common in the U.S. In the 1950’s, Mexican restaurants started serving what was actually tex mex food. Chili does not come from Mexico but came from the use of beef in Texas cooking. Refried beans were confused with the mexican dish frijoles refritos, which means well-fried beans. Soon, Tex-Mex food popped up everywhere including the new dishes chimichangas and nachos. Restauranters say the most popular Tex Mex dish is fajitas. Mexican restaurant owners were insulted when people requested Tex Mex dishes. In fact, several successful chain restaurants became popular serving Tex Mex food. Other popular Tex Mex favorites include quesadillas, tamales, gorditas, and burritos. America is a melting pot of people from all over the world. Indeed, Tex Mex cuisine is just another example of how the blending of cultures affects our lives.