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Taco USA (An Amusing History of Mexican Food in the United States)
Reason ^ | June 2012 | Gustavo "Ask a Mexican" Arellano

Posted on 05/16/2012 2:34:51 PM PDT by mojito

....There is nothing remotely Mexican about Potato Olés—not even the quasi-Spanish name, which has a distinctly Castilian accent. The burrito was more insulting to me and my heritage than casting Charlton Heston as the swarthy Mexican hero in Touch of Evil. But it was intriguing enough to take back to my hotel room for a taste. There, as I experienced all of the concoction’s gooey, filling glory while chilly rain fell outside, it struck me: Mexican food has become a better culinary metaphor for America than the melting pot.

Back home, my friends did not believe that a tater tot burrito could exist. When I showed them proof online, out came jeremiads about inauthenticity, about how I was a traitor for patronizing a Mexican chain that got its start in Wyoming, about how the avaricious gabachos had once again usurped our holy cuisine and corrupted it to fit their crude palates.

In defending that tortilla-swaddled abomination, I unknowingly joined a long, proud lineage of food heretics and lawbreakers who have been developing, adapting, and popularizing Mexican food in El Norte since before the Civil War. Tortillas and tamales have long left behind the moorings of immigrant culture and fully infiltrated every level of the American food pyramid, from state dinners at the White House to your local 7-Eleven. Decades’ worth of attempted restrictions by governments, academics, and other self-appointed custodians of purity have only made the strain stronger and more resilient. The result is a market-driven mongrel cuisine every bit as delicious and all-American as the German classics we appropriated from Frankfurt and Hamburg.

(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Food; History; Society
KEYWORDS: cookery; mexicanfood; mexico; tacos; texmex
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To: ansel12

Chili on spaghetti is a Cincinnati thing. Never saw the point myself.


101 posted on 05/16/2012 8:18:22 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: JRandomFreeper
That sounds like a first-rate chili.

However, since I don't usually have pork stock on hand, I'll probably use beer instead, maybe something like Negro Modelo, so I can drink while I cook.

Of course, even though I'm stealing the recipe, I'd still give you credit: I'll call it “Gone Galt Chili.”

102 posted on 05/16/2012 8:44:08 PM PDT by mojito
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To: truth_seeker
El Pollo Loco started in Mexico, then to the US. This Mexican style fast food restaurant is notable, because the Mexicans go there. For good reason, excellent eats.

I can attest to that. Love me some El Pollo Loco. I also used to be nuts about Alcapulco, and too many hole-in-the-walls to count. I've been in Texas nearly seven years now, and still haven't found anything to replace the Mexican restaurants I loved in L.A.

103 posted on 05/16/2012 9:02:01 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Sherman Logan
Cincinnati Chili (3-Way, 4-Way, 4-Way Bean, or 5-Way) is a Greek based dish, not directly related to Texas Chili. And it is the food of the gods...


104 posted on 05/16/2012 9:24:16 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps ("Barack Obama" is Swahili for "Jimmy Carter".)
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To: Sherman Logan
Photobucket
105 posted on 05/16/2012 9:27:54 PM PDT by GreenLanternCorps ("Barack Obama" is Swahili for "Jimmy Carter".)
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To: GreenLanternCorps
Cincinnati chili has so much in common with Mexico's molé that I've always wondered where its origin was.
106 posted on 05/16/2012 9:49:45 PM PDT by decal (I'm not rude, I don't suffer fools is all.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Sounds good.

I should make my own chili powder, but I don’t.
Your method w/the spices sounds better than mine. How long do you heat the chili powder and cumin....what tells you it is time to add the lard? Lard does add a lusciousness (is that a word?). A smoky fire sounds great, but I normally cook on a stove top, although I use chipotles in adobo for a smokey tone. I wonder if putting a cast iron pot on the grill with soaked wood chips for smoke and the grill cover down would work? I’d need a slow fire and have to watch them and stir a lot. Fire roasted tomatoes instead of tomato sauce would be interesting. Do you do your own from fresh tomatoes or do you use jarred? I usually find the tomato sauce needs to be made more complex, anyway.

A friend uses Scotch to deglaze the pan before adding the gravy ingredients and doesn’t add beans. Not a Scotch drinker, so I didn’t repeat that one, as the flavor didn’t appeal. We like chili beans (red beans simmered in coffee/chili powder and cayenne, then drained)with the meat (beef). Haven’t ever made it with pork. But yes: con carne!

Tried Wolf brand. Once.


107 posted on 05/16/2012 10:07:41 PM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: Sherman Logan

Chili on spaghetti is the kind of thing a young chow hound would eat at his apartment for bachelor food and it is adequate in that sense, but it sure isn’t restaurant fair or something for a guest.


108 posted on 05/16/2012 10:13:58 PM PDT by ansel12 (When immutable definition of Bible marriage of One Man, One Woman, is in jeopardy, call the Mormon.)
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To: GreenLanternCorps
My wife's uncle runs Empress Chili - passed down from his father that started it all in Cincinnati. I thought it was odd as well - until I had some! For a time I thought it would be interesting to open a franchise in Seattle - but not into that type of business, and wouldn't have the faintest idea how to get an “odd” type of dish started out here.

I do get a kick out of my wife though on which “way” is the best, and the order that the ingredients go on top of the spaghetti!

109 posted on 05/16/2012 10:25:29 PM PDT by 21twelve
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To: ansel12

What if the spaghetti is made from corn flour?


110 posted on 05/16/2012 10:26:40 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: mamelukesabre

Or the chili could be made like my Chicago friend did once here in California, Tomatoes, bell peppers and ending up with what I swore was spaghetti sauce with a slight bite, and that he swore was chili where he was from.


111 posted on 05/16/2012 10:38:19 PM PDT by ansel12 (When immutable definition of Bible marriage of One Man, One Woman, is in jeopardy, call the Mormon.)
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To: Windflier

I have had Tex Mex, as well as Arizona style, but I think SoCal authentic places have better flavors and ingredients.

As to the difference, between “Americanized” and authentic Mexican...you don’t get much more authentic than eating in East LA.

I’ve been to Mexico, but prefer their food up here in the states better.


112 posted on 05/16/2012 11:01:42 PM PDT by truth_seeker
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To: txhurl

I just call that Tater Tot Casserole. I make it with beef or chicken. Sometimes I make my own sauce rather than use canned soup. It’s delicious and the kids love it.


113 posted on 05/16/2012 11:49:41 PM PDT by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Nahuatl?


114 posted on 05/17/2012 2:21:07 AM PDT by Fire_on_High (WTB new tagline, PST!)
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To: txhurl

MMMmmmmm!

Tater Tot Casserole.
My Wife makes that quite often.

NOMS!


115 posted on 05/17/2012 2:44:03 AM PDT by RandallFlagg (Look for the union label, then buy elsewhere.)
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To: truth_seeker
I have had Tex Mex, as well as Arizona style, but I think SoCal authentic places have better flavors and ingredients.

Even though I haven't sampled enough Mexican food in Texas to rate myself as any sort of expert, I have a feeling that that's true. I just don't see lot of Americans frequenting the Mexican food establishments here, which tells me all I need to know. In L.A., you always saw more gringos in the Mexican restaurants than Mexicans.

Don't remind me about East L.A. I get hungry just thinking about it. Do you know, we don't even have Mexican roach coaches out here?

116 posted on 05/17/2012 9:10:40 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: RandallFlagg

We Texans just don’t really do casseroles, more’s the pity, I suppose because we don’t like using our ovens except in the dead of what winter we have.

And if we do, it’s more likely a shepherd’s pie with mashed potato topping, or a King Ranch chicken casserole topped with corn tortillas and cheese. Or tuna tetrazzini with spaghetti.

We should set about to construct an authentic TX casserole.


117 posted on 05/17/2012 1:41:18 PM PDT by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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To: mamelukesabre

Masa is a corn flour. It’s crumbly when made right. Some add corn kernels but I don’t like that kind.


118 posted on 05/17/2012 3:26:11 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Democrats are dangerous and evil. Republicans are just useless and useful idiots.)
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