Author Topic: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?  (Read 7382 times)

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saki

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2013, 08:08:56 AM »
In the UK, not really - the "default" ethnic cuisines are Indian, Italian, Chinese (pretty much in that order).  There's also a fair amount of French, Spanish, Turkish/Middle Eastern food, Thai, Korean.  In London, you can get any cuisine though and I have noticed Mexican restaurants popping up more so recently - there are now three or four decent Mexican restaurants in central London (my favourite is Lupita) but it's still some way down the list of cuisines regularly eaten in the UK.

I suspect that it will continue to increase in popularity for a while but I don't think it'll ever come close to knocking Indian food out of its pole position in British culture.

Snowy Owl

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2013, 08:51:44 AM »
In the UK, not really - the "default" ethnic cuisines are Indian, Italian, Chinese (pretty much in that order).  There's also a fair amount of French, Spanish, Turkish/Middle Eastern food, Thai, Korean.  In London, you can get any cuisine though and I have noticed Mexican restaurants popping up more so recently - there are now three or four decent Mexican restaurants in central London (my favourite is Lupita) but it's still some way down the list of cuisines regularly eaten in the UK.

I suspect that it will continue to increase in popularity for a while but I don't think it'll ever come close to knocking Indian food out of its pole position in British culture.

I'd agree.  I think apart from the rush for the latest trend, restaurants are dictated by population.   We're a long way from Mexico so there isn't a large immigrant community to desire or press for the restaurants or to demand local quality food.  Given the large, settled Indian and Chinese communities, I can't see Mexican food challenging the dominance of either in the UK. 

On the Mexican front, there's a chain called Benito's Hat around London that does quite nice burritos.  I've no idea how authentic they are but I quite like the food. 
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Judah

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2013, 10:59:06 AM »
I'm going to say no, because outside of Mexico and New Mexico the critical ingredient of chili pepper is relatively hard to find  ;D  I mean seriously, you go up to Colorado and the think green chili involves bell peppers  :P

Some individual aspects are becoming more wide spread. Tortillas are used as the basis for 'wraps' in many places. But actual 'Mexican' is pretty heavy on corn and squash and beans, and that's a far cry from the Mexican American mix which heavier on beef, cheese, and lettuce and tomato for garnish.

"Mexican" food is not one style of food. Depending on where in Mexico you are the food might be heavy on meat, or more seafood, or more or less spice. In some regions, sauces are the norm and in others it's not. You really can't say that Mexican food is any one style.
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Lynnv

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2013, 12:44:12 PM »
I'm going to say no, because outside of Mexico and New Mexico the critical ingredient of chili pepper is relatively hard to find  ;D  I mean seriously, you go up to Colorado and the think green chili involves bell peppers  :P

Some individual aspects are becoming more wide spread. Tortillas are used as the basis for 'wraps' in many places. But actual 'Mexican' is pretty heavy on corn and squash and beans, and that's a far cry from the Mexican American mix which heavier on beef, cheese, and lettuce and tomato for garnish.

I'm a Coloradan and we use green chiles NOT green peppers.  Also, we have a ton of authentic Mexican food up here, which should be no surprise as we have many immigrants living here.

Green peppers in place of green chiles.  Ewwwww.   Of course I don't like green bell peppers to start with.  I am also from Colorado (born and raised) and have not run into that.   It may happen in isolated places-and if you ran into it in more than one place you had terribly bad luck.  But it is certainly not something that is common or accepted in general.

Back to the OP.  I see a lot of Tex Mex in my travels, and not as much authentic Mexican food.  I actually prefer Tex Mex (most of the time anyway), so that works out fine for me.  But I do see more and more places that at least purport to have authentic Mexican cuisine. 

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lowspark

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2013, 01:26:15 PM »
I live in Houston and TexMex is, of course, ubiquitous here in Texas. Of course, it's not really Mexican as in, authentic Mexican, but it's authentic TexMex. And as someone said about Mexican food being several different styles of food, well, in fact, so is TexMex. We have several "favorite" TexMex places which all serve somewhat different styles of food, all of which fall into the category of TexMex.

My son lived in Manhattan for a few years and according to him there's no good TexMex there. Apparently there were multiple spots which attempted it, but they didn't quite get there.

As far as authentic Mexican food, yeah, you can get that here too. And it's pretty good. But not as good as the TexMex.

If you need a recommendation for good TexMex in Houston, I've got a list! As a side note, the #1 sign that a restaurant is not athentic TexMex: No free chips & salsa.

menley

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2013, 12:28:37 PM »
I live in Eastern Europe and there are several Mexican food places in my city. I was very pleasantly surprised, as I'm originally from Texas and thought that I would miss Mexican food the most! It's not quite the same as in Texas - it's closer to actual Mexican food than to Tex-Mex, which I prefer - but it's definitely good enough to get me past my cravings :)

Twik

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2013, 02:24:12 PM »
Tex-Mex (beyond the Taco Bell, of course) is not "inauthentic," it's a regional cuisine on its own.
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lowspark

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2013, 04:20:21 PM »
Sure, I agree. It's just that when you say, "Let's eat Mexican" around here, what you really mean is, "Let's eat TexMex." And if someone is not from the area or doesn't realize that "Mexican" in Texas implies TexMex, not authentic Mexican cuisine, well, they aren't going to get what they may be expecting.

So... not saying there's anything inauthentic about TexMex, just that TexMex does not equal authentic Mexican.

If you want to eat authentic Mexican food as opposed to the more readily available TexMex, you might say something closer to "Let's eat Mexican food, I mean, real Mexican" because the TexMex is implied and "real" Mexican would need to be specified if that's what you mean.

Lynnv

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2013, 05:04:07 PM »
Sure, I agree. It's just that when you say, "Let's eat Mexican" around here, what you really mean is, "Let's eat TexMex." And if someone is not from the area or doesn't realize that "Mexican" in Texas implies TexMex, not authentic Mexican cuisine, well, they aren't going to get what they may be expecting.

So... not saying there's anything inauthentic about TexMex, just that TexMex does not equal authentic Mexican.

If you want to eat authentic Mexican food as opposed to the more readily available TexMex, you might say something closer to "Let's eat Mexican food, I mean, real Mexican" because the TexMex is implied and "real" Mexican would need to be specified if that's what you mean.

Yep-same thing here.  And in most places I travel to as well.
Lynn

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Ereine

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2013, 03:28:12 AM »
I've read that actual Mexican food is trendy in Helsinki at the moment but mostly it means (probably very unauthentic) TexMex here in Finland. There's one chain restaurant that's in every larger town (called Amarillo), I quite enjoy it but I'm not at all refined about food, some people I know find it horrible. Most larger town will have a few independent TexMex restaurants too but they're pretty far behind the most common ethnic restaurants, kebab-pizzerias and Chinese restaurants.

Growing chili peppers has become very fashionable here in recent years, people seem to like it as hot possible though I don't know what sort of cooking they do with them.

Last_Dance

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2013, 06:00:22 AM »
There are at least 4 Mexican restaurants in my not-very-turistic Northern Italian city. Can't vouch for authenticity, though  ;D
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2013, 07:23:56 AM »
I'm going to say no, because outside of Mexico and New Mexico the critical ingredient of chili pepper is relatively hard to find  ;D  I mean seriously, you go up to Colorado and the think green chili involves bell peppers  :P

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cicero

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2013, 08:26:45 AM »
it's actually interesting in israel because one would think that tex-mex is right up our alley (spicy, lots of vegetables, beans, etc) but for some reason it hasn't really taken that well. I think there are one or two tex-mex restaurants in jerusalem, maybe a few more in tel aviv.

tex-mex items that have been 'borrowed' into local cuisine, do appear on most restaurant menues and in supermarkets - so you will have tortillas smeared with cream cheese and dotted with smoked salmon...  ::) a very popular part food a few years ago, or guacamole will often appear as one of the mezze dishes alongside hummus, tahini, spicy red sauce, and eggplants.

we can buy the tortillas (corn and flour) in almost any supermarket, sauces, etc and in specialty stores you can find the whole ... urhm... enchillada ( ;D ) like canned diced chilis, refried beans, salsa, etc.

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Venus193

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2013, 09:12:49 AM »
Happy to report that now you do get free chips and salsa in NYC's Mexican restaurants.  That may be in the lower-end ones, though, vs. the higher-end ones in Manhattan.

My neighborhood used to have almost nothing in the way of Mexican food but now we have a small place  every other block.  The place across the street from my favorite Irish pub serves fabulous shrimp ceviche.

Ereine

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2013, 02:34:57 PM »
Apparently the trend for "100 % authentic" Mexican food has spread to my town, there's a new restaurant opening here. I think that I'm going to have to check it out to see how different it is.