Author Topic: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?  (Read 8758 times)

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Thipu1

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2013, 09:57:26 AM »
Back in the 1970s and 1980s Mexican food in NYC was awful but I didn't know it until I met Mr. Thipu.  His sister had lived in San Diego for a number of years so he was exposed to much better Northern Mexican cooking.  He was the one who informed me that chili was referred to as the Spanish equivalent of 'Northern Stew'.

When we visited Cozumel, the food was totally different and very delicious.  The cuisine used lots of limes, fish and roast meats. 

Dang it, now I'm getting in the mood for sopa de Limas and Pok Chuk.

mmswm

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2013, 10:18:14 AM »

I would guess that there are very few places in the world outside of Mexico which serve authentic Mexican cuisine, and many which serve some localized version of it. Which is why there is TexMex, CalMex, NewMexico-Mex, and who knows how many other variations.

I would disagree with that statement. There are huge immigrant communities in many parts of the US and probably other countries as well.  Ethnic supermarkets are available for those people acquire the ingredients necessary for authentic dishes.  As I posted somewhere upthread, there are several restaurants in my town owned by actual Mexican people, who's menus are full of old family recipes.  I'm quite certain that other cities that have large immigrant communities have similar restaurants.
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jmarvellous

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2013, 11:07:10 AM »
I think my biggest fear about moving to the northeast is a dearth of good tortillas, salsas, beans and the like. Probably unfounded, but our diet is something like 50% Tex-Mex! I would have to relearn cooking if I didn't have these things around.

That said, I have a lot of love for the less common dishes from across the border, I just don't make them much, particularly because I'm a vegetarian. We still love squash in our tacos, soft cheeses, and mock chorizo and charros, but goat, seafood and lard in every baked good just don't cut it in our home.

My favorite thing at the Mexican seaside resort I visited was the breakfasts -- tucked away from the hot buffet and American cereals was a table of local fruit, fresh soft cheese and local pastry, along with fresh juices and horchata. I could do breakfast like that every day!

Venus193

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2013, 11:52:59 AM »
The supermarkets in my area have jicama, chayote, nopales, tomatillos, and various other Mexican items.   Also plenty of condiments and canned products from Mexico including McCormick Mayonnaise with Lime.  Lots of tortillas and tostadas, tambien...

that_one_girl

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #49 on: April 12, 2013, 11:55:03 AM »
I think my biggest fear about moving to the northeast is a dearth of good tortillas, salsas, beans and the like. Probably unfounded, but our diet is something like 50% Tex-Mex! I would have to relearn cooking if I didn't have these things around.

That said, I have a lot of love for the less common dishes from across the border, I just don't make them much, particularly because I'm a vegetarian. We still love squash in our tacos, soft cheeses, and mock chorizo and charros, but goat, seafood and lard in every baked good just don't cut it in our home.

My favorite thing at the Mexican seaside resort I visited was the breakfasts -- tucked away from the hot buffet and American cereals was a table of local fruit, fresh soft cheese and local pastry, along with fresh juices and horchata. I could do breakfast like that every day!

I live on the East coast and it's hard to find good ingredients ... they do have some passable ones in the International aisle though

jmarvellous

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #50 on: April 12, 2013, 12:02:22 PM »
The supermarkets in my area have jicama, chayote, nopales, tomatillos, and various other Mexican items.   Also plenty of condiments and canned products from Mexico including McCormick Mayonnaise with Lime.  Lots of tortillas and tostadas, tambien...

Yeah, if I were moving to NYC, I wouldn't even think to be concerned!

PastryGoddess

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2013, 12:23:38 PM »
I think my biggest fear about moving to the northeast is a dearth of good tortillas, salsas, beans and the like. Probably unfounded, but our diet is something like 50% Tex-Mex! I would have to relearn cooking if I didn't have these things around.

That said, I have a lot of love for the less common dishes from across the border, I just don't make them much, particularly because I'm a vegetarian. We still love squash in our tacos, soft cheeses, and mock chorizo and charros, but goat, seafood and lard in every baked good just don't cut it in our home.

My favorite thing at the Mexican seaside resort I visited was the breakfasts -- tucked away from the hot buffet and American cereals was a table of local fruit, fresh soft cheese and local pastry, along with fresh juices and horchata. I could do breakfast like that every day!

I live on the East coast and it's hard to find good ingredients ... they do have some passable ones in the International aisle though
It depends on where you live

I'm in Maryland and I don't have any issue with finding ingredients.  If I can't find them at the regular grocery store, there are several international stores within a 10-20 min drive I can go to.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2013, 12:42:11 PM »
What constitutes 'authentic Mexican food' anyway? I'm getting the impression that getting 'authentic' Mexican food is similar to getting 'authentic' Chinese food.

In Mexico, the food is very regionalized just as it is in other large countries. You'll get a very different experience on the Yucatan coast than you will in Mexico City.

TexMex is a separate cuisine from "Mexican".  In Houston, we'll refer to "Interior Mexican" food to differentiate from the TexMex, CalMex, NewMex cuisine more common in the states, or even from what we refer to as "border Mexican" which is restaurants in Mexico but may lean more toward TexMex/CalMex. 

To give an idea of the differences, this is two Houston restaurants that specializes in "Interior Mexican".
http://hugosrestaurant.net/dinner.html
http://www.cuchararestaurant.com/imgs/menuCuchara.pdf
This is a menu from a typical TexMex restaurant in Houston.
http://pappaspizza.net/images/dyn/menus/menu_196.pdf

As someone else mentioned, "Real Mexican" food is usually not spicey. That's not to say its never spicy (I've eaten some salsa in Mexico that burned me up) but it's only occasionally spicy. And it's not just heat, it's a milder flavor overall.   

Tex/NewMex are most likely to be spicey and bolder flavors if eaten in Texas/New Mexico. But even in bordering states, restaurants that claim to be TexMex or NewMex usually aren't what a Texan or New Mexican would expect for heat and spice.

And if you're really interested in TexMex, there is a great book I can recommend on the regional styles you'll find in various Texas locations.

Sophia

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2013, 01:03:51 PM »
I think my biggest fear about moving to the northeast is a dearth of good tortillas, salsas, beans and the like. Probably unfounded, but our diet is something like 50% Tex-Mex! I would have to relearn cooking if I didn't have these things around.

That said, I have a lot of love for the less common dishes from across the border, I just don't make them much, particularly because I'm a vegetarian. We still love squash in our tacos, soft cheeses, and mock chorizo and charros, but goat, seafood and lard in every baked good just don't cut it in our home.

My favorite thing at the Mexican seaside resort I visited was the breakfasts -- tucked away from the hot buffet and American cereals was a table of local fruit, fresh soft cheese and local pastry, along with fresh juices and horchata. I could do breakfast like that every day!

I like tortillas so much, I learned to make them (and I live in Texas).  I have this nifty gadget that is basically two hot nonstick plates on a hinge.  So you squish and cook at the same time.  I would setup a cheap electric griddle to the right of it so I could be cooking two tortillas at once.  Trouble is, I'd put cheese on it during the final bit of cooking, and I'd end up eating way too many of my tortillas. 
I liked that I could tweak the recipe for my preferred about of loft in my flour tortillas.  Corn tortillas seemed no better than the store ones. 

I have heard that the ones needing to be cooked in the fridge section are used by Hispanic women at home.  I've seen them available in the middle of Minnesota.  Probably because they keep for a long time.  Before that I remember running around the store thinking "What is wrong with this place?  Where are the tortillas?  They aren't in any of the normal places." 

Part of the lack of spices in central Mexico might be the "serving to gringos" factor.  I remember as a kid going to Monterrey.  We ate at someplace where the manager helped us order.  Dad was very disappointed in his food because it was bland.  I thought it was delicious.  Next day, I confidently and eagerly order what Dad had the day before, and this time we didn't need the manager.  Oh My!  Completely different spice level.  I hated it, and Dad said he'd wished he'd gotten it that way.  Unfortunately Dad is "Eat what you order" so neither time would he switch with me.  Even though we'd have both been happier. 

Mal

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #54 on: April 17, 2013, 08:23:27 AM »
About 15 years ago we hosted a young man who was visiting from Germany.  We asked if he had ever had Mexican food and he answered that he had - Taco Bell.  We took him someplace a bit more authentic.

I'm from Germany and I've yet to see a single Taco Bell restaurant o_O maybe there's a regional difference. The few chains around where I live are mostly bars where you can order a few TexMex basics to accompany your drink. But I know at least one probably quite authentic Mexican restaurant (as in run by actual Mexicans) in Munich with a delicious multitude of tastes and smells both spicy and mild, a far cry from any "Mexican" takeout I've ever had - I can't wait to go there again! Now you made me hungry...

ladyknight1

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #55 on: April 19, 2013, 10:04:08 PM »
We can find beautiful chiles fresh and dried here in central Florida. My husband made green chili just two weeks ago.  :D

iridaceae

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #56 on: April 23, 2013, 06:40:11 AM »
TexMex involves a lot of spice and chili peppers. Real Mexican food in Mexico does not. That's why your husband found it to be bland.

There are places in Houston where you can get authentic Mexican food. Most people who love TexMex (including me) don't much care for authentic Mexican because it does use similar ingredients but without the spice which, for my money, is what makes TexMex so good.

I would guess that there are very few places in the world outside of Mexico which serve authentic Mexican cuisine, and many which serve some localized version of it. Which is why there is TexMex, CalMex, NewMexico-Mex, and who knows how many other variations.
Forgetting Arizona,  are we? Though truthfully Arizona embraces the Sonoran cuisine,  especially Tucson and further south which only makes sense as this is still the Sonoran Desert.

lowspark

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #57 on: April 23, 2013, 08:21:59 AM »
TexMex involves a lot of spice and chili peppers. Real Mexican food in Mexico does not. That's why your husband found it to be bland.

There are places in Houston where you can get authentic Mexican food. Most people who love TexMex (including me) don't much care for authentic Mexican because it does use similar ingredients but without the spice which, for my money, is what makes TexMex so good.

I would guess that there are very few places in the world outside of Mexico which serve authentic Mexican cuisine, and many which serve some localized version of it. Which is why there is TexMex, CalMex, NewMexico-Mex, and who knows how many other variations.
Forgetting Arizona,  are we? Though truthfully Arizona embraces the Sonoran cuisine,  especially Tucson and further south which only makes sense as this is still the Sonoran Desert.

Maybe I'm reading into your comment, but it seeems a bit snarky. As I said, there are other variations. Sorry I didn't mention every single possible variation on Mexican food.  ::)

Drunken Housewife

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #58 on: September 08, 2013, 07:15:48 PM »
Here's a tip for discerning if something is really authentic Mexican:  does it have menudo on the menu?  Or other organ meat?  (Menudo is a tripe soup). 

And another note about authenticity:  burritos are not authentic.  They are actually from San Francisco and were supposedly invented during our gold rush as a good hand food. 

I love the California version of Mexican food, which tends to have a lot less lard.  I have been to Mexico a couple of times.  I note that in the Yucatan, food can be extremely spicy, so hotness is not limited to "Tex-Mex".  When my ex and I were in Merida, we were congratulated by a waiter for being the first gringos who could eat the house salsa!
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Hmmmmm

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Re: Is Mexican food popular outside North America?
« Reply #59 on: September 08, 2013, 08:41:30 PM »
I'd be careful grading restaurants on whether they have menudo on the menu. It's very much of. Comfort food item. Also, in Mexico listing menudo is not common. More often they will identify the type of tripe used. For example Sopa pancita is "menudo" made with a tender tripe. Also when I spent time in Mexico City, few higher end restaurants offered it.