Tex-Mex - Cooking and Food Edit

A term given to food (as well as music, etc.) based on the combined cultures of Texas and Mexico. Tex-Mex food encompasses a wide variety of dishes such as Burritos, Nachos and Tacos.

Overview of Tex-Mex Cuisine History Edit

Tex-Mex cuisine originates centuries ago when Spanish and Mexican recipes mixed with the Anglo American cuisine. However, Tex-Mex cuisine is considered to be a twentieth century phenomenon. The term appeared somewhere in the 1940’s and referred to the southern American Mexican cuisine. Tex-Mex restaurants appeared in the southwest region generally in those cities that have large Mexican populations. This kind of cuisine had a very strong impact especially on the young people. It is important to note that it is not correct to identify the Mexican cuisine with the Tex-Mex cuisine, which is more like a New Mexican cuisine. However most of the ingredients used in Tex-Mex cooking are common in Mexican cuisine. This special cuisine is characterized by a large use of meat. Beef is the main meat ingredient, but any other type is perfectly good for Tex-Mex cooking. Other very much used ingredients are beans, spices and sauces especially salsa.

Cuisines of Tex-Mex Edit

Tex-Mex cuisine is one of the most spiced and vibrant styles of cuisines and it had developed as a continuation of the Northern Mexican cuisine in Texas. Obviously, the name of the Tex-Mex cuisine comes from the names of the two countries/states that have given birth together to this new cooking style, Texas and Mexico. Diana Kennedy, a food authority, has been the first person to acknowledge Tex-Mex cuisine. She also delineated the slight differences between the two cuisines, the Mexican and the Tex-Mex cuisine. The ingredients used in the Tex-Mex cuisine are very common in the Mexican cuisine, but there are also some ingredients that Mexicans never use. The main ingredient in the Tex-Mex cuisine is meat. Usually, the beef is the most used type of meat, but chicken and pork are also common. Other characteristics of this type of cuisine are the beans and the spices. Some of the most famous dishes in Tex-Mex cuisine are tortillas, nachos, crispy tacos, chili con queso, chili con carne, fajitas and many more. Sauces are very important in the Tex-Mex cuisine, people usually serving hot sauces or salsa on almost any dish.

Preparation Methods for Tex-Mex Cooking Edit

Tex-Mex dishes are well known for being quite greasy and fried. The original Mexican food is prepared with much more fresh ingredients while the Tex-Mex cuisine uses a lot of boiling and mostly frying. The Tex-Mex cuisine doesn’t use too many fresh vegetables. However, the preparation methods are very similar to the Mexican ones the difference being that the Tex-Mex cooking involves larger cuts of the ingredients. The main ingredient of this cuisine is meat. The meat is mostly prepared by frying or grilling it. The sauces are also prepared with a lot of spices and they are the ones that give that hot flavor to Tex-Mex dishes. At the basis of any sauce stays the tomato juice or paste.

Special Equipment for Tex-Mex Cooking Edit

The cooking utensils that are usually used in the Tex-Mex cuisine are mostly the tools that are commonly used in any other cuisine, thus pans, can openers, colanders, poachers and holders, dishers, bowls, portitioners and other food containers are some of the utensils that you might consider having while cooking Tex-Mex food. There is also some special cooking equipment that has been borrowed from the Mexican cuisine, such as molacahes, tortillero or comals. However, the most important cooking utensils are those that involve meat, such as knives, grills and frying pans.

Tex-Mex Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

Tex-Mex cuisine is quite vibrant during the local festivals and traditional celebrations. The people here have borrowed a lot of Mexican traditions and celebrations. Food is a very important factor in those people’s lives and whenever they have the occasion they are not missing the opportunity to show the world their unique cuisine. There are a lot of festivals in the Southern part of the United States and especially in Texas. People in Texas love to party and they don’t lose any opportunity to do it. The latest bumper crop is a great cause for celebration there. The Panhandle town is the host of a fall festival where people celebrate the Punkin’ Days. The towns of Poteet and Bertram are widely known for their strawberry and oatmeal parties. In Lake Hills and Medina people organize the Cajun Festival and Great Gumbo Cookoff. Texas is also the home of the two largest chili-cooking championships in the world, taking place in Terlingua in November.

People in Tex-Mex Food Edit

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Diana Kennedy is an authority in the Tex-Mex cuisine and also in the Mexican cuisine. She has been the first person who thought of delimiting the borders between the two cuisines in the 1970s. She has also been the one who has made the Tex-Mex become famous and considered a trendy fare. More and more Chefs become interested in this type of cuisine and they started to create many new dishes combining Mexican and American cuisines and sometimes even the Native American one. However, the Tex-Mex cuisine is considered to be the poor less experienced sister of the Southwestern cuisine.

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