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The history of TexMex cuisine

You live in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio or anywhere else in Texas and you love TexMex cuisine. That makes you a true “Chilean head”. TexMex food is the specialty in these parts and it has a lot of history!

The term “TexMex” first entered the common lexicon as a nickname for the Texas-Mexico railroad, chartered in 1875. The train schedules, published in newspapers, abbreviated the names of the railroads. For example, the Pacific of Missouri was named Mo. Pac. and Texan-Mexican was abbreviated Tex. Mex. It was in the 1920s that the hyphenated split form was used in reference to the railroad, as well as to describe people of Mexican descent who were born in Texas.

Food historians claim that the first printed evidence of “TexMex” in reference to food occurred in 1945. From there, TexMex restaurants slowly emerged outside of the southwestern United States in cities with significant Hispanic populations. Then TexMex went “gourmet”. In the 1970s, Mexican culinary expert Diana Kennedy is credited with taking this common food and turning it into a trendy dish and a new “must have” cuisine for a younger generation.

What exactly is TexMex cuisine?

Several hundred years ago, during the mission era, Spanish and Mexican-Indian foods were combined as Anglo-Saxon dishes in Texas, as in other parts of what was called the Northern Frontier of New Spain. It was this kitchen that would eventually be called TexMex. The cuisine actually originated with Texans of Hispanic or Texan descent, as a hybrid of Spanish and Mexican Indian foods when Texas was still part of New Spain and later Mexico.

Served at dinner tables throughout the South Texas region between San Antonio and Brownsville, this cuisine has varied little from its earliest origins and was heavily influenced by the cuisine of neighboring northern Mexican states. Originally, TexMex began with a taste for cabrito (kid), barbecue (roasted beef heads), carne seca (dried meat), and other products of livestock farming that were common on both sides of the Rio Grande during that period.

TexMex incorporates ingredients common to Mexican cuisine, although some unknown in Mexico are often added. This cuisine is also characterized by the intensive use of meats (particularly beef), beans and spices, as well as Mexican tortillas (corn or flour), fried or baked. Nachos, crispy tacos, crispy chalupas, chili con queso, chili con carne, chili gravy, and fajitas are all TexMex inventions.

Serving tortilla chips and a hot sauce or salsa as an appetizer is also an original TexMex dish. Additionally, TexMex has imported flavors from other spicy cuisines, such as the use of cumin (common in Indian food), but used in only a few authentic Mexican recipes. In the 20th century, TexMex adopted items such as yellow cheese from the United States, because it became cheap and readily available.

Cuisine evolved during the 1950s in Mexican restaurants, whose popularity coincided with the arrival of large numbers of Mexican immigrants and created the TexMex style of food, the mix of peasant food from northern Mexico with peasant food and Texan cowgirl . Chili was unknown in Mexico and was derived from the use of beef in Texas cuisine. Refried beans were a poor translation of the Mexican dish, refried beans, which actually means deep fried beans.

This was followed by combo platters, laden with enchiladas, tacos and tortillas, which have now become the standards of the Tex-Mex menu. New dishes, such as chimichangas and nachos, were created to please the American palate. One of the most successful TexMex ethnic dishes to date is fajita.

I want Taco Bell!

The food community began to refer to Americanized Mexican food as “TexMex,” a term previously used to describe anything that was half Texan and half Mexican. Texan-Mexican restaurant owners considered it an insult. However, this insult led to many successes. For the rest of the world, TexMex had reflected the wildest and most untamed parts of Texas. It conjured up images of saloons, cowboys, and the Wild West. Dozens of Tex-Mex restaurants sprang up in Paris and across Europe, to Bangkok, Buenos Aires, and Abu Dhabi.

Tortilla chips, margaritas and chili con carne are now TexMex staples well known around the world. The cuisine is found in many independent and chain restaurants in the state of Texas, as well as the rest of the country. TexMex chain restaurants include Chili’s, Ninfa’s, Casa Olé, Chuy’s, El Fenix, El Chico, and Taco Cabana. While Chili’s does serve some TexMex items, it is considered more Southwestern cuisine. And, of course, there is the ubiquitous Taco Bell; a conglomerate of fast food versions of Mexican and TexMex dishes, owned by Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, KY.

If you love spicy dishes, you will love the variety of entrees that TexMex cuisine offers. But as good as TexMex is, it should be all in moderation. Because, as you will discover, what you put into your body now will affect your health in the future. And your health, good or bad, will eventually affect your bank account. So, if you are a young adult watching your intake and trying to maintain a healthy condition, you should take a look at the revolutionary, comprehensive, and highly affordable individual health insurance solutions created by Precedent specifically for you. For more information, visit us on our website, []. We offer a unique and innovative set of individual health insurance solutions, including highly competitive HSA-qualified plans and an unmatched real-time application and acceptance experience.

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