Tex Mex Food Surprises

Tex Mex Food Surprises

Tex Mex Cuisine.

The evolution of North Mexican cuisine in Texas is the cocktail of Texas and Mexican style giving birth to Tex Mex food, which is a highly spiced and vibrantly styled cuisine. History points out that Tex Mex food dates back to 1940’s when Spanish and Mexican recipes combined with Anglo fare. Today it is a 20th Century phenomenon for Americans. The first Tex Mex restaurant surfaced in the southwest region, which had a dense Mexican population. The gourmet Tex Mex began in 1970’s and appealed to the young generation. Diana Kennedy brought this common food to a trendy fare in her book Cuisines of Mexico in 1972. Robb Walsh has also commented in The Tex Mex Cookbook.

Main characteristic of Tex Mex food is heavy use of meat, especially beef, beans and spices. Some inventions are nachos, crispy tacos, crispy chalupas, chilli con queso, chilli con carne, chilly gravy and fajitas. Serving tortilla chips, hot sauce or salsa is an appetizer in original Tex Mex style. Along with these Mexican dishes some Texas specialty like ribs and chili are served in Texas restaurants.

What is Tex Mex?

It may be described as native foreign food, ‘native’ because it does not exist elsewhere. To distinguish between Tex Mex and Mexican food we can only say that Mexican food has more variety and is regional but the whole of U.S. is following this form and style of Tex Mex food, an amalgamation of Northern Mexico peasant food with Texas and cowboy fare.

In olden days, Texans went to Mexican restaurants and ate where the mixed plate was served. The Americanized Mexican food came to be known as Tex Mex, which stood as an insult to Texas Mexican restaurant owners. The insult launched the success story. It evoked images of cantinas, cowboys and Wild West. Dozens of Tex Mex restaurants sprang up in Paris, spread to Europe and to Bangkok, Buenos Aries and Abu Dhabi. Tortilla chips, margaritas and chili con carne are world famous.

Tex Mex is a combo of American Indian and Spanish cuisines and cultural differences of Mexican American in South and West Texas. Corn is widely used in American Indian cuisine in the form of Corn tortillas, which are usually bought from stores these days. Many make flour tortillas, which are easier to cook. It is the basis of many popular dishes – enchiladas, tacos, chilaquiles, chalupas, quesadillas, tostadas, botanas and many more. Strangely. most Texas – Mexican dishes and equipment acquire names from Aztec language.

Another staple eaten daily is frijoles or beans of various kinds – kidney beans, tepary beans, black beans, pinto beans etc. They may be served combined with other food like ‘frijoles con chorizo’ and ‘frijoles con quielites’ to name a few.

Numerous dishes are prepared from meats. Traditional ones are from pork called ‘chicharrones’. Preparation from goats is known as ‘cabrito’ and ‘machitos’, while dishes prepared from cattle include fajitas. Another traditional dish of west Texas is ‘morcilla’ made from pig blood. Various soups and pickled meat dish are common.

Although traditional food reveals strong cultural ties between Mexican American in West and South Texas, they also showed cultural difference. Fajitas are common folk cuisine in South Texas but not in West Texas. Mexicans in South Texas like ‘tripitas’ though it is not popular in West Texas. Morcilla is common in West but not in South Texas.

In spite of these differences in folk levels Tex Mex food is popular all over the world.

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What You May Not Know About Sedona

What You May Not Know About Sedona

This fall, USA Today published an article naming Sedona number one among “The 10 Most Beautiful Places in America”.  Every year, over four million tourists visit the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

The first tourists arrived in 1895 to hunt and fish in the area.  Mayhew’s Lodge, now Garland’s Oak Creek Lodge,  was the first guest house open to the public, and such notable figures as Zane Grey, Clark Gable, President Hoover and Walt Disney were among the initial visitors.

In the 1930s, local residents began building cabins in the area to rent to tourists.  Once World War II ended, the tourism industry in Sedona experienced a boom and further construction began to fill the need for overnight accommodations.  In the late 50s and early 60s, road improvements brought more guests.  The 1970s saw a boom in the sale of property by farmers and ranchers, which was purchased primarily by resorts and satellite businesses which supported the tourism industry.  Another period of growth came from the mid 70s to the mid 80s, which more than doubled the tourist related business in the Sedona area.

Visitors to Sedona today will still see changes taking place in the ever evolving Uptown Sedona.  Known as the hub of the tourist industry, Uptown offers everything from area tours to fine art.  The sidewalks are lined with beautiful bronze sculptures by local artists, against a backdrop of red rock spires.

The most popular activity visitors partake in is jeep tours.  They allow tourists to get out in the back country and see the majestic rock formations up close, bouncing over boulders and brushing manzanita trees along the trail.  In addition to these types of tours, Sedona offers air tours by plane or helicopter, historic train trips, hot air balloon rides, ground tours by Hummer or coach, horseback rides, ATV, dune buggy or jeep rental.  If you can’t find a way to see Sedona that meets your needs, you aren’t looking.

The Harmonic Convergence in the 1980s brought spiritualists to Sedona, and their presence is seen throughout the town in the form of New Age and crystal shops, psychics, Tarot and palm readers.  Many of the shops also conduct Sedona tours on everything from meditation in the red rocks to alien expeditions.

Sedona has something to offer everyone, whether they come to simply experience the grandeur of her red rock monuments or have a spiritual experience.

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