Why All The Hate for Tex-Mex? | KCET
Why All The Hate for Tex-Mex?
If you're a child of the '70s or '80s, then the phrase "Tex-Mex" may have a special place in your heart. It was during those years that a boom in that style of food took hold of the country. Plates of chile con carne, nachos, chile con queso, and heaping helpings of pork and cheese made their way into chain restaurants and homes. No doubt, your mom tried out her recipe for "fajitas" a few times before saying "the hell with it" and loading up the minivan for a night out at Chili's.
But then, over the years, something happened. The term has become a dirty word that culinary aficionados do their best to avoid. "Tex-Mex is an abomination!" they'll say. "It's inauthentic and only the choice of the ill-informed and willfully ignorant masses!"
Of course, that kind of sentiment is a huge overreaction. (Tex-Mex has been around for a lot longer than the boom of the '70s and '80s would have you believe; it was only then that certain dishes were bestowed with the memorable and rhymey phrase.) But how did we get to the point where Tex-Mex is so ridiculed?
In an interview over at the Houston Press, Gustavo Arellano, author of "Taco U.S.A.: How Mexican Food Conquered America," has a few thoughts:
Arellano blames the spread of this sentiment on ill-informed celebrity chefs who now have a multitude of ways to reach their scores of fans:
Of course, that kind of point of view is simply not true. Whenever you're dealing with cultural dishes, you also have to keep in mind that you're dealing with imaginary borders that have been instituted by governments. Yes, now it may take plenty of ID to get over the border between Texas and Mexico, but it wasn't always like that. Southern Texas and northern Mexico have the same climate and nearly identical geology, so of course they're going to have similar foods to work with and the same ideas when it comes to recipes. Let me put it like this: Who would you think has more in common with it comes to culinary influences, Vancouver and Seattle? Or Seattle and Miami?
Foods and dishes have a way of forgetting about border guards and political policies and instead simply turning regions into true melting pots, as it were. And if that food originated in a part of Mexico that's somewhat near the Texas border, allowing for it to spread a bit further into America, it doesn't mean it's inauthentic. It just makes it different.
So, if you don't like Tex-Mex food, fine. Don't eat it. But feeling that it's less "real" than "actual" Mexican food is a point of view that's not based on reality.
A Q&A will immediately follow the screening with Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins.
During the late 19th and early 20th century, many mass-produced black dolls were stereotypical, caricature-like and expressed racist undertones. Shindana Toys helped change the paradigm, irrevocably changing the toy industry today.
On November 24, 1965, the Louis Smith and Robert Hall launched an organization called Operation Bootstrap. The organization emphasized the importance of black entrepreneurship and used its business initiatives to shift public perception of black identity.
The Yurok people care for all of their family members, and their kin — including condors and salmon — reciprocate the care.
- 1 of 221
- next ›