Mexican food has undoubtedly made a name outside of its home country, from tacos to burritos and others. People worldwide have come to enjoy this local cuisine, but unknown to many is the rich history behind it. Many have developed misconceptions about all the variations made for different dishes.
So, to help you better understand the background of this cuisine, here are ten common myths of Mexican food debunked.
Mexican Food is Always Spicy
While many dishes are known for their spice, not all are spicy. Some dishes use non-spicy ingredients like bell peppers or poblano peppers, while others have no chillies. Similarly, most Mex restaurants give customers options like varying salsa spice levels to cater to their preferences.
Nachos are Mexican
It may come as a surprise, but nachos are not authentically Mexican. The history of nachos dates back to 1943 in Piedras Negas, south of the USA border.
A Mexican named Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya needed to prepare a quick snack for the US military wives. So, he ended up grabbing tortillas and topping them with some grated cheese and jalapeno peppers. His invention quickly became a hit and spread to the US, turning into the nacho snack that many love today.
Hard-Shell Tacos are Mexican Staples
As the previous myth, hard-shell tacos are also not traditionally Mexican. Instead, they were developed in the US and popularized by Taco Bell. Now, hard-shell tacos have grown into a staple in almost every Tex-Mex restaurant.
Mexican Food is Unhealthy
One of the biggest misconceptions of Mexican food is that it is unhealthy, primarily because of how US fast-food places prepare it. Truthfully, traditional food made at home is fresh and free from processed ingredients. In fact, if you trace back the cuisine’s roots to indigenous communities, you will find that people used to eat a dominantly plant-based diet.
Mexican Food Always Has Meat
Another popular belief is that Mexican food is not vegan- or vegetarian-friendly since it always contains meat. However, this is not true as you can make several dishes without meat, such as cauliflower tacos, black bean enchiladas, and others.
All Mexican Food is Street Food
Many believe that Mexican food is just street food since the fast-food dishes like burritos and tacos are most recognized. However, traditional dishes are much more elaborate and use refined ingredients, which you can find in more upscale restaurants.
Everyone Eats Burritos in Mexico
While burritos are popular in northern Mexico, they are not as well-known in other parts of the country. Many believe that the burritos you know today were made famous in California, so they continue to be foreign to most Mexicans.
Mexican Food is all about Tortillas
You may be thinking that all Mexican food has tortillas, but this is false. Mexican cuisine is highly diverse, so you will find countless dishes without tortillas. Examples are tamales, carne asada, empanadas, and elotes.
Tex-Mex is not Authentic
One of the most important myths of Mexican food to debunk is the authenticity of Tex-Mex food. In truth, Tex-Mex does not count as authentic Mexican cuisine since it is a fusion of American and Mexican cuisine. It is why many Tex-Mex dishes are not even well-recognized in Mexico
Corn Chips are a Popular Snack
While corn-based snacks are common in Mexico, corn chips are generally not popular in the country. Mexicans even prefer potato chips and have plenty of other snacks to eat, like takis, tama roca, and duvalin.
With all these misconceptions of Mex food, you might be curious about the dishes you have yet to encounter. If so, now is the time to look for restaurants that can offer you an authentic Mexican meal.