Did you know that as of 2011, there are 38 thousand Mexican restaurants across the United States? Mexican food is quickly growing in popularity in this country in restaurants as well as in the home. In fact, salsa has become the number on condiment nationwide, bigger than ketchup and mayonnaise, and tortillas have been selling better than hot dog buns for almost a decade. Over seventy percent of American households use Mexican food in their cooking. Based on this data, it seems that “Mexican” may soon be the new “American”.
When it comes to fast casual restaurants that serve Mexican food, it’s hard to know what to choose. After all, there are 67,391 restaurants in the U.S. that serve burritos and one out of every ten restaurants serve Mexican food so how is one supposed to differentiate between what’s good and what isn’t? If you’re looking for a fast casual restaurant that serves authentic Mexican food, you should take note of the variety of food that is served. For instance, the Mexican city of Oaxaca boasts seven sauces, known as moles: Negro (black/chocolate mole), Rojo (red mole), Coloradito (brown mole), Amarillo, Verde, Chichilo and Manchamantel. If the restaurant you chose serves most or all of these sauces, there’s a good chance it’s authentic.
If you’re looking for a nice blend of Mexican and American foods, you might want to try “Tex-Mex”. This fusion of two cultures, named due to the border between Texas and Mexico, was invented in the 1940s and can be found in restaurants across the United States. Tex-Mex food is a blend of Mexican and Texas-style food and also incorporates influences from other countries such as Spain. If this sounds like something you’d be into, Tex-Mex might be the right option for you.
Not only is Mexican food delicious, it also has a rich ancestry. It is believed that many Mexican dishes originated with the Mayan Indians over 2000 years ago. We can thank the Aztecs for the concept of tortillas being used as a wrap, though the term “enchilada” was not coined until 1885 in the United States.
Mexican food has become a big part of American culture and continues to grow in its influence. Hopefully, this appreciation for Mexican cuisine will also lead to an appreciation for Mexican culture and the heavy influence it has had over the years.