Common Misconceptions and Myths About Tex Mex Food

Posted in Food and Fun

When you think of Tex Mex food – or even Mexican food – do you think only of beans, tacos and fajitas?

Then your knowledge of Tex Mex/Mexican cuisine has some holes in it.

Read below for some common misconceptions or even myths about Mexican/Tex Mex foods.

  • As mentioned above, if you think this cuisine is nothing but fajitas, tacos, chalupas, and burritos, you’re missing out. Mexican and Tex Mex cuisine is quite extensive. There’s moles, cabrito (baby goat), pozale, pork marinated with achiote, lime soup, ceviches, tamales, and more – much more.
  • Do you think Tex Mex food is always hot and spicy? Sure, the cuisine is full of spicy flavors, but it’s also full of a variety of subtle flavors such as jalapeno, chile quero, pasilla, ancho, guajillo, arbol, and more. Some are extremely hot/spicy while others are more subtle, used to bring out more of the flavor of a dish’s ingredients.
  • Do you think that Tex Mex cuisine is inherently unhealthy? After all, all that cheese, fatty beef/steaks, refried beans. But those ingredients are more of a fast-food ilk. Real Tex Mex foods include plenty of colorful vegetables, whole and black beans, whole-grain rice, lots of fish, and more.
  • Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about Tex Mex cuisine is that it’s Mexican cuisine. It’s not, really: it’s more of an Americanized – even Texan-ized – version of Mexican foods, as Mexico residents moved up to the United States bringing their native foods with them. As in almost all cultures that meet another, both cultures assimilate some aspects of the other. Hence the “Americanization” of Mexican cuisine.
  • Which brings us to fajitas and hard-shell tacos: neither come from Mexico. Both were created in America. Yes, skirt steak (of which fajitas are made) is eaten in Mexico, but the fajita was created here in the U.S. And, while Mexicans do eat tortillas, they eat soft, floured tortillas. The hard, u-shaped corn tortilla used for tacos was created in the U.S. in the mid-1900s.
  • Another believer is that Mexican food uses a lot of cheddar cheese. Again, using grated or even ungrated cheddar cheese on Tex Mex dishes started in the U.S. Cheese in Mexico sometimes is used as a garnish, not as a major part of the dish. In addition, Mexicans use a whiter variety of cheese, not the bright yellow cheddar.

One misconception about Tex Mex cuisine we know that you know is not true, is that Tex Mex dishes aren’t tasty. If someone believes this, it’s more than likely because he’s eaten too many dinners at a fast food “Mexican” restaurant.

Visit a Mattito’s near you to enjoy delicious Tex Mex cuisine. We look forward to having you as our guest!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/