Tex Mex cuisine is traditional Mexican fare that’s been “reworked” by Mexican immigrants (called Tejanos years ago) who moved to Texas in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
They naturally brought the food they loved with them, and it has evolved over the years to the cuisine we now call Tex Mex. Many Tex Mex foods, in fact, never came from Mexico at all: fajitas, margaritas, nachos, and more are just a small sample of dishes that are completely Tex Mex.
Tex Mex was well known in Texas by the mid-1950s and became popular across the country over the next several decades as fast-food chains such as Taco Bell helped grow Tex Mex’s popularity throughout the U.S. (Not that we consider Taco Bell to be “real” or even good Tex Mex food; but the chain helped popularize tacos and burritos, etc., helping Americans become more open to trying other types of Tex Mex food.)
So why is it becoming more and more popular? IBISWorld.com (a provider of current business information) reports that the Mexican restaurant industry grew by almost three percent (2.9 percent) in the U.S. between 2010 and 2015, with revenue of $38 billion. It attributes this growth to “an increased acceptance of Mexican cuisine in the mainstream American pallet,” as well as “an increasing immigrant population coupled with domestic adaptations of Mexican food, such as Tex-Mex cuisine.”
That’s a very “dry” way of looking at the increasing popularity of Tex Mex. Here’s our take:
Why the buzz about Tex Mex food?
Tex Mex food makes great “comfort food.”
Feeling low? Have some refried beans. Feeling festive? Bring your friends and family to your favorite Tex Mex restaurant and order some fajitas. Just watch the faces of your family members when that sizzling plate of fajitas comes to the table. Just try not to smile as you watch that steak sizzle.
Tex Mex cuisine can be very healthy fare.
The refried beans mentioned above may not be “heart-healthy,” but many Tex Mex dishes and foods can be very good for you.
Tex Mex dishes often are filled with colorful vegetables (fajitas filled with red and yellow peppers, anyone?). You can substitute fish or chicken in many of the dishes (fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, etc.). You can skip the tortillas and the taco shells and just eat the meat and veggies on their own (low carb). Ask that your burrito have no added cheese. The choice is yours (and Tex Mex makes choosing healthy dishes easy).
Tex Mex food is great eating with the family or even on a hot date.
In other words, eating at a Tex Mex restaurant can be a family affair or a romantic dinner for two (if available, ask the strolling Mariachi band to play and sing a love song).
Tex Mex can be had at any price point.
As hinted at above, you can find a Tex Mex restaurant that serves hearty meals at an affordable price, or you can go all out and woo your love with wine, fine linens and romantic music.
Whether you’re new to Tex Mex cuisine or you’ve been an aficionado for decades, visit a Mattito’s near you and enjoy some terrific Tex Mex dishes! We look forward to serving you.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net