Monday, November 16, 2015

The Popularity of Mexican Food and Mexican Restaurants in the U.S.

Today, Mexican food is one of the most popular types of cuisine in the United States. Not just in California but throughout the country, families love dining at their favorite Mexican restaurant. How did Mexican food become so beloved in this country in the first place?

Early Days

Although the term Tex-Mex did not appear until roughly the early 1940s, the cuisine combining Anglo, Spanish and Mexican food was around for a long time. For many years, however, Tex-Mex and Mexican food was largely found in Texas, California and within Mexican communities in the United States. Through fast food restaurants like Taco Bell in the 1960s and the book "The Cuisines of Mexico" by food writer Diana Kennedy in the early 1970s, the popularity of this food spread.

The Usual Fare

During the 1960s and 1970s, many Americans became familiar with dishes like tacos, enchiladas and burritos even if they were not always the most authentic. Still, even in the 1970s and 1980s, there were parts of the country where Mexican food was more difficult to come by. By the 1990s and the 2000s, even places that traditionally had fewer immigrants from Mexico and thus less Mexican food, such as many areas in the Northeast, had growing Mexican communities and great food to match. In the meantime, some Mexican-inspired foods like nachos became a nearly-ubiquitous menu.

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