Myths Of Mexican Food

Posted on: 10 July 2020

Americans don't have to go far to find Mexican food. From chain fast food restaurants to locally owned hole-in-the-wall joints, this type of food is everywhere. However, most of the food you choose to eat at these restaurants isn't authentic Mexican food. Americans have a bit of a false idea of what actually constitutes "Mexican" cuisine. That is absolutely fine, as it is what America has grown to know and love, but if you ever want to branch out and give authentic Mexican food a try, you should know what is and isn't authentic.

Chips and Salsa

Eating corn chips is a basic staple at most Mexican restaurants, but it isn't something that is actually considered authentic, and you won't find many families in Mexico snacking on this before dinner. Salsas in Mexico are used to enhance the flavor of the food, and pico de gallo is pretty common. Pico de gallo is made of fresh tomatoes, onions and cilantro, and even that is not as common as you might think. Chips and salsa are delicious, but they are more American than Mexican.


Nachos are also quite Americanized. You can get a huge plate of nachos topped with everything under the sun at many restaurants in the United States, but you will be hard-pressed to find that in Mexico. Nachos do have a Mexican cousin, though, called chilaquiles. Chilaquiles are fried corn tortillas that are topped off with eggs and are usually eaten for breakfast.


The way Americans know tacos isn't the way they are eaten in authentic Mexican cuisine. First of all, hard shells are rarely used. Tacos are typically made with corn tortillas. Americanized tacos will be topped with cheese, while authentic tacos are likely to skip the cheese and be topped with cilantro and onions. They will also be made with marinated meat, and chicken is actually not a commonly used meat in tacos.


The "Mexican" cheese you can buy at the store consists of a blend of cheeses, including Monterey Jack and Cheddar. Real Mexican cheese, however, does not usually utilize cheddar. These cheeses tend to be white in color and include cotija, Oaxaca and queso fresco. 

In general, Mexican foods tend to not be smothered in cheeses and sauces like we tend to enjoy in the United States. Black beans are not commonly used, you shouldn't feel physical pain from the spiciness of the cuisine. Plus, popular items like burritos the size of your head and chimichangas are actually very much American.

To learn more, contact a Mexican food restaurant.