Archive for September, 2014
The salsa you use as a garnish or side with your Tex Mex dishes can make or break that dish.
Salsa first appeared within the Inca culture and made its way to the Mayans and Aztecs. Spaniards’ first encounters with tomatoes (the main ingredient of salsa) took place after Spain’s conquest of Mexico (1519-1521). They also first came into contact with the old Inca combination of combining tomatoes with ground squash seeds and chili peppers, eating the mixture mainly as a condiment eaten with lobster, fish, turkey, and venison. Alonso de Molina is said to have given this combination the name of salsa in 1571.
New Orleans’ manufacturer Charles E. Erath started putting out jars of salsa (which he called Extract of Louisiana Pepper, Red Hot Creole Peppersauce) in 1916 and a year later, Los Angeles’ La Victoria Foods started selling Salsa Brava
Henry Tanklage, founder of La Victoria Sales Company (created specifically to market a new salsa line, named La Victoria), introduced the first salsa hot sauces in the U.S. in 1941. He created red and green taco and enchilada sauces
Salsa sauce sales took off in a big way between 1985 and 1990, growing by 79 percent: Americans love their salsa.
Most people think of meat when they think of Tex Mex food. From steak in fajitas to the ground beef, pork, chicken, or even fish in tacos, meats tend to be a mainstay of any Tex Mex dish.
But vegetarians can take heart: there are plenty of terrific non-meat/vegetarian Tex Mex dishes available for you to enjoy.
If you’re adhering to a Paleo diet (one in which followers eat no grain, breads, starchy vegetables and fruits, mostly eating meats, vegetables and some fruit), Tex Mex food will easily accommodate your dietary needs.
For example, you can start off your meal with tortilla soup. Tortilla chips, of course, are not allowed on a Paleo diet, but you can easily ask your waiter to hold the tortilla chips, sour cream and cheese. You could ask the waiter to tell the cook to add some chicken (make sure it has no sauce on it) to the soup for a heartier repast.
Fajitas to the rescue! Why not order a taco salad, minus the shell bowl? Ask for fajita meat rather than ground beef. Again, opt out of the cheese and the sour cream. Ask that the waiter forgo the corn and beans, as well.
Did you know that tortillas once came in cans? In fact, in the 1980s, most U.S. residents looking for tortillas could only find them in cans.
That’s just one thing you probably didn’t know. For five more things you probably didn’t know about Mexican food, read below:
- Fajitas aren’t a true Mexican food: they were created by Ninfa Rodriquez Laurenzo for his Rio Grande Valley restaurant, Ninfa’s. Fajitas became so popular that Mexican food chains such as Chi-Chi’s and El Torito actually dispatched spies to Ninfa’s to pilfer the recipe.
- Disneyland is said to have played a part in the creation of Doritos. It’s believed that (in the early 1960s, when Disneyland was young) Mexican workers at the one of the park’s restaurants fried leftover tortillas and also added flavoring to them.