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11 “Mexican” Foods You Won’t Find in Mexico

11 “Mexican” Foods You Won’t Find in Mexico


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There’s a big difference between Tex-Mex and real Mexican

If modern burritos aren't Mexican, deep-fried burritos certainly aren't.

Take a trip to your favorite Mexican restaurant and browse the menu, and you’ll encounter plenty of items that sadly aren’t Mexican at all. There’s a big difference between authentic Mexican fare and the “Mexican” dishes that you find at your local spot, and some of your favorite dishes aren’t, in fact, Mexican at all.

11 “Mexican” Foods You Won’t Find in Mexico (Slideshow)

What exactly is real Mexican food? While defining “Mexican food” is a tall order (it’s a huge country, and every town has its own cuisine), some of the country’s staples include tacos made with small corn tortillas, tamales, slow-roasted meats, chicken in rich mole sauces, simple enchiladas, and rich soups and stews. Obviously this is just the tip of the iceberg, but should you visit Mexico you’ll discover that many of your favorite Mexican dishes simply can’t be found there.

Why is that? Well, because they’re not Mexican! Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex cuisines are actually more popular in the U.S. than authentic Mexican cuisine, and while these hybrids may have roots in Mexico, they’re truly American inventions. Some of these dishes have a long history dating back to the ingredients available to the ranchers of the South and Southwest of the 1930s, and others were invented by cooks within the past few decades, but no matter the origin, they’re delicious!

Read on to learn which 11 dishes you might think are Mexican but in fact are anything but. And the next time you’re in the mood for your favorite cheese-drenched combo platter, remember that it’s Tex-Mex!


12 things Americans get wrong about Mexican food

When someone in America, not of Mexican heritage, thinks of "real" Mexican food, nachos, beef and chicken tacos, and cheesy quesadillas are probably some of the first things that come to mind. But it would probably surprise many Americans to know that those foods aren't good representations of the traditional dishes that come from the country.

Mexican food, when created properly and authentically, is a little more simple than we think. Flour tortillas are often replaced with soft corn tortillas — not hard shell tacos — and three cheese tacos are few and far between.

If you’re not sure what the big difference is, here are 12 things that America tends to get wrong about Mexican food.


12 things Americans get wrong about Mexican food

When someone in America, not of Mexican heritage, thinks of "real" Mexican food, nachos, beef and chicken tacos, and cheesy quesadillas are probably some of the first things that come to mind. But it would probably surprise many Americans to know that those foods aren't good representations of the traditional dishes that come from the country.

Mexican food, when created properly and authentically, is a little more simple than we think. Flour tortillas are often replaced with soft corn tortillas — not hard shell tacos — and three cheese tacos are few and far between.

If you’re not sure what the big difference is, here are 12 things that America tends to get wrong about Mexican food.


12 things Americans get wrong about Mexican food

When someone in America, not of Mexican heritage, thinks of "real" Mexican food, nachos, beef and chicken tacos, and cheesy quesadillas are probably some of the first things that come to mind. But it would probably surprise many Americans to know that those foods aren't good representations of the traditional dishes that come from the country.

Mexican food, when created properly and authentically, is a little more simple than we think. Flour tortillas are often replaced with soft corn tortillas — not hard shell tacos — and three cheese tacos are few and far between.

If you’re not sure what the big difference is, here are 12 things that America tends to get wrong about Mexican food.


12 things Americans get wrong about Mexican food

When someone in America, not of Mexican heritage, thinks of "real" Mexican food, nachos, beef and chicken tacos, and cheesy quesadillas are probably some of the first things that come to mind. But it would probably surprise many Americans to know that those foods aren't good representations of the traditional dishes that come from the country.

Mexican food, when created properly and authentically, is a little more simple than we think. Flour tortillas are often replaced with soft corn tortillas — not hard shell tacos — and three cheese tacos are few and far between.

If you’re not sure what the big difference is, here are 12 things that America tends to get wrong about Mexican food.


12 things Americans get wrong about Mexican food

When someone in America, not of Mexican heritage, thinks of "real" Mexican food, nachos, beef and chicken tacos, and cheesy quesadillas are probably some of the first things that come to mind. But it would probably surprise many Americans to know that those foods aren't good representations of the traditional dishes that come from the country.

Mexican food, when created properly and authentically, is a little more simple than we think. Flour tortillas are often replaced with soft corn tortillas — not hard shell tacos — and three cheese tacos are few and far between.

If you’re not sure what the big difference is, here are 12 things that America tends to get wrong about Mexican food.


12 things Americans get wrong about Mexican food

When someone in America, not of Mexican heritage, thinks of "real" Mexican food, nachos, beef and chicken tacos, and cheesy quesadillas are probably some of the first things that come to mind. But it would probably surprise many Americans to know that those foods aren't good representations of the traditional dishes that come from the country.

Mexican food, when created properly and authentically, is a little more simple than we think. Flour tortillas are often replaced with soft corn tortillas — not hard shell tacos — and three cheese tacos are few and far between.

If you’re not sure what the big difference is, here are 12 things that America tends to get wrong about Mexican food.


12 things Americans get wrong about Mexican food

When someone in America, not of Mexican heritage, thinks of "real" Mexican food, nachos, beef and chicken tacos, and cheesy quesadillas are probably some of the first things that come to mind. But it would probably surprise many Americans to know that those foods aren't good representations of the traditional dishes that come from the country.

Mexican food, when created properly and authentically, is a little more simple than we think. Flour tortillas are often replaced with soft corn tortillas — not hard shell tacos — and three cheese tacos are few and far between.

If you’re not sure what the big difference is, here are 12 things that America tends to get wrong about Mexican food.


12 things Americans get wrong about Mexican food

When someone in America, not of Mexican heritage, thinks of "real" Mexican food, nachos, beef and chicken tacos, and cheesy quesadillas are probably some of the first things that come to mind. But it would probably surprise many Americans to know that those foods aren't good representations of the traditional dishes that come from the country.

Mexican food, when created properly and authentically, is a little more simple than we think. Flour tortillas are often replaced with soft corn tortillas — not hard shell tacos — and three cheese tacos are few and far between.

If you’re not sure what the big difference is, here are 12 things that America tends to get wrong about Mexican food.


12 things Americans get wrong about Mexican food

When someone in America, not of Mexican heritage, thinks of "real" Mexican food, nachos, beef and chicken tacos, and cheesy quesadillas are probably some of the first things that come to mind. But it would probably surprise many Americans to know that those foods aren't good representations of the traditional dishes that come from the country.

Mexican food, when created properly and authentically, is a little more simple than we think. Flour tortillas are often replaced with soft corn tortillas — not hard shell tacos — and three cheese tacos are few and far between.

If you’re not sure what the big difference is, here are 12 things that America tends to get wrong about Mexican food.


12 things Americans get wrong about Mexican food

When someone in America, not of Mexican heritage, thinks of "real" Mexican food, nachos, beef and chicken tacos, and cheesy quesadillas are probably some of the first things that come to mind. But it would probably surprise many Americans to know that those foods aren't good representations of the traditional dishes that come from the country.

Mexican food, when created properly and authentically, is a little more simple than we think. Flour tortillas are often replaced with soft corn tortillas — not hard shell tacos — and three cheese tacos are few and far between.

If you’re not sure what the big difference is, here are 12 things that America tends to get wrong about Mexican food.