Authentic Mexican Food

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Joined Apr 26, 2012
Nopales is a great example. Not sure when you left LA or what kind of places you ate Mexican food. Nopales are rarely seen in the commercialized “gringo” chain restaurants. But those restaurants are a poor choice for getting acquainted with the vast and tasty Mexican cuisines (intentionally written as a plural!).

Even in some smaller and more authentic restaurants they aren’t seen too often because they take a lot of prep. Maybe they don’t sell well either, I’m not exactly sure.

I think there are a lot of reasons why traditional cuisines mutate like they do.
I agree... I only mentioned this food because it is eaten often in Mexican culture and is an example of something rarely even seen in the American "gringo" Mexican foods, as you so aptly name.

I do believe the primary reason is they just do not sell. If it somehow became a popular dish, undoubtedly the "gringo" chains would re-engineer this to be easier to prepare and so that it would make money.

Which brings me to the Americanized taco shell. That hard brittle thing found in Taco Bell and grocery stores sold in a box. The reason for making these is to put them on shelves and sell at a profit. Which is primarily the reason anything in American Mexican cuisine is modified from the original.
 
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Joined Apr 26, 2012
As a kid, I remember eating tacos in the hard shells that are sold in a box. I thought this was how tacos were supposed to be. After all, that's how Taco Bell sold them. (The Taco Bell "soft taco" was not even introduced until 1987, and it is a flour tortilla, which Mexican tacos are not made with at all).

It wasn't until I was in my teen years that I began to realize tacos have many varieties.
 
4,088
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
LOL... when we eat tacos at home we buy carne from the Mexican market and tortillas from their tortillaria, and Salsa, crema, and queso fresco from their deli case. we have to be careful about WHICH Mexican market since some tend to be way spicier than others. Even the milder ones are too much for some folks.

Tacos on the street or in taco trucks, and lately tamales too, are big business. Most vendors don’t speak English so it can be challenging. I just started seeing taco de canasta on a few street corners. Talk about a regional specialty item!

But there are those nights when we thoroughly enjoy hard-shell tacos, straight from the bos filled with ground meat and packet seasoning... garnished with iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese, and tomato. It tastes bad but is comforting.

Regarding tacos with flour tortillas... I hate them but that actually is traditional in Sonora and maybe even in Chiuwawa (which isn’t how it’s spelled). :)
 
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Joined Nov 27, 2012
Check suppliers here in the states. Cargill, Masienda, Woodland Foods.
Thanks man, I am actually moving it from a supplier in Sinaloa in Mexico. Most of the authorized corn importers here in China move it from there. the logistics make me wanna puke but hey if you want the good stuff you'll have to suffer. There's this guy growing Mexican corn in the Russian border too. That would be worth checking out as well.
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
That looks awesome.... I know cabeza is popular in Mexican cuisine. What exactly does it taste like??
Very beefy tasting. The cheek muscle is a very flavorful part of the cow. Sometimes a bit tough and sometimes rather fatty. The brain and eyes and nose might be in it or might not.
 
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Joined Aug 13, 2019
Thanks man, I am actually moving it from a supplier in Sinaloa in Mexico. Most of the authorized corn importers here in China move it from there. the logistics make me wanna puke but hey if you want the good stuff you'll have to suffer. There's this guy growing Mexican corn in the Russian border too. That would be worth checking out as well.
 
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Joined Jun 7, 2021
There was a converted Tasty Freeze building, converted by a Mexican family in El Cajon, CA that was called La Cotija. They made shredded beef tacos on fresh corn tortillas, lightly softened in hot lard. The shredded beef was seasoned with cumin, salt, pepper, jalapeno, minced onion, and cilantro. These were delicious. . Their Carne Asada was even better, It was fire grilled skirt steak, cooked rare. This was then chopped and placed on a flat top grill, with added onion. greet pepper, cumin, japone peppers, lime juice, and fresh cilantro, all put into a warm, flor tortilla. The accompanying sauces were tremendous as well. They also served everything from refried beans, made in house, and carnitas. There were no wet burritos, or hard shell tortillas. Z=Everything was best in class. Sadly, the place is no longer in operation.

Mom & Pop Mexican shops have, for the most part, been replaced by the chains, which in my opinion, serve sub-standard Mexican food, highly Americanized. I had Mexican friends in the San Diego area that knew how to cook. I would provide midwestern foods that they had never experienced. They shared their foods with me. Win-Win for all of us. I miss the San Diego that I knew in the 1970's.

Fortunately, there are now very good Mexican eateries in such places as Grand Rapids, MI, were many Hispanic families settled This is true of many other locations as well.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 
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Joined Jan 4, 2011
There is this chef-guy who's posted a number of videos here on CT that's gonna make a new one in the somewhat near future on a Mexican favorite ... "Pozole". ... It seems kinda goofy doing a soup in the summer ... but what the hey.

I'm sure he'll let everyone know when it comes out.
 
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Joined Dec 18, 2010
In the pozole vid he should demonstrate both Rojo and verde.

I hope he also does a follow-on: menudo.
 
188
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Joined Nov 27, 2012
There is this chef-guy who's posted a number of videos here on CT that's gonna make a new one in the somewhat near future on a Mexican favorite ... "Pozole". ... It seems kinda goofy doing a soup in the summer ... but what the hey.

I'm sure he'll let everyone know when it comes out.
man say what you will about soups and summer but pozole always goes down very very well.
 
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Joined Jan 31, 2012
I cooked a year in an Arizona Mexican restaurant, til
Covid hit.
It was a total mix of some authentic, Americanized,
and "convenienced" items for cost and time reductions,
like bagged stuff from Sisco etc. Enchiladas for instance, were 6" corn tortillas, from a grocery store. Dipped, filled, rolled, sauced, cheesed, then nuked for 2 minutes.
Si, I said NUKED.
Tamales....Sisco frozen product.
Rellenos.... same.
Rice and MexCorn, frozen. Black beans, canned.
Refried beans... SCRATCH.
Enchilada sauce, SCRATCH. (and very authentic, and very time consuming)
American style nachos, and taco salad.
Carne Asada, SCRATCH.
You get the idea.
Point is, most MexRest these days are giving people what they've proven
they want, coupled with what is cost effective. And at times authentic
entrees arent so popular.
 
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Joined Jun 7, 2021
I have had amazing Carne Asada burritos from a little Mexican, family owned shop called Cotijas, in El Cajon Ca. They also had amazing shredded beef tacos. There were, back int the 70's. wonderful Mexican restaurants in San Diego, with traditional Mexican fare. Sadly, Del Taco, and Taco Bell have squeezed out most of the small, intimate family eateries. You can still find the, but you have to search.

Personally, I've done my research, and have made flan, shredded beef, carne asada, carnitas, tamales, and a host of other tasty Mexican treats. I like to use skirt, or hangar steak for my fajitas, sirloin for my carne asada, and so on. I'm not crazy about fish tacos, though I enjoy ceviche. I also make my own salsas, mole's, and guacamole. And to be totally transparent, I make a soft corn tortilla taco , heated briefly in hot oil with a stick of Velveeta cheese on it, then filled with seasoned ground beef, chopped tomato, sliced black olives, fine dice green peppers, sour cream, and guacamole, It's my wife's family creation. Truly Americanized, but tastes great. I like my shredded beef, or carne asada better.

I was fortunate to have a Hispanic girlfriend, before I met my wife, who knew how to cook, and a Mexican immigrant co-worker friend who was also accomplished in his Mexican cuisine. He made the most basic, best guacamole ever.

A Mexican widow, who I and another church member visited and cleaned her bird cage, taught me to make both savory, and desert tamales.

I've been blessed to be able to get along with everyone, no matter their background. It has served me well, and allowed me to make great Mexican foods for friends who live in
Ontario, CA.

Surprisingly, one of the est Mexican places i;ve eaten at is in Kentwood, MI. The owners, and staff barely speak English, just enough to take your order. Their food is superb.

There are more and more great, authentic Mexican fare available in he U.S. Just don't go to the chains.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 

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