I would love to be more knowledgeable about ‘real’ Mexican cuisine. I understand that what is commonly claimed as ‘Mexican’ cuisine outside of Mexico itself is more accurately described as ‘Tex-Mex.’ I also must confess confusion about the definition of ‘fusion cuisine.’ Who coined that phrase, anyway? Some cuisines have been fused for so long that they can surely claim an authenticity all of their own - Anglo-Indian and Pennsyvania Dutch, for example - and Tex-Mex too, perhaps?
I am equally confused about the definition of ‘authenticity’ too, as regular readers will know. Regular readers will also probably note that I have used a couple of particular examples previously, but without shame at repeating myself, I would like to know why tomatoes (a New World food, not known in Europe until the early sixteenth century) are considered an indispensible ingredient in ‘authentic’ Italian food, or potatoes (also from the New World) are essential to Irish stew.
I have no trouble actually living with paradoxes, dichotomies or a myriad other inconsistencies however, and can state without (much) fear of contradiction that the following ‘Mexican’ recipes are hardly authentic – the first on account of the inclusion of the very English ingredient of Worcestershire sauce, the second because of its liberal topping of cheese. The recipes come from Fifty choice recipes for Spanish and Mexican dishes (1905)
Mexican Chili Stew.
Four medium-sized potatoes, four large tomatoes, one good-sized onion. Cut all in small pieces; two pounds of lean beef cut in dice. Put beef in pot with two tablespoonfuls of heated butter and the onion, and stew half hour; then add rest of vegetables with one quart of hot water, one tablespoonful of chili powder and three of Worcestershire sauce; salt and pepper to taste with one clove of garlic; cook on slow fire until thoroughly done.
Mexican Round Steak.
BAKE in oven for half hour a two-pound slice of the tender side of round steak, in half -pint of water, basting often; season with salt and pepper; take from oven, cover top of meat with finely chopped onion; cook again for fifteen minutes, then add a covering of tomatoes, cut fine. Cook a quarter of an hour, then cover with grated cheese; put back in oven until cheese melts. This must be cooked in moderate oven. The meat will be very tender, and have a delicious gravy.
Quotation for the Day.
If I moved away, I would definitely miss the Mexican food. Every region has its own Mexican food, and they're very chauvinistic - they believe their food is the real Mexican food.