Tex-Mex is a great example of a crossover or fusion cuisine that is a relatively recent invention and by saying that particular Tex-Mex Recipes are authentic don’t really have much historically backing, though Tex Mex food in its own right has developed some ‘classics’ such as the burrito.
The word Tex Mex gives a hint to where its influences come from, i.e. Texas and Mexico, specifically North Mexico, though the term wasn’t really used in the U.S. before the 1940s and it wasn’t until the 1970s when Diana Kennedy’s cookbook, The Cuisines of Mexico, clearly ‘drew a line in the sand’ between Mexican and food from North of the border.
While living in Texas, I was speaking to a recent immigrant from Mexico and we got chatting about food, and he said that one of the main differences between Mexican and Tex-Mex food is that cheese in Mexico is white and used as ingredient, while Tex-Mex cheese is yellow and used as a topping. Though, to be fair, cheese is a pretty recent ingredient in Mexico too, as dairy was introduced by European explorers in the 16th Century as well as wheat, rice, garlic, pork, chicken, beef, sheep, goat and new herbs and spices. Until then the Mesoamerican basic food staples were corn (maize), beans and peppers with a little meat such as turkey.
Most Mexican restaurants that you find outside of Mexico will most likely be a Tex Mex restaurant, serving dishes such as burritos, fajitas, chili con carne, nachos, and chimichangas which are all Tex-Mex, alongside dishes such as enchiladas, salsa, guacamole, tostada, pico de gallo, quesadillas, corn tortillas, mole and Chile Relleno which are all Mexican in origin.
Our Best Tex Mex Recipes and Mexican inspired dishes
A small selection of some of our favourite Mexican and Tex-Mex Recipes
- Carnitas – Mexican Slow cooked pork
- New Mexican Breakfast burrito recipe
- Mexican Roadside Chicken
- Grilled Margarita Chicken
- Guacamoles, Salsas and Dips
- Texas Style Chili con Carne
- Prawn, Avocado and Jalapeno Quesadillas
- Jalapenos Poppers