Generations of Tex-Mex enthusiasts have enjoyed customizing their own South-of-the-border-style dishes, yet few have been able to match the fresh and healthy attributes of authentic Mexican dining.
According to the Thrillist, Tex-Mex’s roots began to grow after Anglo-American settlers populated Texas and put their own spin on common Mexican food. By using ground beef and wheat tortillas (things that were not typically used in Mexico at the time), young Texas invented a wildly popular American genre of eatery.
It wasn’t until the 1940s when the term Tex-Mex was coined, and it became a restaurant classic.
Since its debut, this Americanized form of food has quickly become a favorite across the nation. However, traditional Mexican dining is still a staple for those looking to eat a little healthier.
If you find yourself eating any rancher dish with beef, wheat flour, canned veggies, yellow cheese or cumin, it is almost certainly Tex-Mex. While a combination of these ingredients can be heavenly, many of the alternatives used by traditional Mexican chefs are better for you and equally tasty!
Here’s what gives authentic Mexican food the edge for some diners:
Ground beef was plentiful and adored by ranchers in Texas, and the greater American public picked it up quickly. It is a delicious meat that goes well on most of the Tex-Mex options in restaurants, but Mexicans tend to opt for less fatty cuts, like pork, chicken and seafood. Mixed meats are also used.
Tex-Mex aficionados love their dishes smothered in layers of cheddar cheese. Mexicans, on the other hand, prefer white cheese, such as queso blanco, queso asadero, queso panela and many more. Depending on which region of Mexico you may visit, you will notice each uses a unique type of cheese. However, it is a rare find if you can spot anyone cooking with yellow cheese.
Tex-Mex often relies on thick sour cream as the main topping for a dish. Mexicans prefer to use crema–a milder and thinner cream. With this, fresh lime juice, onions of multiple varieties, avocado and cilantro are implemented to compliment or embolden a food’s flavor.
While Tex-Mex and Mexican foods do have some similarities, they are both amazing! However, freshness is the key ingredient for authentic Mexican food, and this means a healthier choice.
According to Spices, Inc., Mexican food’s renown for quality began during the time of the Aztecs who primarily ate what was provided around them through nature or cultivation: vegetables, meats and grains.
This culture of clean eating survived through the centuries and ingrained itself in Mexican food culture. For instance, white cheese in Mexico is not as processed as yellow cheese, ground beef is fattier compared to seafood, pork and chicken, and it is usually served in smaller portions.
Do you feel like trying something fresh and unique? Stop by Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine for an authentic dining experience!
Open for Lunch & Dinner
Sun - Tues 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wed - Thurs 11:00 am - 9:30 pm
Fri & Sat 11:00 am - 10:30 pm
2323 Acadian Thruway
Baton Rouge, LA 70806