In the United States, there are dishes that are presented as authentic Mexican food but within Aztec land, they are neither traditional nor popular.
Although some main ingredients of the gastronomic culture of Mexico are retaken such as beans, corn, tomato, and chili, they are adaptations that you will rarely find in that country.
Mexican foods popular in the United States
Tacos on crispy tortillas
The crispy U-shaped tortilla tacos Like the ones you find in Taco Bell, they are not the ones that you will be served in Mexican taquerías or street stalls, nor as they are prepared at home.
The corn tortillas of the tacos al pastor, carnitas, pibil, and de canasta, are soft; There are some exceptions, such as the golden tacos, which are like flutes that are fried once the filling has been put on.
In Mexico, beans are eaten in broth, of course! Ground meat, although it is not part of the traditional food, is also often prepared in meatballs and a stew called “picadillo” that is eaten with tortillas, stuffed chiles, and empanadas. But chili, definitely not.
The broth mixture of beans with ground beef, chili, tomato, and garnished with cheese is a recipe for Texas than you will not find it in restaurants in Mexico and it is not prepared as home-cooked food.
Many Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, enfrijoladas, tostadas, picadas, and tlayudas are served with cheese, but not with American cheese, yellow cheese, or Cheddar cheese. The most common are the fresh cheese, Cotija cheese, Chihuahua, and of course the Oaxaca cheese, which some call “string cheese.”
In taquerías and restaurants, you could order a casserole of melted cheese, but this will be white. You cut it with a tortilla chip or fork and serve it in a tortilla to eat with your meat and complete the magic with a little guacamole.
Don’t expect to receive a yellow-orange cheese dip in a Mexican kitchen, much less by bathing your dish.
In Mexico, burritos are not part of traditional food nor do they enjoy the popularity of tacos or other snacks or street food such as esquites, tamales, tortas, Garnacha, panuchos, and tostadas.
It is common to find them in the states of North of the country and in the menu of some chain restaurants that generally in the center and south are prepared with a small-sized flour tortilla, almost like a corn tortilla.
The nachos are of Mexican origin. The story goes that the nachos were born in 1943 in Piedras Negras (Coahuila). Wives of the United States military who were at the Eagle Pass Army Air Base, crossed the border with Mexico, wanted to eat something in a restaurant that had already closed, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya García worked there and went into the kitchen and told them he improvised a dish with tortillas that he cut into triangles and put to fry, added cheese (which he melted in the oven) and pickled jalapeño peppers. A preparation not so similar to the version overloaded with ingredients currently consumed in the United States.
Instead of nachos, before the pandemic, it was more common to find a small basket with chips to “peck” With sauce.
These are just a few of the many dishes that are considered popular Mexican food but are not.
Finally and to finish breaking the charm, the Mexicans don’t drink Margaritas as you would think. If you go on vacation, of course, they will be ready to prepare them in the hotel bar. But don’t expect to find them in small restaurants, local bars, and neighborhood canteens.