Tex-Mex cuisine

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"Tex-Mex" (portmanteau of Texas and Mexican) is a term used to describe a regional American cuisine that blends food products available in the United States and the culinary creations of Mexican-Americans influenced by the cuisines of Mexico. The cuisine has spread from border states such as Texas and those in the Southwestern United States to the rest of the country. Tex-Mex is most popular in the southern state of Texas and the southwestern state of Arizona. Tex-Mex is very different than the southwest cuisine found in New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. In these areas, the preferred southwest cuisine is New Mexican cuisine. The southwestern state of Nevada and West Coast state of California tend to lie in the middle as far the preferred style of Mexican-American food. In some places, particularly outside of Texas, "Tex-Mex" is used to describe a localized version of Mexican cuisine. It is common for all of these foods to be referred to as "Mexican food" in Texas, parts of the United States, and some other countries. In other ways it is Southern cooking using the commodities from Mexican culture. In many parts of the U.S. outside Texas, and Arizona, the term is synonymous with Southwestern cuisine.[1][2][3]

Contents

History

Tex-Mex cuisine originated hundreds of years ago when Spanish-Mexican recipes combined with Anglo fare. "Tex-Mex" first entered the English language as a nickname for the Texas Mexican Railway, chartered in southern Texas in 1875.[4]

In train schedules published in the newspapers of the 1800s the names of railroads were abbreviated. The Missouri Pacific was called the Mo. Pac. and the Texas-Mexican was abbreviated Tex. Mex. In the 1920s the hyphenated form was used in American newspapers in reference to the railroad and to describe people of Mexican descent who were born in Texas.[5]

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