Mexican food has become popular all over the United States, but it is still most common in southern and southwestern states. Of course, just as there are regional varieties of food in Mexico, there are also regional variations in the way that this kind of food is served in homes and restaurants north of the border. The most common distinction seems to be between the styles of food served in California and Texas.
What Separates Tex-Mex from California Mexican Food?
First off, typical Tex-Mex is as recognizable as Mexican food to a Californian as the California version is to a Texans. Tortillas, rice, beans, and jalapenos usually make it to the plate in both states. Even though seasonings vary, cilantro, red pepper, and cumin are likely to be part of the recipe. Very likely, a person from San Antonio would feel quite comfortable at a happy hour in San Diego, and the reverse would also be true. The menu of meals, snacks, and of course, happy hour san diego would be very similar.
There are no solid rules for the difference between dishes in these two states, but these are some of things that both tend to mention:
• Meat and cheese: Diners say that Tex-Mex tends to rely more upon the heavy use of meat and cheese in common dishes.
• Produce: California diners tend to expect more fresh produce on their plate.
• Beans: Some people advise diners to expect refried beans with Tex-Mex and whole beans with California food.
• Seafood: Many Mexican restaurants in California emphasize Pacific seafood, but seafood used in Tex-Mex tends to come from the Gulf of Mexico.
These rules are hardly set into stone. In fact, the growing popularity of national chain restaurants means that the lines between the Texas and California version of Mexican has blurred even further.
Is One State's Mexican Food Superior to the Other?
Of course, these general distinctions between the two kinds of food start a few arguments about which state's version of another country's traditional food is better. Very often, people prefer what they are used to. As you might expect, Texans usually prefer their local version, and Californians prefer their local version.