U.S Historical Geography 3350 section 201
A look into South Texas Cuisine
The phrase, “We are what we eat” holds some essential validity and truth to it. Food is a constituent feature of our environmental ties to where we subside. It is a part of our daily lives. It can act as a form of communication with other individuals. Food can be an indicator of the nutrition idiosyncratic cultural groups are practicing. Notably, which ingredients hold higher placement of emphasis in consumption from a day to day basis. The way food is assembled or arranged has specific meanings in certain locations. From humble beginnings to global acknowledgment, the diffusion of Hispanic cuisine and some of it’s signature dishes will be analyzed under domestic and foreign context.
Influence of Hispanic Cuisine
Food passes along cultural identities and gives people insight of variations among civilizations. That attribute promotes how big of an influence it has for generations to come. Several ethnic groups possess particular “rituals” towards food within the United States. One of the interesting locations to observe the phenomenon of food in culture is here in South Texas. South Texas brings a genre of food known as Tex-Mex. It is characterized by the usage of beef, beans, and spices. This type of cuisine differs from Southwest platters from places such as New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Arizona.
Fig 1. Hispanic Population in the United States (The United States Census Bureau, 2000)
This regional American cuisine allots food from the United States as well as creations from Mexican American diet into a perfect ensemble. Tex-Mex can be found not only in the state of Texas, but is consumed in other countries, such as Europe. Franchises originating in South Texas have migrated to these regions to divulge others in Tex-Mex dishes. This type of food preparation is true to its location even in other countries that attempt to imitate it's unique style. Below are some examples of food that remain authentic to the Tex-Mex preparation and how they have risen from merely a poor man's food to a “must have” menu-item amongst restaurants.
Upscale vs Original
Anglos in the Texas region viewed Mexican food as subpar ; Albeit, the reason for their bias derived from the revolutions and disputes the people of Texas had with the Mexicans. The Anglos in this location note that Mexican food required heavy spices and disagreeable ingredients. They considered this unsuitable for consumption because of its spiciness, distasteful, and irritable to the stomach.“In general, Mexican food symbolized everything that was degenerate and despicable about the conquered Mexican population. The red pepper...was used extensively to refer to Mexicans in a derogatory manner...The ethnic slur "greaser"...associated with what was thought to be the dirty appearance of Mexicans, but the food connotation was a common one” (Montano 1997).