August 18 – National Fajitas Day

Posted on August 18, 2018

Tacos, enchiladas, chips and salsa. That's all I knew about Mexican food when I was a kid. (And I grew up in Southern California; my husband, in upstate New York, never heard of tacos for the first 13 years of his life!)

Of course, there is so so so so so much more to Mexican food (and Tex-Mex food): tamales, tostadas, quesadillas, chilaquiles, flan, ceviche, elote, burritos, guacamole, sopes, empanadas, mole, chili rellenos, tlacoyos, chimichangas, nachos, tortas, tacos fritos (or taquitos), pan dulce, pico de gallo, churros, posole, chili con carne, cinco leches cake, cochinita pibil, carnitas and carne asada and and and...

...and today's celebrated food: fajitas.

Fajitas are strips of spiced beef or chicken and chopped vegetables, grilled and wrapped in soft tortillas.

Of course, people can add sour cream, grated cheese, and other ingredients.

In many restaurants, fajitas are served on sizzling-hot miniature griddles. The tortillas are brought separately, along with plates of beans and rice. Yummers!

Mexican food has earned recognition by UNESCO as a cultural contribution to humanity! The combination of Spanish cuisine with native MesoAmerican traditions and ingredients - like corn, chilis, tomatoes, chocolate, and avocado - make Mexican food colorful, spicy, and delicious.

One of my favorite Southwest treats
is sometimes called a Navajo taco.
Of course, "Mexican food" isn't just one thing. There are so many variations, regional specialties, and often milder versions to appeal to tastes of non-Hispanic folks, including tourists and people in the U.S. The term "Tex-Mex" includes the cuisines of Northern Mexico and Southwestern U.S. 

Mexican food is as popular as it is varied. In the U.S., there are more Mexican restaurants (including stand-alone, chain, and fast-food restaurants) than there are hamburger restaurants (also including all three types). In 2014, there were more than 54 thousand Mexican restaurants, and at that time consumers spent about 39 billion dollars a year on food at Mexican restaurants - and of course loads of people purchase tortillas and frozen tamales and other Mexican foods at grocery stores!

Where in Australia can you
find masa and tomatillos?
As of the early 2000s, Mexican food couldn't be found nearly as easily elsewhere in the world - but I have read that that is rapidly changing. However, I still read super-negative reviews of "Mexican" food in Germany and the U.K., and in the past few years one of my daughters has tried to make tacos in both Australia and Germany and found it tough to find the ingredients she needed. I wonder if there is a great opportunity for Mexican and Mexican American people to bring more authentic and absolutely delicious Mexican food to the world?

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