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  #1  
Old 04-11-2002, 11:47 AM
Orual Orual is offline
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What is "real" Mexican food?

I have heard, from several sources, that most of the food you find in Mexican restaurants in this country (i.e. tacos, nachos, burritos, etc.) are not authentic Mexican dishes, but rather Americanized, "Tex-Mex" food. If this is true, what are examples of true Mexican entrees?
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  #2  
Old 04-11-2002, 12:08 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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That's a lot like asking "What is real American food?" It's a pretty diverse country with several distinct regions. Some generic things that you may have had which could be more or less authentic:

tacos (usually just a corn tortilla with any of a variety of different meats, plus onions and cilantro. Often served with a wedge of lime)
enchiladas (meat in a tortilla baked with in a red sauce with cheese)
carne asada (grilled meat served with various side items which can be combined into tortillas)
quesadillas (again, a bit different than what you are used to)

Basically, think meats (either grilled or steamed), soups, rice, etc. Often flavoured with cilantro or cumin, chiles, onions, etc.
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2002, 12:13 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Man, I can't believe I forgot tamales (usually meat wrapped in corn meal then steamed in a corn husk, served with a red chile sauce) and tostados (meat, lettuce and curd cheese on a flat tortilla shell). Then you've got flautas (tortilla rolled around meat), arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), etc.

As you get toward the coasts, of course figure in a lot more fish dishes.
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2002, 12:35 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Remember than arroz con pollo and carne asada are entrees not only in Mexican cuisine, but in different parts of America(the continent).
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2002, 01:27 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShibbOleth
Then you've got flautas
Yeah, I often get that after Mexican.
__________________
Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
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  #6  
Old 04-11-2002, 01:39 PM
scm1001 scm1001 is offline
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my abiding memories of travelling around mexico in the 80s on the cheap is tasteless refried beans and flat bread with everything, and huevos rancheros (eggs and tomatoes) for breakast. Tried the traditional chicken with chocolate (pollo mole?) which didn't impress, but that may have been the restaurant. After 8 weeks on the road, got to Mexico city, found a Dennys, and pigged out on real bread.

IMHO Tex mex is far tastier than "real mexican" food.
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  #7  
Old 04-11-2002, 02:02 PM
JavaMaven1 JavaMaven1 is offline
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For starters--if it has cheddar cheese or jack cheese in the dish, it's Americanized. Cheese does exist in authentic Mexican cuisine, but in much different forms. There are cheeses like Panela (similar to mozzarella) and Cojita (similar to parmesan) that are used often in authentic cuisine.

Since you asked for examples of authentic dishes, I'm going to crack open my copy of My Mexico by Diana Kennedy (a very well-researched cookbook on authentic Mexican cuisine), and give you a list of some of the dishes:

Chiles Pasillas Rellenos de Papa --Pasilla Chiles stuffed with potato
Chicharron de Pescado --Crisp-fried Fish
Torrejas de Frijol --Bean fritters in chile sauce
Puerco en Pipian --Pork in pepita (pumpkin seed) sauce
Sopa de Haba Seca --Dried fava bean soup
Gorditas de Frijol --Masa cakes filled with beans


Every area of Mexico also has a version of mole--usually either chicken or pork, and the sauce varies from a bright red and spicy to a mellow, dark sauce that has a slight sweetness (and the addition of unsweetened chocolate). And, as mentioned above, things like tamales, rice, tacos, and tostadas are also authentic--it just depends on how they're made.
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2002, 02:10 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Dagnabit, JavaMaven now you're just making me hungry! And if I want something like that up here in the 'Nati I gotta make it myself.
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  #9  
Old 04-11-2002, 03:34 PM
xicanorex xicanorex is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by scm1001
my abiding memories of travelling around mexico in the 80s on the cheap
Well, if you eat cheap ya get cheap food . .

Quote:
tasteless refired beans and flat bread with everything,
I am not sure where you, but sound like you ate in too many cheap torterias. If you went south of Tamaulipas, most food is accompanied with corn tortillas & chile.


Quote:
mex is far tastier than "real mexican" food.
(faint) NOMBRE HUEY! . ..jeez . . .!

XicanoreX
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  #10  
Old 04-11-2002, 03:38 PM
wolfman wolfman is offline
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When people talk about real Mexican food or real chinese food they are really thinking of is peasant food. When that food is Americanized a lot of the changes simply have to do with the fact that as a country even our 'peasantry' can afford much better ingrediants. A poor farmer can't afford high quality meat in every dish, and on the occassions they do it is much less of an emphasis than when the same meal gets Americanized and we have three pounds of chicken with a couple greens on the side.. Fajita itself refers to skirt steak, which you have to marinate and grill the hell out of to be able to eat it. But we borrow the general idea and use it on much better meat. 'Real' food is based around grains and high efficiency vegtables and legumes, Corn and beans in the Americas, rice and soybeans in Asia. The food we like is usually more based on the food the rich and elite ate.(It's not Private Tso's chicken after all). And then obviously it gets substituitions for what proportions and spices we are more used to.
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  #11  
Old 04-11-2002, 03:51 PM
cornflakes cornflakes is online now
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Since nobody's mentioned it yet, there's also milanesa. It's a breaded piece of beef or pork fried up and topped with lettuce, cheese, chiles, etc.. Yes it's a lot like chicken fried steak, and it seemed to me that it served the same function as a truckstop and businessmans restaurant staple.
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2002, 04:05 PM
No Me Ayudes Compadre No Me Ayudes Compadre is offline
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Wolfman, rather than "peasant food" I'd call it comfort food, unless any culture's or nation's cuisine is likewise peasant food.

As for some authentic Mexican dishes that haven't been mentioned:

- Pozole, a stew of hominy with pork or chicken.

- Chiles en nogada, a poblano chile pepper stuffed with ground beef and smothered with nutmegged cream, pecans and pomegranate seeds.

- Barbacoa, roast goat (or dog if you're in Tampico ) slow cooked in a deep pit. Consomé de barbacoa is the resultant fatty broth, with rice and garbanzo beans.

- Crepas de huitlacoche, crepes stuffed with smut (black corn fungus).

- Tlacoyos de haba, blue cornmeal stuffed with fava-bean paste, covered with nopales, grated white cheese and green tomato sauce.

- Chilaquiles, stewed corn tortilla with red sauce, Oaxaca cheese, onions, and chicken.
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2002, 04:55 PM
The Griffin The Griffin is offline
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What is Cilantro?
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  #14  
Old 04-11-2002, 05:00 PM
Jane D'oh! Jane D'oh! is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Griffin
What is Cilantro?
It is a gift from the gods. It looks like parsley but has a really unique, fresh taste. We have some growing in our garden at all times.
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  #15  
Old 04-11-2002, 05:15 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jane D'oh!
fresh
Counterpoint, if I may. The supposed "fresh" taste of cilantro is that of cut grass. As in lawn clippings. If mowing your lawn gives you the munchies, then cilantro is made just for you.
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  #16  
Old 04-11-2002, 05:24 PM
The Griffin The Griffin is offline
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Can you use grass cuttings as a substitute then?
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  #17  
Old 04-11-2002, 05:37 PM
Bren_Cameron Bren_Cameron is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jane D'oh!


...a really unique, fresh taste.
unless you're one of the small percentage of people who think cilantro tastes like a mouthful of soap. Unique, yes. Fresh, no. Not something I consider a gift from the gods. The first time I ever ate something with cilantro in it, I thought someone had put soap shavings in my food.
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  #18  
Old 04-11-2002, 05:42 PM
manhattan manhattan is offline
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Um. Let's try to stick to the facts here please.
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  #19  
Old 04-11-2002, 06:31 PM
teela brown teela brown is offline
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The OP is an interesting question, one I've been thinking about lately. I've been watching a new show on FoodTV, "Rick Bayless's Mexico", I believe, which is filmed in Mexico; Bayless visits restaurants, cooks, and talks about recipes which are much different than our same old/same old cooking up here.

As far as the OP, I believe our recipes are "authentic," but very limited. In the U.S., who sees anything different than: tacos, enchiladas, burritos, tostadas and taquitos? El Mariachi Loco, your dishes sound like what I'd like to try making at home, so I've ordered up one of Rick Bayless's cookbooks. Got a recipe for those stuffed chiles? Post it over in Cafe Society, if you do!

Hey, Rick Bayless has a restaurant in Chicago, doesn't he? There are a lot of Chicagoans posting here - has anyone been to his place and experienced some different Mexican food and can fill us in?
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  #20  
Old 04-11-2002, 06:45 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Griffin
What is Cilantro?
As others have said, an aromatic herb. Fresh and added to meats, it tastes good(after it has been cooked). As with any herb, I don't eat it raw, I add it to the meat or sauce and season the food.


Quote:
Wolfman, rather than "peasant food" I'd call it comfort food, unless any culture's or nation's cuisine is likewise peasant food.
It is peasant food many times, only it has been altered to make it look less cheap than it is. I've cooked fried rice with leftovers, tasted as good as one in the fancy restaurants...I think that was what the original fried rice was about, using up all the possible ingredients to make a new food.

Typical foods in the Caribbean include rice, beans, and tubers such as mandioca, yams, batata, etc. All of those are inexpensive food items.

The food with meat that you see shown as typical...yes, peasants could have made those food for special occasions(which also make the food comfort food), but it was not their everyday meal.


Quote:
my abiding memories of travelling around mexico in the 80s on the cheap
As someone already said, if you go to cheap restaurants, you get cheap food. This is not exclusive of one country or another, it's universal.
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  #21  
Old 04-11-2002, 07:05 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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I think you'll find that Rick Bayliss's Mexican Kitchen would give you a superb cook's tour of Mexico. The background info on what is really available there is astounding.

He actually has two restaurants in Chicago-Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. Book ahead about a month. But you will be eating real Mex, only prepared by a great chef.

I think that's the difference, as others in the thread have offered.
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  #22  
Old 04-11-2002, 07:14 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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The Griffin You asked what is cilantro?

It used to be called coriander or Chinese parsley. These days it is just cilantro.

Bren-Cameron Rick Bayliss offers in his book that "....while sprigs of the large-leafed variety are beautiful as a garnish, smaller cilantro seems to be tastier, with no soapy, bitter flavor."

You might try a different supplier.
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  #23  
Old 04-11-2002, 07:16 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Cilantro is also known as Coriander. The seeds are called coriander, while the leaves are known by their spanish name. Coriander roots are sometimes used in Thai cooking.
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  #24  
Old 04-11-2002, 07:21 PM
No Me Ayudes Compadre No Me Ayudes Compadre is offline
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pugluvr - I don't have a recipe of my own, sorry to say. But I found this link that pretty closely matches what I've seen here. (I misstated pecans in my earlier post, should have said almonds.)

I've been to the Bayless' Frontera Grill in Chicago, several years ago. It was pretty good, but they definitely made some "adaptations" from the traditional recipes.

I don't know if it's still there, but the Hacienda Tecalitlan (on Ashland at Chicago Ave., I think) had some very authentic regional cooking from Jalisco state, as well as live mariachi music.

Lupita's in Evanston had some pretty good Mexican fish dishes.

For taquería food (and pancita/menudo on weekends), try Atotonilco on 26th Street.

KarlGrenze - Agreed, much of the "typical" ethnic food that nonnative diners get excited about is not standard fare at the finer local restaurants. If the jet-setting crowd wants to pay eight dollars for a dallop of bean dip at the Guatemala City Sheraton, more power to them. But then again I suppose shit on a shingle is American peasant food, and Easterners still pay good money to eat Chipped Beef on Toast at Cheyenne Days.
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  #25  
Old 04-11-2002, 07:51 PM
Bren_Cameron Bren_Cameron is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by samclem
The Griffin You asked what is cilantro?


Bren-Cameron Rick Bayliss offers in his book that "....while sprigs of the large-leafed variety are beautiful as a garnish, smaller cilantro seems to be tastier, with no soapy, bitter flavor."

You might try a different supplier.
I'll check it out. I always wonder what I'm missing when I hear people rave about cilantro.

I've always heard that it's a genetic difference, like rolling your tongue, that to some people cilantro tasted like soap, and some thought it tasted great. I asked the all-knowing Google, and got a number of folks saying things like "of course it's well known that there's a genetic difference that causes cilantro to taste soapy to some people" but nothing that seemed definite--just anecdotal stuff, "someone told me" kind of things.

Anybody know what the story is with that?
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  #26  
Old 04-11-2002, 07:52 PM
Hemlock Hemlock is offline
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Authenticity - in China, that would mean pig intestine soup, rice with grit in it, etc. In Vietnam, pickled pigs' ears. There's a limit to how much authenticity we want.

Cilantro - usually called Coriander here - is an indispensible ingredient in Thai, Vietnamese, some Chinese, some Indian, and much Middle Eastern/N African cuisine, as well as Mexican. Wonderful stuff.

Now - my turn to display ignorance. What's a pasilla chili? Drooling all over the keyboard after reading JavaMaven1's reference to Chiles Pasillas Rellenos de Papa , I did a search and found these...
http://www.pepperfool.com/recipes/me...a_stuffed.html
http://home.earthlink.net/~rlusk12/r...rticle_dk.html
I must try them. Am I right in assuming you need the large, not particularly hot chillies (can't imagine stuffing anything into the little 1 inch Thai-type chillis)?
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  #27  
Old 04-11-2002, 08:00 PM
Manduck Manduck is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bren_Cameron

number of folks saying things like "of course it's well known that there's a genetic difference that causes cilantro to taste soapy to some people" but nothing that seemed definite--just anecdotal stuff, "someone told me" kind of things.

Anybody know what the story is with that?
The first few times I tried cilantro, it tasted soapy and unpleasant to me, so I didn't eat it again for a few years. Then I tried it again, and it tasted great. I eat it often now. It's as if I had lost the ability to detect that soapiness. Also, I think that I Read Somewhere (sorry, that's the best I can do for a cite ) that that is what happens - you lose your sensitivity to that soapy flavour after a while.
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  #28  
Old 04-11-2002, 08:02 PM
xicanorex xicanorex is offline
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Cilantro IS the Best!

Quote:
Originally posted by Hemlock

Cilantro - usually called Coriander here - is an indispensible ingredient in Thai, Vietnamese, some Chinese, some Indian, and much Middle Eastern/N African cuisine, as well as Mexican. Wonderful stuff.
I think like any "spice" like ajo (garlic) or cebolla (onion), whether it taste good or bad depends much how you eat it and if you grew eating food with it. I know a good number of people who avoid onions at all costs. Mustard for example is not well loved by a good number of Mexicans, many prefer mayo in their burgers. So, yes, DON'T eat cilantro by itself. Why would you? No, eat it with frijoles a la charra. Eat in tacos with onions and fajita/trompo/bistek. Eat sopa de vegetales with cilantro. Man, I would NEVER imagine eating frijoles (beans) WITHOUT cilantro. It's just not the same.

XicanoreX
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  #29  
Old 04-11-2002, 08:05 PM
No Me Ayudes Compadre No Me Ayudes Compadre is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hemlock
[What's a pasilla chili?
Pasilla is the dried form of the Chilaca pepper. It has a sweet, almost raisin-like flavor. Somewhat spicy, but the chile paste is tolerable for most palates. Very good with shrimp and other seafood, as well as a variety of chicken dishes.

Also, when you order tortilla soup, the chile strips that come on the side are pasilla.
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  #30  
Old 04-11-2002, 08:17 PM
Orual Orual is offline
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Wow.

Thanks for all the info guys!

Now comes problem #2; where to find these tasty-sounding dishes in freaking Massachusetts...
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  #31  
Old 04-11-2002, 08:28 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Do what samclem sez...pick yourself up a copy of Rick Bayliss's Mexican Kitchen. And make it yourself.

I WORSHIP that cookbook. It's worth the hardcover price for the taco recipes alone.

Damn, it's worth the price for the chicken-and-greens-in-tomatillo-sauce-taco recipe alone.
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  #32  
Old 04-11-2002, 08:28 PM
xicanorex xicanorex is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by arisu
Wow.

Thanks for all the info guys!

Now comes problem #2; where to find these tasty-sounding dishes in freaking Massachusetts...
Well, depends where ya live or who you hang out with.

Any Mexican neighborhood in Boston? If not, try hangin' out with Mexican farmworkers. No, seriously, many of my pips migrate from the Lower Rio Grande Valley (near the Mexico border in Texas) and go to Mass to work in the fields. A good number should make good Mexican cooking . . .oh, well, is worth a try.

XicanoreX
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Old 04-11-2002, 08:45 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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arisu Somehow, I just knew Uke would arrive. Just bait the hook with the name of Rick Bayliss or John Thorne and you caught yourself a tuna.

Since you appear to be a student, I doubt that you'll be taking Ike's advice and cooking your own. If you can, go for it. It will make you a better person later in life. And, women love guys who can cook good stuff.

Otherwise, pick up a copy of Zagat for Boston/Mass. and try out some of their Mex places. While it may be more commercial, it might point you away from mediocre places and in the direction of better food.

Also, try to find out how to implement xicanorex's suggestion. Inquire in the local Mexican community. He/she makes me want to travel to Mexico City for a week of serious eating.
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  #34  
Old 04-11-2002, 08:55 PM
Orual Orual is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by samclem
[Since you appear to be a student, I doubt that you'll be taking Ike's advice and cooking your own. If you can, go for it. It will make you a better person later in life. And, women love guys who can cook good stuff.
That may all be very well and good, but do guys like a woman who can cook? I'm a girl

I am indeed a student, but I think I might pick up a few o' these cookbooks. Without question it'll be cheaper than eating out in Boston (The City Where Everything Is 25% More Expensive Than It Would Be Back Home In The Midwest).
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Old 04-11-2002, 09:02 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Guy? Did I say "guy?" How chauvanistic of me.

Seriously, if you are at all interested in cooking, Bayliss is the way to go. Enjoy.
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  #36  
Old 04-11-2002, 09:05 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by xicanorex


Well, depends where ya live or who you hang out with.

Any Mexican neighborhood in Boston? If not, try hangin' out with Mexican farmworkers. No, seriously, many of my pips migrate from the Lower Rio Grande Valley (near the Mexico border in Texas) and go to Mass to work in the fields. A good number should make good Mexican cooking . . .oh, well, is worth a try.

XicanoreX
Just in case you think he's joking: he's not. Follow the Mexicans. Look for a Mexican restaurant somewhere and if there are people who look like they might be Mexican inside... well, it's worth a shot. (Many will have a Mexican flag inside)

I did a quick Google, if Boston's not too far away for you give this place a shot:

Taqueria LA Mexicana

Quote:
The Food
As with true taquerías, the sauces here are minimal, more like condiments really. Taqueria LA Mexicana does a gangbuster business in tamales (chicken or pork), which go for a mere buck each. (Large quantities can be ordered ahead for parties.) The nacho plates ($3.25) are Mexican rather than American--i.e., smothered in refried beans rather than cheese. The potato and chorizo filling used for quesadillas and enchiladas is particularly good. Amazingly, nothing is over $5.

The Scene
LA Mexicana is a welcome addition to Union Square -- a Mexican place with authentic food at prices approximating what you'd pay on the street in Mexico City.
I haven't been to this place, so can't give it a reco, but it sounds like a good start in your quest. Let us know what you think.
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  #37  
Old 04-11-2002, 09:22 PM
xicanorex xicanorex is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShibbOleth


Just in case you think he's joking: he's not. Follow the Mexicans. Look for a Mexican restaurant somewhere and if there are people who look like they might be Mexican inside... well, it's worth a shot. (Many will have a Mexican flag inside)
. . .and has our Virgencita de Guadalupe, Judas Tadeo, and a cd player kickin' the latest jams from Intocable, Los Tigres del Norte, Ramon Ayala, Jose y Jose, Banda El Recodo, Los Cadetes de Linares, etc. ¡Ajua!

XicanoreX
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Old 04-11-2002, 09:37 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Originally posted by xicanorex


. . .and has our Virgencita de Guadalupe, Judas Tadeo, and a cd player kickin' the latest jams from Intocable, Los Tigres del Norte, Ramon Ayala, Jose y Jose, Banda El Recodo, Los Cadetes de Linares, etc. ¡Ajua!

XicanoreX
Hey, the place I go nearby when I'm jonesing for Mex (Taqueria Mercado) has all of that. And they sell the CDs. Actually, it's in a small strip mall that consists of the restaurant, a bar attached to the restaurant, a Check-N-Pay (check cashing service), Mexican bakery and a small bodega. There's also a check cashing and phone call service in the restaurant.
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  #39  
Old 04-11-2002, 09:40 PM
syncrolecyne syncrolecyne is offline
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Mole, mole, mole (not the furry ground creature)

Hmm real Mexican food...I live in El Paso - where I would boast that the Mexican food is better and more authentic than in much of the rest of the country.

However, even here most people will tell you that for "real" Mexican food you still have to cross the border for a restaurant, or eat in someone's own home. However there has been a local trend of sucessful restaurants from the Mexican side opening a version on this side.

In the area of Mexico south of us, Chihuahua, the food uses more red meat and dairy products than in most of the rest of Mexico. Sometimes a whole hog or cut side of beef will be prepared for a fiesta. Most of the cheese is light white and creamy, not cheddar type cheeses. Carnitas (fried bits of pork) are popular, as well as gorditas (real ones...not tacolike ones).

As you can tell, the local version of Mexican food isn't too kind to the waistline.

But there is a whole range of cooking from proper dishes like mole poblano and other moles, pastries, and other foods far more elegant and refined than the stuff in a typical American Mexican restaurant to very humble dishes that you won't find in most American restaurants, like morcilla (cooked hog blood), tripitas, buche, menudo, chicharrones, and so on.

In other parts of Mexico there are different dishes, along the coasts, seafood and fish are important. Along the lower Rio Grande and Northeast Mexico, cabrito (goat) is popular. Since migration usually goes along certain lines, Los Angeles Mexican food, Albuquerque Mexican food, and Houston Mexican food are probably pretty different.
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  #40  
Old 04-11-2002, 09:49 PM
syncrolecyne syncrolecyne is offline
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Re: What is "real" Mexican food?

Quote:
Originally posted by arisu
I have heard, from several sources, that most of the food you find in Mexican restaurants in this country (i.e. tacos, nachos, burritos, etc.) are not authentic Mexican dishes, but rather Americanized, "Tex-Mex" food. If this is true, what are examples of true Mexican entrees?
Oh and another thing...Tex-Mex doesn't always mean "Americanized" (even in Texas people often make say that though). In the back country and barrios of Texas you might find foods, customs, words, music, etc. that are local to the area and not found in Mexico - but hardly influenced by mainstream American culture.

Here's a pretty detailed article on rural Tex Mex cooking.

http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/.../TT/lgtlt.html

I think stuff like Nachos and Chilli are what most people associate with Tex-Mex though.
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  #41  
Old 04-11-2002, 10:01 PM
bdgr bdgr is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by El Mariachi Loco
.

- Barbacoa, roast goat (or dog if you're in Tampico ) slow cooked in a deep pit. Consomé de barbacoa is the resultant fatty broth, with rice and garbanzo beans.

Hmm....Acording to my Mexican friends(at least a couple of them Mexican nationals), Barbacoa is the head of a cow roasted in a pit. Thats what you get in the less americanized reseraunts and grocery stores around here too when you ask for Barbacoa(I have had the folk at the resturant try and talk me out of it before, because they didnt think I knew what it was). I wonder if its a regional thing...Course I am in Texas, but they're from Mexico.
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Old 04-11-2002, 10:11 PM
Orual Orual is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShibbOleth
I did a quick Google, if Boston's not too far away for you give this place a shot:

Taqueria LA Mexicana

I haven't been to this place, so can't give it a reco, but it sounds like a good start in your quest. Let us know what you think.

Looks outside. Observes Charles River across the street, Fenway Park down the block.

Nah. Boston's not to far away.

That place sounds ideally priced for the penniless college student! I'll definitely try it the next time I'm out and about!
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  #43  
Old 04-11-2002, 10:47 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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I've never had real luck with the "follow the Mexicans" method of choosing a Mexican restaurant; it may be because I'm semivegetarian.

A lot of the Mexican restaurants I really like seem to be much more Mexicali: emphasis on avocados, fresh vegetables and the like.

Ceviche, or raw fish marinated in lime juice, is absolutely fantastic, though. And some Mexican restaurants I've eaten at delight in using fruit in unusual ways (grilled fish burrito with rice and banana, for example). IS there any region of Mexico that emphasizes fruit in savory dishes, or do I just eat at restaurants with strange senses of humor?

Daniel
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Old 04-12-2002, 08:40 AM
No Me Ayudes Compadre No Me Ayudes Compadre is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by bdgr

Hmm....Acording to my Mexican friends(at least a couple of them Mexican nationals), Barbacoa is the head of a cow roasted in a pit.
In Mexico City anyway, barbacoa is in the goat-sheep family. Cow head would be served as tacos de cabeza. When the taquero starts the day, you can definitely see it's the side or belly of a smaller animal.
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Old 04-12-2002, 08:45 AM
No Me Ayudes Compadre No Me Ayudes Compadre is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DanielWithrow
IS there any region of Mexico that emphasizes fruit in savory dishes, or do I just eat at restaurants with strange senses of humor?
Plantains (or macho bananas, if you want to be literal) are often used in rice dishes... garlic-sauteed octopus and shrimp served over red rice with panfried plantain strips is an excellent combination. Plantains are also used to condiment lentil soup, for example.
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  #46  
Old 04-12-2002, 10:56 AM
CBEscapee CBEscapee is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by El Mariachi Loco


In Mexico City anyway, barbacoa is in the goat-sheep family. Cow head would be served as tacos de cabeza. When the taquero starts the day, you can definitely see it's the side or belly of a smaller animal.
I agree with Loco, cabrito (kid), which is very common in Monterrey and other northern areas, is the traditional meat used in barbacoa. Here in Jalisco it is sometimes made with beef. Just as birria, a traditional goat dish from Jalisco is sometimes made using other types of meat but both use goat in the traditional versions.

And almost all cow heads in most parts of the country are used for steamed tacos de cabeza. Tacos de sesos (brain),lengua (tongue),carnaza (meat from the cheeks and other parts of the head) and even ojo (eye)!



Quote:
Originally posted by DanielWithrow

IS there any region of Mexico that emphasizes fruit in savory dishes,
There are dishes like manchamanteles from Puebla, made with chicken or pork, plantains,pineapple,pear and apple.

Cochinita pibil from the Yucatan, is shredded pork with a sauce of achiote and orange juice.

Platano macho often accompanies mole.
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  #47  
Old 04-12-2002, 12:15 PM
shelbo shelbo is offline
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OK, I think the question has been answered. Can we please close this thread before my growling stomach starts to bother my neighbor? (The drool is starting to be an issue as well.)

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  #48  
Old 04-12-2002, 12:53 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by arisu
Wow.

Thanks for all the info guys!

Now comes problem #2; where to find these tasty-sounding dishes in freaking Massachusetts...
Oh! Oh! I know. Head straight down to Anna's Taqueria. It made Boston's Zagat Guide #1 best value in Boston last year. The food is very authentic and muy excellente. Even though they are a fairly cheap take-out place, their food score beat out most of the top restaurants. There is one on Harvard avenue on the Allston/Brookline line and another on Beacon street in Brookline. There may be more of them now. They have some of the best mexican food I have ever eaten, bar none and it should only cost you $5 - $7 to stuff yourself silly. Go there now my good friend. Anna calls.
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Old 04-12-2002, 01:23 PM
xicanorex xicanorex is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DanielWithrow
I've never had real luck with the "follow the Mexicans" method of choosing a Mexican restaurant; it may be because I'm semivegetarian....IS there any region of Mexico that emphasizes fruit in savory dishes, or do I just eat at restaurants with strange senses of humor?
1) For veggie, you have to eat where there is mostly Mexicanos Indigenas. Their dishes are high on the veggie side.

2) Mostly on the coastal regions such as in Yucatan, Veracruz, and Guerrero.

BTW, Nobody has mentioned another Mexican deligh, CABRITO!

XicanoreX
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  #50  
Old 04-12-2002, 02:11 PM
amarinth amarinth is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by arisu
Now comes problem #2; where to find these tasty-sounding dishes in freaking Massachusetts...
I never managed to find it at all. There wasn't even really good tex-mex there, just bad tex-mex and one place that served gourmet meals with a menu in spanish where an occasional spice might have waved over the dishes during cooking. But I couldn't find decent (much less good) mexican food. Hopefully things have changed for the better.
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