Spanish language etymology, please?

Just to note, traditional Mexican families were not in the habit of publishing cookbooks. I don’t know how you conclude that Fabiola Cabeza de Baca was “an American from New Mexico.” That’s accurate but misleading. She’s comparatively famous. Her family came to New Mexico from Spain (via Texas) when they were still in Mexico, and never left.

I was not claiming to speak for the world, only for my region. I was claiming that the words as used in my region are as legitimate as any other region’s words. I do not understand why this is not true.

No, she was making tacos, as she had made them growing up in Mexico. Or so she said; she may have lied for some reason. I have been to Mexico etc., but what do you mean by “a real Mexican restaurant” ? You’re claiming to distinguish authentic and inauthentic but you haven’t defined your boundaries.

I’m not sure I agree with this. Is your opinion that tacos dorados (deep-fried tacos) are a US American invention that went back to Mexico? My understanding is that tacos dorados are “authentic” Mexican food. It’s not like there’s any shortage of deep frying masa in Mexico from what I’ve noticed. What might be US American is the popularity and the pre-formed shells (in Mexico, tacos dorados are fried with the filling already inside), but I’d have to see a cite that says the idea originated north of the border.

Are you talking about floutas? Because those call for the entire thing to be fried after its been put together so they are very similar or perhaps the same. Another dish that is quite similar are taquitos, those are certainly fried as well. Certainly not what pops into my mind when someone says taco, though.

The cite I’ve already provided agrees with my assertions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taco#Traditional_tacos Nowhere on the list of traditional tacos do you see something resembling American tacos (which have their own section anyway) so if someone wants to come out and say that American tacos can be passed off as “real” (there is a reason I use quotes each time I refer to those as “real” tacos) tacos please provide a cite.

All it means is that the Academies of the countries where those words are used haven’t sent them for inclusion. This may be linked to one or both being a neologism, it may be that their C academic is too academic to bother with such “vulgar” words or it may simply be that the aforementioned C academics haven’t gotten around to it.

It doesn’t include the Costa Rican chunche (thingee) nor the current Spanish meaning of pinganillo (thingee, specially the thingee worn by TV presenters or actors in an ear to hear the director’s instructions). That’s just two I thought of looking up, I’m sure there’s many more.

I think that since she was born on a New Mexico land grant that it is safe to describe her as American. It had been American territory for well over 50 years by the time she was born. In fact she spent most of her entire life in the US.

That’s great and all, but your original assertion implied some “definition” of what constitutes a taco (it’s not a quesadilla unless it’s this, it’s not a taco unless it’s this) and even if it were only regional it was still incorrect.

The descriptions you provided were of Americanized dishes, and I must protest your assertions that these are what pass in LA. These definitions are what pass in LA for most non-hispanics.

I submit that you will have a hard time finding a hispanic in LA, that was not born in the US, that will agree with your assertions about what a taco is or is not.

BTW-- Upon further review, you didn’t even get the soft taco part correct. They are not folded up like a mini-burrito, they are folded in half. And to say that this is what passes in Los Angeles? Maybe at Taco Bell and Del Taco, and I don’t think that even they fold them up like a burrito… Folding them up brings them closer to fajitas, but alas I digress…

In other words, that’s how they are supposed to look to Americans. And that’s really all I’m saying.

Coincidentally enough, that’s my first definition as to whether it’s a “real” Mexican restaurant or not-- Are the tacos served soft or hard? El Torito is not Mexican, Taco Bell is not Mexican. Chipotle is not Mexican.

The “real” restaurants are the mom and pop places and roach coaches (no BS-- some of the best “real” tacos are from street vendors in East LA) that also serve lengua, ceviche, mole, and menudo (sorry for butchering the accents!). Those are real Mexican dishes. And you won’t find them at hardly any Mexican places in America… only the real ones. Take that as you will.

Bear in mind, at my sister’s in Louisiana, they are under the impression that tomato sauce is an acceptable substitute for salsa. It could be much worse :slight_smile:

Do you actually have a cite to back that up? It sounds like something people say out of a sense that English is somehow special and unique in a way that no other language is.

Not quite flautas (which are rolled.) I’m talking about something that looks like this. But, yes, the entire thing is fried together, and I said as much in my post.

Just to note, your sentence was constructed with 2/3 native words, 1/3 loan words.

This = native.
is = native.
especially = loan (Latin > French)
true = native.
of = native.
English= native.
where = native.
using = loan (Latin > French) + native verbal suffix
loan = loan (Norse)
words = native.
for = native.
unnamed = native.
concepts = loan (Latin)
is = native.
pretty = native.
much = native.
standard = loan (Frankish > French)
practice = loan (Latin > French)
In = native.
fact = loan (Latin)
from = native.
a = native
certain = loan (Latin > French)
perspective = loan (Latin > French)
English= native.
is = native
almost = native
entirely = loan (Latin > French) + native adverb suffix
made = native
up = native
of = native
loan = loan (Norse)
words = native

ETA: I did not look up the prepositions; I may have ignored a Norse loanword or two.

(And IamnotSpartacus, you’re right about my comment about soft-taco folding. I misspoke. The other things I stand by!)

The fold has nothing to do with calling them a “fajita,” though. “Fajita” is a cut of meat, specifically the inner skirt, also known as arrachera. The term is much looser now, but originally fajitas were just cuts of inner skirt marinated usually in lime, grilled, and served with tortillas.

You misunderstand. I was pointing out that burritos are made from flour tortillas; corn tortillas are used to make tacos. Except here in the Mexico city area, they call tacos dorados “quesadillas,” and they call (Mexican) quesadillas “syncronizadas,” and they call (American) quesadillas “gringas.” The soft tacos are usually tacos. It doesn’t matter if the tacos dorados have cheese or not; they’re invariably “quesadillas.” Not my custom, but I’m getting used to it.

It was mentioned above that hard shell tacos are an American invention. While tacos dorados have existed virtually forever in Mexico, the pre-made, fried taco shell that we’re all familiar with was indeed invented by Taco Bell in the United States. You’ll never see that taco shell anywhere in Mexico, except for this one little bar in Creel, Chihuahua that I went to once where their tacos were Taco Bell taco clones!

I was not suggesting that the fold made it a fajita. I suggested it made the folded soft taco bear more resemblance to a fajita. The term is so loose now that it bears little relation to its original meaning, since chicken and shrimp fajitas are clearly mutually exclusive terms-- when assuming the original definition of the skirt steak is used.

In any event, it’s worth noting that fajitas are Tex-Mex. That is, when they are called fajitas. The dish existed before it was named.

We have no argument here. My understanding of the term agrees with yours.

The taco!! I have to say that there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the definition of taco. To start with, we call anything rolled into a tortilla a taco.

The word taco is synonymous with the word food. An invitation to eat many times is “gustas un taco” (would you like a taco) when we are eating something that doesn’t even include tortillas. Or “vamos a echarnos un taco” (let’s go have a taco) means let’s go get something to eat, whether it is a taco or something else.

We have tacos with fresh tortillas that people in the USA call soft tacos. To us it is just a taco. Your hard tacos are what we call tacos dorados which normally as one poster pointed out is a stuffed tortilla folded in half and fried. When they are rolled and fried we call them taquitos. And to confuse you sometimes a taco made with a smaller size tortilla is also called a taquito whether it is fried or not. Taquito being the diminutive form of taco. Flautas are fried and usually made with a larger tortilla.

A burrito is a taco but made with a flour tortilla.

Concerning quesadillas, a quesadilla does not always contain cheese. Quesadillas made from a fresh tortilla whether corn or flour use cheese. But fried quesadillas, which are raw masa stuffed with many different types of fillings and then fried many times do not use cheese.

The official RAE dictionary includes many Latin American terms, but it is, in the end, a dictionary of the Spanish from Spain. Of course it does not include terms that are proper of other Spanish-speaking countries.

I think you are mistaken here. There are many non-Spaniard contributors, such as academics and academies of other Spanish speaking countries.

http://www.rae.es/rae/gestores/gespub000038.nsf/voTodosporId/3E9E80EA1BB1311BC12572D4002C4793?OpenDocument

Ah. I know of syncronizadas, but to me they’re like quesadillas with lunchmeat in them. I don’t think that word is widely used in SoCal.

You’re the first to introduce the pre-made storebought hard shell vs. frying the tortillas. I’d agree that the latter is an American invention and not part of Mexican cuisine, and I’ve never seen a Mexican-American (or a Mexican, for that matter) use the pre-made Taco Bell-style shells. In fact, I don’t know who buys them: it’s so easy to fry a tortilla! On re-reading the thread, I wonder if this accounts for my argument with IamnotSpartacus. If he assumed I meant the storebought shells (shudder), his P.o.V. makes more sense.