The second being that it’s the same 5 ingredients remixed over and over (yes we all watched that one stand-up special)
Has Taco Bell claimed it’s been “authentic Mexican food” in decades? I’m fairly certain they now just call themselves Tex-Mex or just generic Southwest iconography.
Also who the hell cares if it’s authentic or not? I don’t call to Taco Bell thinking a Chalupa or a Nacho Supreme is the most authentic Mexican cuisine on the planet, much like how I don’t think a Little Ceasers Hot N Ready with breadsticks is authentic Italian cuisine. Everytime Buzzfeed or someone else does a “Real Mexicans Try Taco Bell for the first time” their primary complaint is always THESE AREN’T AUTHENTIC TACOS and that’s pretty much it.
Who the hell cares Taco Bell isn’t authentic Mexican food?
The existence of crap like Taco Bell means there are hundreds of thousands of children growing up every year who think that’s what Mexican food is. That trains their taste buds to be completely unable to appreciate the real deal because all they’ve been fed their entire lives has been crap. It is denying these children their full Human Potential.
Well, it’s been a well known fact for a very long time that it is “TexMex” food. We know what we’re getting, so whose fault is it that we are eating non-authentic Mexican food from a place that serves non-authentic Mexican food?!
The “OMG fast food isn’t as good as high quality, expensive restaurant quality cuisine representing that country” card is definitely overplayed. It’d be comparable to going to another country and saying “Burger King isn’t American. Peter Luger’s Steakhouse is American.” Well, yes, but… you’re talking about two different things now.
Where I’d put asterisks on what you say though is that I don’t think it’s been that long since Taco Bell has advertised implying a certain amount of “gourmet” and/or ethnicity in its food.
I’d say it’s been less than 10 years since TB basically had two kinds of ads. “Here’s food you can get at 2 am [we can’t legally say in an attempt to sober up and/or when stoned, but that’s kinda it.]” and the others are “Here is our test kitchen we combine the finest ingredients as we research seasonal flavors for our new blahdedblahde menu…” And one is more… well… authentic than the other.
Well, historically it was more of a Cal-Mex sort of thing, having been founded originally in California.
But **madisrcool **has it right. Mexican food is about as ridiculous of a notion as “American food”. I mean, gumbo is American food, a New England boiled dinner is American food, fry bread is American food, fajitas are American food, and so on. The only common thread is geographical.
Same goes for Mexican food. What they eat in the Yucatan is pretty different than in Baja California, for example. And what’s served in restaurants and what the common people eat isn’t the same either.
That said, what we see in the US as “Mexican food” is generally either the traditional style of food from the Mexican border states, or is some sort of fusion of that and Anglo dishes, or using Anglo ingredients. Most border states have their own perfectly valid styles of Mexican food… which are just as authentic as those of Mexican states. After all, how is it not Mexican food, if it’s food cooked in the Mexican style, by Mexican-americans in a part of the US that was once part of Mexico? Things like the fajita are basically simultaneously wholly Mexican and wholly Texan. Same for a lot of other Tex-Mex stuff like chili, whose roots run back as far as the original Canary Islander Spanish immigrants in the 18th century. I suspect that a lot of New Mexican food, Arizona-Mex and Cal-Mex food is the same.
Taco Bell is sort of an Anglo way to popularize that sort of food, and while it may not hew closely to the exact definitions of even Tex-Mex, it’s tasty, and it’s roughly in the same style.
If nothing else, I think Taco Bell’s a good thing, because it’s the gateway drug, so to speak. If you like Taco Bell, it’s not unlikely that you’ll also like say… a plate of cochinita pibil, or a barbacoa taco with some spicy salsa. Or a plate of cheese enchiladas with chili gravy, fish tacos, or a plate of stacked enchiladas Christmas-style.
Sarcastically, actually. I thought the whole “Human Potential” bit would have made that obvious. But I guess they are un-installing the Sense of Humor function before transferring everything to Discourse.
I’m not even sure it qualifies as “authentic” Tex-Mex (or Cal-Mex) food, either, but it doesn’t matter. Taco Bell is just Taco Bell. It’s Tex-Cal-Mex-inspired fast food that is a thing unto itself. I personally don’t like it (it’s pretty much the last national fast food place I’d eat at, though I did give it a shot in May of last year to see if my tastes had changed; they had not), but I’m not judging it on “authenticity” standards. As the OP says, it doesn’t claim to be authentic Mexican or Tex-Mex food. I understand people who like it – hell, I live in a 85%+ Mexican neighborhood and we even have a Taco Bell here and I see Latinx folks there all the time when they’ve got a taste for that particular style of fast food.
Exactly. I don’t need a lecture from every man bunned hipster telling me the only authentic Mexican is from some taqueria in the Mission District where no one speaks English, they don’t have a website and it’s been run by the family since 1967