Mexican Food

Welcome to Part 2 of a Four Part Series entitled, “The Four Food Groups.” Last week we covered the all-important Italian Food Group. This week, it’s Mexican Food. And just like last week, I have to add the disclaimer that I’m talking about the only Mexican Food I’ve ever known: Taco Bell. Just kidding. I’ve also been to Taco John’s. But seriously, I’ve never been to Mexico and eaten authentic Mexican food, so I’m only relaying my experiences with American-Mexican Cuisine.

My first experiences with Mexican Food came from my mom. She made the best tacos ever. Many years have passed since then, and I don’t have the exact recipe, but I’m sure it went something like this:

  1. Make taco meat
  2. Put taco meat into corn tortillas
  3. Fry the hell out of the tacos in boiling oil
  4. Eat immediately

Oops. I left out the most important step: serve on paper plates. This is a MUST. I don’t know why, but don’t question it either. Just do it.

When I got a little older, I realized my mom wasn’t the only person on earth who made tacos. You could find them at other people’s houses and—get this!—even at restaurants. I know! I also finally realized that Mexican Food could be subdivided into the following groups:

  1. Meat and a tortilla

Fortunately, there are many different ways of doing this. Here’s a list I’ve compiled to help you out on your next trip to Chi-Chis.

  • Taco: Meat and a tortilla
  • Burrito: Meat and a tortilla
  • Tostada: Meat and a tortilla
  • Enchilada: Meat and a tortilla
  • Tostada: Meat and a tortilla
  • Chalupa: Meat and a tortilla
  • Fajita: Meat and a tortilla
  • Tostada: Meat and a tortilla
  • Taquito: Meat and a tortilla
  • Tostada: Meat and a tortilla
  • Flautas: Meat and a tortilla

It’s all good, people, so don’t hold back. And when you want the great taste of Americanized Mexican Food at home, don’t forget that I highly recommend Delimex Taquitos.

Mmmm… now I’m hungry. I really have to stop doing this to myself. So while I head off to the freezer to, um, you know, just check on a couple things, you can all make a mental reminder to tune in next week for Food Group Number Three: Chinese.

19 Responses to “Mexican Food”

Tom Rooney said
February 17, 2009 at 5:06 am

I too believe that the paper plate may be very important in this food group preparation. Viva Mexican food.

johngl said
February 17, 2009 at 6:14 am

Why is Tostada in the list four times? Are you trying to pull a fast one on us?

Biz said
February 17, 2009 at 6:53 am

Ha! Yep, fried tacos at home are the best. But to make them like Jack in the Box and now Burger King Tacos, you need to add mild salsa and half a slice of American cheese prior to frying.

Then remove, stuff with shredded lettuce and try not to burn your mouth!

Of course, I had Tabasco sauce!

Charlie said
February 17, 2009 at 7:02 am

johngl: That’s hilarious. That’s the result of a long, tiring day and the copy/paste functionality. I’m leaving it.

Biz: Actually, to help recreate the Jack in the Box experience at home, I cook the meat normally, then put it in a food processor with a spoonful or two of refried beans. This gives me that “paste” that spreads so wonderfully inside a shell. It’s not a bad approximation.

Cammy said
February 17, 2009 at 7:18 am

Super. Now I’ll be fighting off enchirito fantasies all day.

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February 17, 2009 at 7:51 am

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Quix said
February 17, 2009 at 10:37 am

I never had fried tacos until moving in my fiance. Before, when I was little, tacos were things that had pre-made shells and ground beef, or that came from taco bell if it was a real treat of a day. It’s amazing how good frying it makes but I almost wished I had never tasted it…

Sagan said
February 17, 2009 at 10:43 am

Haha well thank you for making the distinction between all those different terms 🙂 mmmm Mexican food.

Hallie said
February 17, 2009 at 11:54 am

But what about that wicker holder thingy your mom used to put the paper plate into?

Didn’t she? Didn’t all moms?


Helen said
February 17, 2009 at 12:06 pm

You forgot the automatice 3rd ingredient Charlie: cheese.

Debiggering said
February 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm

You fry tacos? I’ve never tried that (but then, I’m not American). It’s hard to find Mexican food here so I guess I won;t be able to try it for a while.

Laura Jane said
February 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Yep, when you really think about it, Mexican food is pretty boring. And you can’t forget the cheese. And the sides are always rice beans. That’s pretty much it.

Tuscanystone said
February 17, 2009 at 6:46 pm

We dont fry here either.

Love mexican tho, nice n spicy!

Tusc 🙂

Charlie said
February 17, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I really feel bad I left cheese out of that list. That’s also what happens when I don’t proofread.

And yes, Hallie, the wicker holder thingies were also key. I can still remember how disappointed I was when taco night was served up on the regular dinner plates.

Bet said
February 18, 2009 at 8:28 am

My mom didn’t fry them, but the paper plates, oh yes, mandatory.

(perhaps to soak up runaway grease? Nothing to do with Mom being frantically crazy busy and tacos being a oh so easy dinner that no one would complain about)

What I remember about taco night? Inserting said taco into mouth and excruciating molten cheese and flaming meat burns!

Have a happy day.

megan said
February 18, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I never really thought about it, but your right. Meat and tortilla. Cheese and beans too but that is pretty much the subcatagories of Mexican food. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a burrito in the microwave!

Tony Cannon said
February 18, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Some years ago I fell deeply and madly in love with the jack-in-the-box taco. When JITB left the Chicago area I lost the tacos. Recently Burger King started selling their version of the taco, and it’s really close. I do have the copy-cat recipe, I have attached the link below. They are the bomb diggity!

Cynthia said
February 18, 2009 at 9:15 pm

You forgot the other essential Mexican food subdivision…

2. Chips and SALSA

Don’t ask me how much salsa I can eat if given sufficient chips. Hell, I can make a meal out of this appetizer.

La Diva of Mexican Food said
February 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm

You’ve never eaten the real deal?
Perhaps you should take a peek at my blog.
Real Mexican food: sooooo much more than tacos . . .