Nationally recognized columnist Gustavo Arellano is releasing a new book on April 10th, “Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.”
His book promises to be informative, shocking and will clear some misconceptions about how Mexican food conquered America.
In his column in OC Weekly, Arellano gives us a sneak peek of the five most influential cities in the development of Mexican food in the United States.
- Let’s start with San Antonio, the first city to set off the Mexican food obsession with its chili con carne. William Gebhardt, of German origin, cleverly made his first attempt at Mexican packaged meals with his chili combo plate. We can thank San Anotnio for putting Nachos in the same rank as ballpark food.
- Greater Los Angeles is the originator of full service Mexican casual dining restaurant El Torito, Taco trucks and Taco Bell. Canned goods, menudo, chiles and Doritos, also originated here.
- Dallas brought Tex-Mex and Frito Lay much to Mexicans disgrace, but if it weren’t for these franchises, Americans wouldn’t have given Mexican food a second thought.
- Of course, San Francisco comes in fourth place. It only boasts though, of three contributions: The nation’s first Mexican cook Elena Zelayeta, the Mission-style burritos and tamales. A fun fact about San Francisco is that Tamales became an obsession way back in the 1880’s and the city was the instigator, writes Arellano.
- El Paso. This border town was the headquarters of the Old El Paso and Ashley’s, a Mexican food brand that’s no longer made. They both started business in the 1950’s and taught Americans how to eat Mexican food at home by manufacturing taco shells, according to Arellano.
As far as California and Texas they are still fighting about who carries the torch. Yet, to learn more about it you will have to buy the book, as Arellano keeps reminding us.
Read it at OCWeekly
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