5@5 - The truth about Mexican food
August 24th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Many of us grew up eating out-of-the-can refried goop beans and microwaveable taquitos thinking that was just about it for the culinary traditions on the other side of the border.

With roots in Monterrey, Mexico, Chef Julieta Ballesteros of Crema and Los Feliz knows better than that.

Five Misconceptions about Mexican Cuisine: Julieta Ballesteros

1. Mexican cuisine is ALL tacos, burritos and enchiladas
"People tend to think of Mexican food as just tacos, burritos and enchiladas - lots of cheddar cheese, sour cream and jalapeños. Although some of these dishes do exist in traditional cuisine, that’s definitely not all there is.

Mexican cuisine is one of the most extensive categories in the world. We have an abundance of flavors and complex dishes like moles, pozole, cabrito (baby goat from the Northern regions of Mexico), pork marinated in achiote, sopa de lima (lime soup) from the Yucatan Peninsula, ceviches from Veracruz, salsas made with fresh and dried chile peppers, handmade corn and flour tortillas, tamales, the list goes on!"

2. Mexican cuisine should be cheap
"Often people think that Mexican food should be cheap because in their mind it's simple ingredients like refried beans and tortillas. Again, they're wrong. In fact, a lot of the ingredients that we use in our dishes are delicacies.

For example, huitlacoche, which I use in my soups and quesadillas, is a fungus that grows on corn in specific humidity conditions. Another ingredient often used in Mexican cuisine is squash blossoms, which are only harvested during the summer. The list goes on: from chapulines (grasshoppers), to mamey (a sweet winter fruit) to escamoles (ant larvae that are sautéed in garlic and butter then rolled up in a fresh corn tortilla)."

3. Mexican cuisine is not healthy
"Mexican food is often thought of as being greasy and fatty, however there are several healthy options. A staple one is ceviche. Made with fresh, healthful seafood like red snapper, tuna or octopus and cured with citrus juices and herbs - ceviches are light and refreshing.

We also steam poultry and fish in banana leaves, create salads made with grilled cactus and braise meats to keep the flavor without adding fat."

4. Mexican cuisine is always spicy
"We do love chiles, but Mexican food does not have to be overly spicy. We use chiles to balance and enhance flavors, not to overwhelm the ingredients!

There are several varieties of dried chiles (like pasilla, ancho, mulato, guajillo, arbol, cascabel, etc.) and fresh chiles (such as jalapeño, serrano, habanero, chile guero, etc.) which vary in flavor and spiciness. If they are used in the right amount, they can be combined with even a delicate piece of fish and won't overpower the dish."

5. Tequila is just for shots
"Tequila tends to conjure up memories of late night shots and Cinco do Mayo sombreros - but tequila is more than that! Tequila is aged like many other spirits - blancos rested for less than three months, reposados rested up to one year and añejos rested for more than one year.

There is also mezcal, which has become more and more popular over the past couple of years.

Using different barrels and aging techniques, tequilas can take on different flavors and be as smooth as your favorite whiskey. Pair your sipping tequila with a shot of sangrita (a tomato-based apertif) to follow in Mexican tradition.

Previously - Chef David Suarez busts some more myths about Mexican fare

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cuisines • Mexican • Think


soundoff (684 Responses)
  1. Ron

    Ceviche is definitely a PERUVIAN dish... NOT mexican. Maybe other countries such as ecuador, mexico, and nicaragua may have their own variations of said dish, but anybody that knows their cultural history knows it is originally a traditional peruvian dish. But definitely a very delicious and healthy choice

    March 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  2. Lopez

    One nice thing about Mexico is the women and their passion (sex) is hotter than their food.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:32 am | Reply
    • Cannonfire

      Um, sorry – how do you say "pig" in Spanish?

      September 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  3. amelia from z tasty life

    great feature! we need to debunk more cliches and common misconceptions in Food.... more of this please!

    August 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • AleeD

      I concur.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  4. Bobby G.

    Geez, no one is commeting on how hot Julieta is?!? The light and makeup is this picture makes her look smokey. In general, she looks nice.

    August 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • RichardHead@Bobby G.

      You obviously missed the starting posts. The Tallahassee Bridge is calling your name. :)

      August 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • Ode to Billie Joe

      You meant Tallahachie Bridge, right?

      August 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • RichardHead

        Yea,the one down on the Chatahooooooooooooooooochie river.:))

        August 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • Ode to Billie Joe

        .... but that's not ....

        ..... never mind.

        August 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  5. les

    I had some of the best grilled fish ever - Gulf Side in PV... and an amazing seafood stew... in Mexico. That's Mexican food.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:05 am | Reply
  6. Joe

    Mexico is a fairly large country, surrounded in many areas by gulf and sea, and at the same time containing vast inland plains, mountain ranges, river and lake systems and all the various landlocked territories which lie between. Check out a map sometime and see for yourself.
    To reduce the tremendous variety of foods which can be garnered from such a conucopian environment down to a handful of tortilla wrapped combinations is the same as saying bean sprouts from California are too much like Boston baked beans because they have the word "bean" in common..
    Open your eyes and look around; Mexican food is every food. If you don't like tacos, don't eat tacos – instead get something like ceviche. Don't care for ceviche? Try a mole poblano. Mole not your cup of tea? A mild tortilla soup is very pleasant and hearty. And think; none of the above suggestions is fried – if you don't like heavy, fried types of food don't eat them, but don't even make yourself believe that this is what constitutes typical Mexican food. It doesn't.
    Lastly, a lot of the griping I see in the responses on this page refer to a food style which is known as Tex-Mex, which is more of an Americanization of some types of Mexican cuisine than representative of true Mexican cooking in any way, shape or form.
    Open your mind, then open your mouth – and enjoy!

    August 26, 2011 at 8:45 am | Reply
  7. Charlie Chan

    Me like flied crickets.....ummmm,cwispy.

    August 26, 2011 at 8:36 am | Reply
  8. Grumpster

    It's just easier to say "Taco" than it is to say "achiote" or , "sopa de lima" for all the dumb people here in America.

    August 26, 2011 at 6:23 am | Reply
    • mopeyed

      Spreak engrish!

      August 31, 2011 at 3:17 am | Reply
  9. Observer

    yea..ok..grasshopper should be expensive since why? They're hard to catch?

    August 26, 2011 at 5:59 am | Reply
    • Joe

      Yeah, you really have to hop to it to catch 'em!
      No offense, I like many varieties of Mexican cuisine – and they ARE varied – but I'll pass on the 'hoppers.

      August 26, 2011 at 8:26 am | Reply
  10. ADiff

    Mexican is one of the three greatest cuisines on Earth: French, Mexican and Chinese. Of these Mexican may well be the most diverse and deeply varied.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:12 am | Reply
    • mopeyed

      yea, beans tomato potato and dog. yum. This is one country where you do not eat the street food unless you've brought a large supplement of probiotics. Seriously, a package of yeast into a beer first thing in the morning and chug it before you get out of bed, will cure those ills.

      August 31, 2011 at 3:21 am | Reply
    • popopopo

      Mexican food never considered one of 3 greatest which is french chinese italian or sometimes thai and turkish...

      October 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • popopopo

      No offense but mexican foods are the least diverse comparing to other countries. Mexico has about 150 foods and france has 700,000 foods which is the 2nd most diverse and china has about 8,000,000 foods which is the most diverse in the world by far as well known...

      October 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • pyrotalk

        Exaggeration, france doesnt have 700K foods, the guinness record for typical dishes claims Peru with 491.. Facts please

        June 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  11. Xasthur

    Did you know thte Mayans invented chocolate? They drank it and it was used it as an aphrodisiac. So chocolate is Mexican food.

    August 26, 2011 at 12:46 am | Reply
    • ADiff

      Mayans? They did have chocolate preparations....but did they discover it? No way to know. That discovery may well have been made well south of Mexico.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:15 am | Reply
    • pyrotalk

      Mayans didnt have sugar. The chocolate drink was made sour and bitter. Cacao origin was south america.

      June 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  12. Bubba

    Uhh.....All food is Mexican food. . . .have youever gone into the kitchen of any restaurant – they're all Mexicans. So if you're like me and love the good old USA food like burger and fries at Hooters, or Bob's Big Boy, then you're having Mexican food!

    August 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • Bionikwmn

      That's pretty funny.

      August 26, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
    • Jim Sweeten Sr.

      "Now all restaurants are taco bell"

      August 26, 2011 at 4:47 am | Reply
  13. Latino in L.A.

    I see this article has caused quite a stir. I have a deep appreciation for foods of many cultures. Life in L.A. has given me the opportunity to experience many different cuisines from many different cultures. Yes, I said cuisines! We all have very different palates, therefore we eat what tastes good to us. To criticize just for the sake of expressing prejudice is very disturbing. Life is short. I feel sorry for anyone that feels the need to bash a culture just to express hatred. I keep an open mind to all new things because I don't want to miss out on a beautiful experience. All I have to say is that We eat wisely and allow ourselves the sinful indulgence of a high calorie food every now and then. Being over weight is a health hazard but it is not a sin! Everyone has a choice. Bon Appetite!

    August 25, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  14. david burns

    I have some good Mexican friends here in Eastern Oregon. I can't hardly stand their food, however. Contrary to the article, it is always extremely greasy, the beef is cut very thin and cooked until it is leather-like, the chicken parts are thrown in a big pot full of grease, then for desert they eat the fried pig fat.

    August 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Reply
    • ObamaAlabamaSlamma

      Well clearly, your experiences represent the whole of Mexican cuisine. Thank you for being brave enough to say so.

      August 26, 2011 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • RayIII

      What?!? Thats like me saying Ive had a few Angelos food and because it sucked that eveyones sucks.

      August 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Reply
    • RayIII

      And also I don't know what kind of mexicans your hanging out with but I've NEVER eaten what you've just described. Maybe you should think about leaving Oregon before you end a statement with "ALWAYS"

      August 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
      • mopeyed

        where i lived in mexico, we all dreamed about eating meat fat.

        August 31, 2011 at 3:24 am | Reply
  15. Shane

    I've tasted many of the "delicacies" and I rarely liked any of them. Tortillas can be amazing if made right, but most of the food that they listed outside of tacos and burritos not only doesn't sound very tempting, a lot of it doesn't taste good either (in my opinion of course).

    August 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  16. Cholo

    you know what the biggest problem with mexico is? too many mexicans

    August 25, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • pierce

      Your mom did a lousy job raising you.
      Did she teach you all that hate or did your pappy?

      Europe called. It wants you back for unfulfilled potential.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Reply
      • Cholo

        At least 40 people were killed and numerous others injured in a reported grenade attack at a casino in Monterrey, Mexico, the capital of Nuevo Leon, according to attorney general in that northern state.

        The incident occurred around 4 p.m. local time (5 p.m. ET) at the Casino Royale when two people aboard a vehicle arrived, and one threw three grenades into the building.

        Nuevo Leon, in northeastern Mexico, has seen several grenade attacks so far this year. On August 13, four civilians were wounded when an armed group fired two grenades at a jail in the municipality of Apodaca.

        August 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Reply
    • Borderpatrol

      You know what the problem with America is? Too many Mexicans.

      August 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Reply
      • yo

        europe called and wants you back you prick! Go back to where you belong and that applys to all you GRINGO's. Go back to your country which is EUROPE.

        August 26, 2011 at 12:05 am | Reply
      • K

        Borderpatrol, you're not funny. You just sound racist and hateful.
        Yo, you sound like a bigot too. Racial slurs aren't acceptable. No, not even when they're directed at white people. And Europe is a continent, not a country.
        Shame on both of you. Go educate yourselves before you come back here and spill your hate all over the internet.
        Also, Mexican food is delicious. Mexican delicacies are harrowing.

        August 26, 2011 at 1:41 am | Reply
      • Tony

        Hey YO. Dream on idiot. Most of us of european extraction were born here. So you can go home. Why don't you try assimilating YO YO. You should thank God your not living in Mexico fool. Just what are you so damned proud of anyway?

        August 26, 2011 at 9:24 am | Reply
      • mopeyed

        Mexico is America's Nigeria. No one can say it's not a fukedup country without lying. It has all the resources and means to be viable modern nation, yet its culture and government keeps it in the 19th century, And thus its culinary practices are also 19th century. If one wishes to experience rustic simple food, Mexican is a good choice. Please pass the habeneros.

        August 31, 2011 at 3:29 am | Reply
  17. chekmarkeats

    Can't forget about quesadillas and fajitas!

    August 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  18. Punta Willow

    I want her to spank me with her cactus leaves.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  19. E-man

    If she's cooking it, I'm eating it. One hot tamale.

    August 25, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • Radicalwillie

      gotta be one tasty taco... caliente!!

      August 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • pierce

      Doofus. Tamal is singular. Tamales plural.

      And tamales are not hot, unless you mean temperature-wise.
      pinche turista.

      August 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
      • mn_test347

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tamale

        Oops – who's the doofus now?

        August 25, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  20. Andre

    I have never thought or believed in any of these things. of any of these things. Not one. And whoever would believe that Mexican cuisine is all about burritos or tacos isn't even worth speaking to about the matter because that is just ridiculous. Are the editors trying to make believe some things to drive the Mexican cuisine market up? Seems kind of a pointless story. On the other hand maybe not....perhaps there are some people who really need to be educated on the subject???

    August 25, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • Rasputan

      I think they are looking at stereotypical representations in popular culture.

      August 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • MO

      I'm mexican and live in Mexico, I would say about 80% of the americans believe those stereotypes, in fact I think the problem is that all of the mexican food they have tried is taco bell or any other similar junk food.
      Real mexican food is excelent and considered one of the best in the world, I found this article very interesting.

      August 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
      • lthomson

        If you're Mexican and live in Mexico, how do you presume to know what 80% of Americans think? I doubt anyone in the U.S. could claim that level of accuracy, let alone someone in another country.

        August 25, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Reply
      • MO

        it's just a guess, just read most of the comments here... really sad...

        August 25, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
      • Shane

        I grew up on authentic Mexican food, and I didn't really like it.

        August 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  21. engineer long time

    I travel all over the world. Food served in most restaurants here in the USA is disgusting and poorly prepared. I'll take Mexican any day. I was glad some Mexican immigrants settled in my town and opened a REAL restaurant.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • Johnny

      You aren't eating at the right places in the US. Sure, there are a lot of dives, but if you do a little research, you can find very excellent and proudly prepared food in all US Cities. Some more than others, but it is there.

      August 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
      • pyrotalk

        who you kidding Johnny unless you have the means and resources to eat at eleven madison. Our food is rancid, accept it plus bad service. Besides our food is nothing authentic unless you consider hotdogs, hamburgers a world class cuisine. jaja

        June 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  22. Soulerman

    I went to Mexico, Acapulco last time in 2010. The food is simply fantastic, local sour cream and milk are like nothing you have ever tasted. We spent 2 weeks there and didnt eat tacos or burritos at all, I didnt see them period. Instead my wife and me hit on local cuisine and every meal was a fiesta! By the way – I stopped going to mexican restaurants in US forever. I will save my craving for next time in Mexico. Authentic mexican food is like chinese – what you eat in chinese/mexican eateries in US has nothing to do with real chinese/mexican food in respective countries.

    August 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  23. A2CV

    Mexican food is crap

    August 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Jdizz

      Then sign me up for two girls one cup.

      Idiot.

      August 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
      • A2CV

        Go back to Mexico retard

        August 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Reply
      • Jdizz

        Give me two aromatic and palatable ingredients, in Mexican (not Latin) culture. Should not be hard.

        August 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • Boomer

      You got that right !!

      August 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • pierce

      Go back to Mexico? If you live in Texas, New Mexico, colorado, Arizona, Calif. or parts of Utah or Nev and southern oregeon, THAT USED TO BE PART OF MEXICO.

      Who is the retard now?

      You go back to Bulgaria with your Bulgarian food, pilgrim!

      August 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
      • mn_test347

        @pierce

        "Go back to Mexico? If you live in Texas, New Mexico, colorado, Arizona, Calif. or parts of Utah or Nev and southern oregeon, THAT USED TO BE PART OF MEXICO"

        Only from the time they stole it from the Indians until they finished killing them.

        August 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Reply
    • FragmentFour

      Ummm.... there's crap here all right, but it doesn't come from the Mexican food.

      August 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  24. uh huh

    Who doesn't like Mexican food? Unless it's all lard in the refried beans, all the natural ingredients are tasty, healthy, and original. What's not to like?

    August 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • 2 for 2

      don't care for mexican food.

      August 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  25. welleducated

    PLEASE CLARIFY THIS ARTICLE THAT CEVICHE IS NOT MEXICAN, IT IS A PERUVIAN DISH AND DESERVES RECOGNITION AS SUCH.

    August 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • James

      Can someone please clarigy to this dolt where the caps lock key is?

      August 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
      • Johnny

        He is right about the ceviche and his name is WellEducated, so I am assuming I know he understands his CAPSLOCK is on and the meaning behind it. He is shouting at us.

        August 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • MO

      I dont know if ceviche was created in Mexico, bu Im certain every body eats it here, especially if you live near the coast, it's a very know dish...

      August 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Reply
      • ElPeruano

        It's a peruvian dish originally and now you claim it...BS. We Peruvians make tamales too but we don't claim it to be ours...

        P.S. Mexican food is mostly pretty bangin when made correctly...but if you want variety try Peruvian food..it's a nice mix of Asian/Latin and Indigenous...now give me back my ceviche

        August 26, 2011 at 12:20 am | Reply
      • Joe

        The French make a dish called "cerviche" (sir-veesh) as well, so I don't know if either Peru or Mexico can claim to have originated it.

        August 26, 2011 at 8:48 am | Reply
        • pyrotalk

          French never made ceviche. All they did is stolen italian cuisine and added haute techniques. please. ceviche is made everywhere and many claim it but peru takes the crown becuase is made fresh, raw and light. Unlike the rest of latin america, who let it marinate for 6 hrs...thats not fresh anymore..gotta give it to japanese for sophistication

          June 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
  26. timmy

    spit tacos!lol!

    August 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  27. Brooklyn Soprano

    For those in the NYC area, I highly recommend Cariño in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Delicious, authentic, creative Mexican cuisine and an extensive offering of tequilas. I've tried many delicious, new-to-me items, such as Ms. Ballesteros discussed, at Cariño. Never disappointed.

    August 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  28. Sister Mary

    And yet another.

    August 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  29. Sister Mary

    And why in the world was this post necessary?

    August 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  30. @SantaFeChar

    Anyone who has spent time in Mexico away from the border towns knows that tacos, burritos and 'goop' is not the mainstay of Mexican food. Those of us in New Mexico know that this Taco Bell kind of junk is "immigrant cuisine" – i.e. that which is typically relied upon by the poorer segments of the population and it's unfortunate that this is what most of the rest of the country views as "Mexican food." The seafood dishes down in Jalisco and Guerrero are fabulous and healthy. Oaxaca produces some wonderful meat dishes (moles – and that isn't just the chocolate mole that people might have heard of). Fresh tropical fruits and wonderful roasted meats. The food of Chihuahua and Durango is vastly different from the food of Jalisco and Guerrero. It's as widely varied as the foods of India, which used to be many different independent cultures and cuisines and languages and heritages until the British Raj lumped them all together and then fabricated the fake Indian thing called "curry."

    August 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      Immigrant cuisine is kind of an ignorant term. I live in an upscale community in CT. There is a Taco Bell in the neighboring town, and the only people i ever see there are caucasians. Places like Taco Bell thrive because Americans like to eat schit. It has nothing to do w/ immigrants or lower income people, you moron. The immigrants are the ones who make authentic cuisine from other countries available to you. the immigrants are the ones eating home cooked meals w/ fresh natural ingredients while you go pack on the fat eating McDonalds and other crap for lunch. You think because you're in NM you know how to eat better than the rest of us? Stop being so arrogant. I've been to NM several times, and all those Tex Mex eateries are run by immigrants, not Americans. You should be ashamed of yourself. We frequent fine dining establishments regularly, and I am an accomplished latin cuisine chef, as well. You're just a typical arrogant American prikk.....One of the reasons the whole rest of the planet has us in their crosshairs.

      August 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Reply
      • Brian P

        It's Moran .

        August 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
      • MoiraOn1

        The restaurants in NM are not Tex Mex by any stretch. The food there is possibly the most unique I've had anywhere in the world. And by the way, the people of NM have been there long before NM was part of this country, so although Santa Fe dude was a little rude, you are ignorant and need to check your facts.

        August 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Reply
      • Mexican and a Mexican food lover and cook in New Mexico

        Patrick, Patrick, Patrick
        Replies like yours with name calling and your stereotyping of non- Mexicans is no better than what you are crying about! There a only a few Tex-Mex eateries here in New Mexico. You must have only visited the tourist areas. I bet you don't mind takining non-Mexican's money! I came away from the article with a totally different perspective. Who cares what neighborhood you live in. You may need anger management counseling. If Americans like to eat only schitt as you say and they eat your food-what now.

        August 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Reply
      • Patrick

        Moira, UNIQUE?!?!?! Is that what we call it when Americans take something that is prefectly delicious and americanize it so you ignorant people who refuse to eat anything they've never heard of, will put it in their mouths? No, it's not Tex Mex, because it's not from Texas, but it's the same thing. A bunch of Americans took Mexican cuisine and tweaked it to suit their own taste buds. It's no more unique than me putting bananas on my peanut butter sandwich. Mexican and a Mexican, Oh boy, another hippie from NM....Get over yourself moron. I've probably been to more countries than you've been to towns in New Mexico. I'm not angry. I'm disgusted by the typical American feeling that everyting that is not American is not good. The american level of ignorance is at an all time high. And it starts in places like New Mexico where you're all to busy smoking weed and feeling good about yourselves to deal w/ reality. Stop calling yourself a chef. You know you're not a chef. Pretending to be one doesn't make your argument any more valid.

        August 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
      • Patrick

        Mexican and a Mexican,
        Anyone who eats in my establishment is an educated and cultured connoisseur of fine latin cuisine. We don't serve flip flop wearing hippies in my restaurant. You must be wearing clothing and shoes if you want me to cook for you. And trust me, my regulars/return business are my bread and butter.

        August 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • Tony

        Hey, take your meds Patrick! The original post didn't deserve your flame. Get therapy, would you. I think that the fact that the rest of the would has lost respect for us has to do with our politicians, not diners at Mexican restaurants. Sheesh!

        August 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
      • troll hater

        Feed the troll. Haters gonna hate.

        August 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
      • Tony

        Hey Patrick, you may consider this a postscript to my previous post. Let's see, you said "I live in an upscale community in CT", "We frequent fine dining establishments regularly, and I am an accomplished latin cuisine chef, as well." You sound like an accomplished braggart and food snob. Is that true of everyone who lives in upscale communities in CT. Then you ask: "You think because you're in NM you know how to eat better than the rest of us?" Well, you apparently think that because you live in an upscale community in CT, that you know how to eat better than the rest of us. What an arrogant clown.

        August 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  31. FBI

    I'm going to switch accounts. We'll check that one and you notify the locals on yours.

    August 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  32. FBI

    For some reason it's copying my replies to that page

    August 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • Baretta

      I'm on it!

      August 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  33. cliff claven

    Please feel free to take you, your family, goat & Mexican Cuisine and run across the border. Or pay taxes, respect our laws, be neat & clean & speak English. Respect my country.

    August 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Reply
    • FBI

      We're on it. Expect the list tomorrow. What judge do you usually call?

      August 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • @SantaFeChar

      Cliff Claven: This author probably pays more taxes than you and probably has more right to be in this country than you do. Her English is clearly superior to yours already. Perhaps it is you who should leave the U.S. since you clearly do not understand, nor embrace, true American values. The rest of us love having the multicultural world (and most importantly, food) that is the true America.

      August 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • Pinolera

      There is no worse ass than a real ass. This is about Mexican culinary art, not about illegals. You want to comment about that then go somewhere else.

      August 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • Gio

      Cliff, have you ever seen a show call HOARDERS from your country? Well, if that's what you mean by neat and clean...I definitely agree with you and that person should go back to Mexico where is cleaner! :-P

      August 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • KeithTexas

      I speak English most of the time because most Americans are poorly educated. I grew up on a ranch in Texas and I speak Spanish, because I have Mexican heritage and we had many Mexican cowboys on the ranch. I also speak French because we have relatives in Louisiana and many people there are bi-lingual so my cousins taught me.

      With your attitude you aren't worth the sweat off the balls of a migrant worker. You might grow up and learn more about the world around you. Learn a second language so you won’t be so ignorant.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  34. Ronco@Esteban

    Wow, your exstensive vocabulary is quite impressive...not

    August 25, 2011 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • mari

      so is your attitude....not

      August 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Reply
      • peanut

        I see you read Estebans post. Not. Had you read it, you would know it was completely uncalled for.

        August 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • Esteban

      It was in response to Test. I've heard worse on HBO.

      Oh and my braised beef in mole sauce is to die for.

      What's uncalled for is the comments on illegals. Now STFU and go back to work.

      August 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Reply
      • Esteban

        You to Peanut.

        August 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Reply
      • Esteban

        *too

        August 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Reply
      • peanut@Esteban

        You are incredibly insightful and a pleasure to chat with.

        August 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Reply
      • Esteban

        Oh Peanut,

        You're concise and have passive condescending tones with a subtle hint of hops highlighted by a caramel note of roasted barley.

        August 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Reply
      • peanut@Esteban

        If you say so.

        August 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  35. OCMark

    Mexican food is varied, delicious, and most is relatively unknown to the average American who thinks that Taco Bell is representative of this category of food. The dishes are complex, full of fresh ingredients and not everything is spicy. I pity ther person who has never tried real carnitas, taco de barbacoa or fresh grilled fish with salsa.

    August 25, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Jamie C. Baker

      I had delicious food prepared from my relatives from Venezuela, so I was already well aware that Mexican food couldn't be defined by Taco Bell or your local Mexican restaurant. That being said, I didn't know what their food was like and never had the pleasure of trying authentic Mexican cuisine until I started a job waiting tables in college and befriended a few prep cooks and bussers who had been living in Mexico until a few years prior. They adopted me in a sense and would bring me some home cooked treat almost every day. I only wish I had asked for some cooking tips while I had the chance!

      August 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
      • Jeff

        Pro tip: They don't eat Mexican food in Venezuela. Thusly, your culinary experiences in Venezuela have nothing and less to do with your realization that Mexican food is not represented by Taco Bell fare.

        With that said, Mexican food is varied and fantastic. So is South American food.

        August 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  36. Steve-O

    The #1 truth about Mexican food: If you talk smack about the food, the drug cartels will come hunting you down.

    Oh, and homemade tequila and Mexican balconies do not go well together for touristas.

    August 25, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
  37. rhobere

    I'm surprised by all the people saying no mexicans actually steam their food. those guys will steam boatloads of tamalis and braise pounds and pounds of pork and beef for easy lunches through the week. its not greasy. it doesn't make you sick. its f*cking delicious. you people have just never been around mexican families. Let me tell you, thanksgiving in a mexican household leaves you feeling a lot better than you do after you guzzle down potatoes, gravy and ham at an american house.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • this is are country

      um, yeah, no...we eat turkey, not ham, on thanksgiving...thanks for playing though...please collect your gift basket of fail on your way out

      August 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Reply
      • ben dover

        this is "are" county, really? where the hell did you go to school?

        August 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
      • Raziel Leiva

        Yeah, we do eat turkey on Thanksgiving, but we also eat ham.

        August 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • this is are country

      adios, muchacho...NO SOUP FOR YOU

      August 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • EHEH

      We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico!!

      August 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
      • KeithTexas

        Lo hacen cuando estoy allí; todo el rancho estaba preocupado acerca de mí encontrar un pavo para cocinar por lo que consiguieron uno enviados desde Texas.

        August 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  38. Jeann

    Mexican food....the only standard of comparison that makes American swill tolerable.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      Another ignoramus troll w/ internet access.....This is what American values are all about. Make fun of what you know nothing about. It's the American way.

      August 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  39. jon

    It doesn't seem like they're really debunking alot of the myths, if you ask me. You have to look for "options" when you're looking for healthy Mexican food? The same goes for non-spicy food?

    August 25, 2011 at 10:06 am | Reply
  40. Patrick

    I would just like to also mention for all the idiots out there who don't know shit about tequila, Patron is shitty tequila. You look stupid because you are willing to pay extra for it.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • BeerBrewerDan

      And like all things that taste good (wine, beer, cheese, etc etc etc) there are Tequila snobs. Not saying I disagree that Patron is not "all that," but calling people stupid is a tad extreme. I subscribe to the "if you like the taste then go for it" approach. I know little-to-nothing about tequila, but while I sip a Herencia or El Tesoro (which may or may not be "good" by your standards) I'm not going to begrudge the guy who calls for the Patron. Whatever, enjoy it.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Mitchell Down Under

      I wouldn't touch Mexican tequila ever. It is vile refuse only fitting for the hordes of people without any concept of "boissons fines." Aussies rule!

      August 25, 2011 at 11:51 am | Reply
      • Patrick

        No one cares what anyone from Australia has to say. Aussies are poor uneducated knuckledraggers. When was the last time you heard of Australian cuisine? It doesn't exist. Never met an Australian rocket scientist either. They don't exist.

        August 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
      • BeerBrewerDan

        Out of curiosity: which tequila would you touch, if not Mexican?

        August 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • ElPeruano

      Can you be any more angry, arrogant and snobby? Are you really so intellectually insecure that you have to spew your pent up anger at "flip flop wearing hippies" and others you've grown to hate in your lifetime? Keep referring to yourself as a "connoisseur" that has traveled the world and lives in an "upscale" part of CT. You drop so much ego-stroking lines in your messages it doesn't take a scholar to see how self aggrandizing you are.

      Look in the mirror man...that evil arrogant gringo is you...just brown.

      Peace

      August 26, 2011 at 12:41 am | Reply
  41. davidw

    HI @Allison,
    This is a conversation about food, not immigration. That's an important debate and it's going on in a lot of places on CNN.com, but lets try to keep this discussion on topic.
    Thanks,
    David Williams
    CNN.com Community Manager

    August 25, 2011 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • Davidw's boss/mom

      David, you know you are supposed to be on school right now! Don't make mommy take away your video game privledges!

      August 25, 2011 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • Allison

      FYI – I was not the only one commenting off the subject. If you are going to take my post off then you need to take others off as well. There are many other people on here that are off the subject and 2 of the many are the comments from: Cholo & BorderPatrol. So if you are going to "do your job, then do it right, Mr. Community Manager.

      August 26, 2011 at 8:50 am | Reply
  42. Jorge

    If not for flavor, consider traditional American food for health...NOT. The U.S. is the world capital for heart disease, high blood pressure, first-world obesity, atheroscerotic dementia and mass food recalls; you continue ranting and raving that we assimilate, I'll continue to eat my gazpacho, pescado al mojo criollo, paella, aceite de oliva con ajo, rum and enjoy my 52 year-old squeaky-clean heart, silky black hair and smooth skin...NAHAHAHAAAA.

    August 25, 2011 at 8:24 am | Reply
  43. Statistics Police

    "99.9% of them migrate to the US illegaly" Source please.

    August 25, 2011 at 8:17 am | Reply
  44. AleeD

    Thank you, Chef Julieta, Kat & Sarah for this article. Until recently, my only exposure to Mexican cuisine has been exactly those types of stereotypical foods that your article is debunking. Then I visited NYC. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant we visited, but it was the best meal, not just Mexican, but food I've had in a very long time. I'm looking forward to visiting Mexico some day so I can experience the real thing. Keep up the great work!

    August 25, 2011 at 8:03 am | Reply
    • AleeD@Laurie

      It was Dos Caminos near the Pod Hotel in Manhattan. Fabulous food for someone who's only had a narrow window of exposure to Mexican cuisine.

      Thank you for the warning. You haven't ruined anything. :D My husband goes to Mexico 2 or 3 times a year on business. He always has an escort and he makes it a habit to learn as much of the language as he can when he's there. Which is mucho appreciado by the folks he works with. ;) He gets to experience the locals haunts and that's what I'd love to do. Someday I'll tag along.

      August 25, 2011 at 8:48 am | Reply
    • DavidJ

      While I applaud trying to broaden horizons in cuisine, blanket labelling all cuisines south of the United States as "Mexican" is adding to the problem. Unless Mexico suddenly annexed the entire South American continent. :)

      August 25, 2011 at 10:08 am | Reply
      • AleeD@DavidJ

        I'm not following you. The article is about Mexican food and Dos Caminos is a Mexican restaurant.

        August 25, 2011 at 10:12 am | Reply
      • rhobere

        every country has different cuisine is south america. you making a blanket statement about the whole continent as if they're the same culture is a lot more offensive than labelling the food that traditionally came out of mexico as "mexican." fact is, the climate in south america varies so much that different regions have completely different food sources to choose from and that makes their cuisine vary greatly from country to country, although some themes remain somewhat constant (lime, peppers, rice and beans).

        besides, Mexico is part of North America.

        August 25, 2011 at 10:49 am | Reply
  45. Sorely Frickey

    If there actually are people who don't know this "truth about Mexican food," I guess cnn.com is the place to catch them.

    August 25, 2011 at 7:58 am | Reply
  46. Ice Box Cookie Boy

    Was this article written by a highschooler who just came back from Mexico? No kidding Tequila is used for more than just shots...

    August 25, 2011 at 7:39 am | Reply
  47. Pancho Villa

    Cinco do Mayo? I thought you were Mexican!

    August 25, 2011 at 7:36 am | Reply
  48. Allen

    Derpy derp derp derp.

    August 25, 2011 at 6:46 am | Reply
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