American food is constantly described as being a mix of other international cuisines, usually “Americanized” somehow to make it more appealing. And it may also have given rise to one of the most popular cuisines in America. From Tex-Mex to Tex-Mex in the 1940s to the recent adaptation of Mexican food on the go, the current sales of Mexican restaurants alone accounts for over 40% of ethnic food sales in the United States. So what is it about this particular style of food that makes it so popular?
One reason could be the bolder flavors found in this style of food. Over three-quarters of consumers have cited that as a reason they want to try ethnic cuisines and other unfamiliar foods. This could explain the large number of Mexican style restaurants, with an estimated one of every 10 restaurants selling some kind of Mexican food to its customers. While it’s true that these dishes may not always be considered authentic Mexican food, it’s obvious that we still enjoy it and have adopted it as our own. Mexican food on the go is a popular take on this as well, which integrates our love of cheap and fast food.
Mexico is also known for its diversity as a country, which translates easily into its different food styles. Approximately 60-70% of the diversity across the world can be found in Mexico, and it is considered one of the top “megadiverse” countries as a result. This refers to any nation harboring a large number of people with unique ethnic and cultural practices in their specific locations. So depending on which part of Mexico you go to, you could be having an entirely different experience because of the people and culture around you than just a few miles away.
This diversity is easy to pick up on when it comes to the food, and many Americans have as a result. Approximately 70% of households in American use Mexican food or ingredients in their cooking on a regular basis. In addition, it seems to be replacing our own “American” favorites. The number one selling condiment nationwide has recently become salsa, not long-time favorites such as ketchup or mayo. The hot dog is feeling it too, with reports showing buns have been outsold by tortillas since 2010.
Whether it’s a restaurant or Mexican food on the go, it’s pretty obvious that we’ve started assimilating the food into our own culture. It’s wormed its way into numerous restaurants as well as our own cooking. And whether you’re a fan of the authentic or the Americanized version, it’s pretty obvious that we aren’t getting rid of it anytime soon.