cocina tex-mex

Do you know Tex-Mex cuisine?

Tex-Mex food is often confused with Mexican. We're used to seeing this type of food in movies, series, and even other countries, mostly foreign where we can find restaurants denominated "Mexican" but once you get in and see the menu, you realize it is Tex-Mex food. Is this mistake on purpose to be more appealing? Or they just don't know the difference?

We never take the time to think deeper about its origin, characteristics, and what makes it so popular. That's why today we tell you the origin of this type of food as well as its main similarities and differences with the Mexican:

The origins

The state of Texas is responsible for naming Tex-Mex cuisine. Being a multicultural area, the coexistence of races in the past, such as Spanish, Africans, Germans, English, and Europeans encourages the encounter of different ingredients of all kinds, creating unique customs and flavors for the region.

Dairy products such as cheddar, spices such as cumin, and fruits such as tomatillo, and green chili began to be mixed and used in the dishes since it was the availability of the moment, thus the Texan cuisine was born.

The name "Tex Mex" comes from the constant contact with the Mexican culture thanks to advances such as the 1875 railroad called "Texan Mexican Railway". This transport fosters a migration and connection that develops a mixed culture, called Tex-Mex in honor of the name of the train route.

Although the name was not originally for food, with time it transformed, taking over this type of fusion cuisine. However, when we think of Tex-Mex, we not only think of food, this border area between Mexico and the United States automatically comes to mind.

Similarities with Mexican cuisine

Undoubtedly, the love for guacamole is one of the most important elements both cuisines share. This smashed fruit mixed with tomato, cilantro and onion definitely is adored by both regions and consumed as a starter plate with tortilla chips or as a complement to enhance the flavor of several dishes.

Another similarity is the meat as an elemental ingredient. The famous fajitas and barbecues are just a few ways this protein is consumed, however, tacos, burritos and many more exist.


In Texas, the concept of tortilla is different than Mexican, being crunchy, like tortilla chips. Besides, flour tortilla is more popular whilst in Mexico is corn made.

Also, burritos contain different ingredients inside: in Texas, they're filled with beans, rice and lettuce, while in Mexico they're filled with meat, salsa and cheese.

The spice is another differentiator, instead of using chili peppers such as jalapeño and habanero, pickles and brine are used to increase the acidity level of the dishes.

A typical dish of Tex-Mex food is chili con carne, which arises from the use of Spanish and African spices such as cumin, peppers and cinnamon to add depth. This is 100% Tex-Mex and in Mexico you can't find anything like it.

The debate around this fusion cuisine

Most Mexicans dislike this type of food and are offended when they confuse it with Mexican, however, we must understand that each one has its origin and different characteristics.

Tex-Mex food is nothing more than the result of the geographical and cultural fusion of various cultures, and it's something that exists all over the world, usually neighboring countries, being constantly in contact with each other, end up developing a preference for different flavors adding them to their national cuisine but at the same time adapting them to their taste.

So, don't be offended when someone confuses these two cuisines, on the contrary, explain the differences and understand. The taste for one or the other is personal and depends on your food preferences.

Let's recognize differences, celebrate similarities and preserve the common heritage

Did you know the origin of Tex-Mex cuisine? What dishes are your favorites?

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