Friday, August 04, 2006

The Enchirito Revisited

Since my discovery of the enchirito, I have been, understandably, obsessed.

Ashley, primo research assistant, did a little digging. She found this website: http://www.lightmillennium.org/2005_15th/emartinez_tex_mex_cuisine.html

Basically, it discusses the history of Tex-Mex (not to be confused with Mexican food) and unfortunately disses Taco Bell a bit in the process:

Many people often think that they can go to a local Taco Bell to enjoy some traditional Mexican food, they are almost unforgivably mistaken. Taco Bell is actually the place one can go to enjoy Mexican-American or Tex-Mex food (or at least an attempt at it). There is a big difference between Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex cuisine, the terms Tex-Mex and Mexican American may be used interchangeably when speaking of food and will later be explained. They are closely related, but Tex-Mex cuisine has been adapted for the Anglo taste while Mexican food has almost no influence from the United States. Proponents of Mexican food take great strides to distinguish their cuisine from what is more popular in the United States, they even put it down. Mexican Cooking For Dummies actually says "Although it's one of the world's most beloved cuisines, Mexican food has been severely misunderstood and sloppily translated north of the border." [1] Mexico has every right to be proud of it's cuisine, but it is probably its own insistence on not being associated with the culinary legacy it has left north of the border that has strengthened the divisions between the two cuisines the most. Just as Mexican food has its defenders so does Tex-Mex cuisine as well. Miller states that "The History of the U.S.-Mexican border area makes it one of the world's great culinary regions, similar to the great feeding grounds of the oceans, where currents of different temperatures meet. Just as this mixture produces waters teeming with all kinds of creatures, so the migrations of different peoples to the border area have created a region of rich cultural exchange, between Indians and Spanish, vaqueros and cowboys, and Hispanics and Anglos." [2] Few could sum it up as precisely and poetically as Miller does.

Ah, poetic ramblings on food. I hear you, Miller.

But more importantly, here is the article's definition of the enchirito (oh excuse, enchurito):

An Enchurito is the combination of a burrito and enchilada. It is a burrito covered with chile sauce and eaten with a fork and knife.

Now, how does this differ from the enchilada?

Enchiladas are corn tortillas that are made soft in hot oil and then cooked in chile sauce.

4 Comments:

Blogger whipcreamy said...

and then there is also the Spanish influence South of the border. I believe that tomatoes were introduced by the Spaniards and before that, Mexico was heavy into the beans and tortillas....interesting how bean dishes differ in each central american country...in Honduras the beans were mixed with TONS of lard and placed on a flat fatty tortilla and it was called baleadas!

10:16:00 AM  
Blogger whipcreamy said...

Honduras - Honduran Recipes

Baleadas

Baleadas are to Honduras what burritos are to Mexico.

Take a fresh warm tortilla (6", 8" or 12" -- your call) and add your favorite fixings:

° Pintos, simmered or mashed
° Shredded cheese
° Sweet/sour cream

(Central American dairies make a wonderful thin sweet/sour cream, crema, which has different names wherever you go. We have had it all the way from Guatemala to Panama and I can find it at a local Mexican deli...This domestic product, Creme Fraiche Alouette, is about as close as I can come.)

10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

and you don't roll it, eh? otherwise it's like a supreme burrito, no?

11:41:00 AM  
Blogger anne altman said...

i am still amazed with this blog on such a specific topic. brava.

3:40:00 PM  

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