A lot of Mexican food sold in United States is not authentic

AUTHENTIC FOOD. Lots of supposed Mexican food, like the food sold at Taco Bell, is actually not authentic.

Sarah Arreola

AUTHENTIC FOOD. Lots of supposed Mexican food, like the food sold at Taco Bell, is actually not authentic.

Sarah Arreola , Staff Writer

Mexican food is a type of food most people enjoy. Mexican food usually uses rice, beans and lots of spices. Many Americans would think that what they’re eating at their favorite Mexican restaurant is authentic, however they would be surprised to find out what they’re eating isn’t actually authentic.

Taco Bell is probably the most famous fast-food restaurant that claims to serve Mexican food. There are 7,072 locations worldwide.

Adriana Ward is a student in 6th grade. She believes that Taco Bell’s food is authentically Mexican.

“Taco Bell has some of the same foods Mexican food has,” she said.

Others, however, disagree.

“I do not believe that Taco Bell is an establishment that serves Mexican food,” Spanish teacher Kris Markl said. “The cuisine served there, in my opinion, is a very Americanized take on what some people think Mexican food is.”

So, Taco Bell might not be authentic, per se, but the food there can still be considered Mexican-inspired. The main difference between authentic Mexican food and Americanized Mexican food is that the latter uses more processed items, while actual Mexican food uses more fresh ingredients.

There are many examples in history, other than Mexican food, where other countries have changed up another country’s foods, such as Italian food. Pizza is a food most Americans would call their favorite, although it is very Americanized.

In Italy, the tomato sauce used is more fresh. The ingredients the Italians use are olive oil, pureed fresh tomatoes, garlic and oregano. Americans use a slow-cooked tomato sauce, which most Italians wouldn’t claim as their own.

Just because Taco Bell isn’t actually Mexican food doesn’t mean that there aren’t any Hispanic foods available in Kingsport that are at least close to authentic.

Latian Vaughn is an 8th grade student.

“I think La Carreta is authentic; it doesn’t taste like American food.”

La Carreta is a very popular Mexican restaurant chain. There are restaurants located in New Hampshire, Indiana, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Chris Carr, a 7th grade World history teacher, disagrees with Latiana.

“I think El Loco Taco is more authentic,” Carr said. “The owners are from Mexico, and half the menu is in Spanish. There have been a couple of times we have eaten there and been the only non-Spanish speaking customers in the restaurant.”

Authentic Mexican food usually involves a restaurant run by Mexicans that know actual Mexican food. On the other hand, Mexican restaurants that aren’t that authentic, like Taco Bell, are often run by people that aren’t Mexican or don’t know what is actual Mexican food. The person that started Taco Bell himself was American.

Authentic Mexican ingredients are usually chile peppers, oregano, and cilantro. Of course, there are other ingredients. However, these are the most common.

In Americanized Mexican food, the most common ingredient is yellow cheese. Yellow cheese isn’t Mexican. Often, in Mexico, they use fresh cheese like “queso fresco,” which translates to “fresh cheese”. That’s the main difference between authentic Mexican food and Americanized Mexican food.

One thing to remember is that the definition of “authentic” changes throughout history, so the food that’s eaten now is different from the food that was eaten a few hundred years ago.

“The Columbian Exchange completely changed the world’s cuisine,” Carr stated. “Before Christopher Columbus landed in the “New World”, no one here had ever seen a chicken or a cow. So, the people of Mexico would not have been able to cook with beef, chicken, or cheese.”