When you ask for a taco at a fast food restaurant, do you even stop to think that you’re having Mexican food or are you just having fast food? When you wrap up a tortilla with an “American” filling like ham and dill pickles, do you stop to think that the tortilla dates back about 12,000 years? Mexican food is becoming our own food. It’s the food we eat on a day-to-day basis! Here are 5 things that show we’re making it our own.
1. What Sells The Most? The hamburger bun? We know the hamburger actually is an American “invention”. The hotdog bun? That ones in dispute but certainly has a German heritage with some claiming it was first served in the 1600s in Germany and others saying a German butcher served it first on Coney Island. If you guessed either one, you’re wrong. The Mexican tortilla is outselling both hamburger and hot dog buns. Researchers say the tortilla is now “American”. And, if you want to talk history, the tortilla was invented by a peasant to feed a hungry king – that’s a Mayan (not Mexican) legend.
2. Ketchup? Nope, make mine salsa. It’s the best-selling condiment in America. Once reserved for chips, now you’ll find it spicing up everything from eggs to casseroles. You got it – salsa out sells ketchup. And, don’t forget those chips. While potato chips are still the biggest seller, tortilla growth is outpacing potato chip growth.
3. It’s Not Just Food. In one year, between 2005 and 2006, 23% more tequila was exported for consumption in the US. How much is that? About 107,000,000 – yep, million! – liters of tequila. By 2014, that grew to 13.8 million 9-litercases. Do the math! Not only that high-end tequila skyrocketed 568%. Americans aren’t just drinking tequila; they’re becoming connoisseurs.
4. Why? It’s Healthier. Assistant Professor of Marketing at Florida International University says that Mexican food with its salsas and veggies “cater better” to health. Think fajitas!
5. Who? Blame It On Millennials. The influence of Baby Boomers may be fading (although it’s thought our tastes like more spice as we age), but the influence of millennials is growing. That group, born in the early 1980s through the early 2000s, like authenticity and new experiences. They like Mexican food!
When you dine out, choose a Mexican restaurant that offers you both authentic tastes and dishes that combine the flavors of Mexico with chef-inspired innovation. You’ll see how American is making Mexican food its own.