Honestly, I’m not sure it’s Mexican. Mexico is pretty far away from my current location, and while I am surrounded with a plethora of delightful (and some not so delightful) Mexican restaurants, I am rather clueless as to their authenticity. Rumor has it that many (if not most) of them are Tex-Mex, in fact. One suggested measure of authenticity is to simply observe how many Hispanic-appearing people are dining around you. This could still be faulty, however, in that maybe you are simply eating at the most delicious Tex-Mex restaurant in town, which (in theory at least) would also draw a large quantity of Hispanic-appearing types. However, you’d likely also be surrounded by large numbers of people wearing cowboy hats. As these are not exactly common in the state of Virginia, I shall now move on to talk about something less silly, that being my dinner.
I have a concoction that I make on a regular basis now. It’s cheap and lasts forever, and allows me to get my essential avocado fix. Avocados, you see, are the fruit of the Gods. So I start with a cup or two of rice, cook it, and dump some canned black beans and seasoning in. Then I hack up a plethora of items, most likely including avocado, cilantro and/or lettuce, and tomatoes. And of course there’s the cheese. Cheese is extremely important to my lifestyle. The queso fresco variety work wonders here, but really, any cheese will do. And to make it truly delightful, it is then doused in chipotle sauce and/or barbeque sauce.
That last sentence I wrote, the one right above this picture? It has officially rendered the first paragraph obsolete. You see, the ultimate point (the one I never apparently came to, in fact) of said paragraph was to determine if I was even close to making authentic Mexican. However, I suspect that the mere fact that I used chipotle and/or bbq sauce on this instantly makes it Tex-Mex.
Or rather, instantly changes the ongoing debate to ‘Is this authentic Tex-Mex’? Hmm, how long does a fusion food have to exist before it becomes a genre of food in it’s own right? Or is the authenticity of the food more an extension of the culture that the food grew from? And even more importantly, how much chipotle sauce can I consume before I start burning my tongue off? The world may never know.