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Taco USA

How Mexican Food Conquered America

Gustavo Arellano

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Nationally syndicated columnist and bestselling author of ¡Ask a Mexican! Gustavo Arellano presents an entertaining, tasty trip through the history and culture of Mexican food in this country, uncovering great stories and charting the cuisine’s tremendous popularity in el Norte. In the tradition of Bill Buford’s Heat and Calvin Trillin’s The Tummy Trilogy, Arellano’s fascinating narrative combines history, cultural criticism, personal anecdotes, and Jesus on a tortilla.

When salsa overtook ketchup as this country’s favorite condiment in the 1990s, America’s century-long love affair with Mexican food reached yet another milestone. In seemingly every decade since the 1880s, America has tried new food trends from south of the border—chili, tamales, tacos, enchiladas, tequila, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, and so many more—loved them, and demanded the next great thing. As a result, Mexican food dominates American palates to the tune of billions of dollars in sales per year, from canned refried beans to frozen margaritas and ballpark nachos. It’s a little-known history, one that’s crept up on this country like your Mexican neighbors—and left us better for it.

Now, Taco USA addresses the all-important questions: What exactly constitutes “Mexican” food in the United States? How did it get here? What’s “authentic” and what’s “Taco Bell,” and does it matter? What’s so cosmic about a burrito? And why do Americans love Mexican food so darn much?

Tacos, alas, sold separately.

Publishers Weekly Review

Mar 05, 2012 – In this entertaining nod to culinary and cultural histories, journalist Arellano (¡Ask a Mexican!) traces the roots of Mexican food in the U.S. and explores the cuisine’s many offshoots, underscoring why salsa is now our #1 condiment. Knowing it’s impossible to pinpoint the birth of the world’s first taco, Arellano focuses instead on how the phenomenon of something so simple as a crispy or soft tortilla folded over fillings came across the border. Beginning as street food in California in the 1920s—much later than the introduction of chili and tamales in both California and Texas—tacos gained popularity as inventions cropped up to fry large numbers of shells at once for mass production. It paved the way for Glen Bell, founder of Taco Bell, who began his empire in San Bernadino, Calif., in 1951, where he also sold hamburgers and hot dogs in case the taco craze didn’t catch on. It did, and today there are more than 5,800 Taco Bells worldwide. Arellano makes the point, one that’s particularly relevant in today’s heated immigration debate, that as much as some Americans may protest Mexican immigrants, they’re in love with Mexican food. While he’s clear that no best-of list can encompass all the great places to eat tacos and burritos in America, Arellano’s top five (El Rancho Grande in Tulsa, Okla., for example) illustrates just how far from the border the craze has traveled.

Customer Reviews

Taco USA

I liked Gustavo's last book(s) and I'm sure I'll like this one! I never go to taco bell I mean taco belch!

Victor Vega

Taco USA
View In iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Regional & Ethnic
  • Published: Apr 10, 2012
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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