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Old April 03, 2009, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomisimo View Post
The definitions of enchiladas and burritos are extremely different in the US as compared to in Mexico.

Enchilada (US) - a smallish (8'' diameter) wheat flour tortilla rolled up with a filling (cheese, chicken etc), doused in red chili sauce. (usually)
I dunno what revolting Mexican-food-defiling area you live in in the U.S., but here in Texas, enchiladas are in CORN tortillas, which are fried slightly before rolling the meat (or cheese) into them, just like in Mexico. I've only seen flour tortilla "enchiladas" served by hillbillies who have never actually seen a Mexican, let alone Mexican food. They are usually soggy, gross and definitely not enchiladas. We don't roll that way in Texas. If you asked for enchiladas in a restaurant in Houston and you got some 8" flour tortilla thing, you'd toss it back at the waiter and ask to have the real Mexicans (which we have) to make it!

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Enchilada (Mex) - a small (4'' diameter) corn flour tortilla, toasted on a grill and covered with chili sauce, cheese, lettuce etc, served open-face; OR the same corn tortilla, dipped in chili sauce and served folded in half and topped with ground white cheese.
No offense, but I dunno what the heck you're describing here. I've never seen either, ever, in Mexico or Texas. An open-faced tortilla with items on top is NOT an enchilada by any Mexican definition that I've heard of. It might possibly be a 'gordita' or a 'chalupa' but is certainly not an enchilada. The second thing you describe just sounds vile. A tortilla made soggy by dipping it in sauce? Perhaps they serve that somewhere, but Mexicans don't call that an enchilada (and I also never saw that served anywhere, including in the home of a Mexican).

I took a cooking class from a Mexican native in Cuernavaca, with whom we lived for 6 weeks. These are enchladas: Enchiladas begin with heating up hot oil in am iron skillet or on a griddle (vegetable cooking oil), then once it is hot, you quickly drop the CORN tortilla onto it and fry it on each side for a very short few seconds so that it's not crispy, but not so soft that it falls apart, but still soft enough to roll. Then while it is still hot, you roll up your meat (or cheese, but never both) into it into a fairly tight roll and lay it in a baking pan, close together with the other enchiladas. Once your pan is full of enchiladas, you pour your salsa over it (could be red salsa, green salsa or a type of chili-like sauce, or even mole sauce), and then bake it in the oven with whole sliced or shredded white (Mexican) cheese on top of the whole thing (omit cheese if using mole). This can be served in much smaller format on a plate, as it is done in most Mexican restaurants here in Texas and even Mexico.

The enchiladas I'm describing were also seen (and eaten) at restaurants in central Mexico, including the famous Las Mañanitas in Cuernavaca and a very common hotel restaurant near the Zocalo of Mexico City. You can also get them at any Mexican restaurant in Houston, Texas, San Antonio, Texas or even Austin, Dallas or any border town in Texas. You are taking a risk if you try a rural town or if the staff of the restaurant doesn't speak any Spanish. But, that being said even "Gringo's Tex-Mex Kitchen" in Houston serves enchiladas exactly as I described.

I have no idea what the odd things are that you're describing above, either the Mexican or the U.S. item you described. The U.S. enchilada you describe sounds revolting, like some school cafeteria conconction or something you'd get at a "Mexican" restaurant in Arkansas or perhaps New York. I actually did eat some "Mexican" food in Indiana once and it was fairly bland and disgusting. In Texas, we do it right So... if you don't want to go to Mexico, but want some good Enchiladas, I can give you a list of restaurants in Houston to try (note: don't go to Pappasitos, no matter how much the morons at the airport tell you to, it's a tourist/gringo restaurant).

Quote:
Burrito (US) - large wheat flour tortilla (10"-12" diameter) filled with a variety of fillings (beans, cheese, rice etc).
I'd make one adjustment here... a Burrito in the U.S. can be anything from about an 8" tortilla up to a massive tortilla (18" or bigger in some specialty places), and ingredients can be just about anything, but typically meat is the main ingredient, followed by beans, rice, shredded cheese, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole and salsa. There is debate about where the burrito was invented, but most point to either northern Mexico, near the Texas border, or, in fact, South Texas, near the Mexican border. Later, the "massive" burritos you may find in many Texas and California restaurants are credited with California. I like to say that Texas invented the burrito and California made it huge, but we all love them

Also, as you say, in most parts of Mexico, a burrito isn't a genuine local food. On the other hand, most of northern Mexico has them, perhaps for American tourists or perhaps because indeed they originate from northern Mexico... Maybe someone will research that.

Quote:
Burrito/Burro (Mex) - Non-existent in most areas. In some areas it is synonomous with "taco".'
True... There are no 'burritos' in central Mexico, other than perhaps on a tourist menu.

Quote:
Taco
Quote:
(US) - a taco shell (hard, corn-based-- resembles a fried tortilla folded in half and open about an inch) filled with ground beef, cheese, lettuce etc.
True... and we love our American Tacos! We also do make "soft tacos" (which we actually call 'soft tacos'), out of soft corn or (usually) flour tortillas. Witness Taco Bell 'soft taco' This is commonly available in U.S. "Mexican" restaurants. (as a side note, most "Mexican" restaurants in the United States are Tex-Mex.... a mixture of Texas/American food with Mexican food, though ironically, there are many genuine Mexican restaurants in Texas).

Quote:
Taco
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(Mex) - a soft corn flour tortilla, open-face, rolled up, or folded over, with any of about 3,000 possible fillings. "Taco/taquito dorado" is a rolled up, deep fried corn tortilla, with many possible fillings.
True. Annoyingly, Mexicans use the word 'taco' to describe a bazillion different combinations of food. This is frustrating. You have no idea what you're asking for! I will say, though, that I never saw anyone call anything a taco that wasn't rolled. Folded, and filled with cheese, then fried, they call a quesadilla (nothing like an American quesadilla, which is two tortillas with meat and/or meat+cheese cooked inbetween it on a grill). I loooooooove me some Mexican tacos, though. They rarely put more than one main ingredient into them. They have potato tacos (GREAT!), chicken tacos (the best), etc. Sometimes the meat may be marinated in a sauce or something, but usually a taco (in my experience) contains only one main ingredient. Unlike American tacos, which contain meat, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, etc.

I love Mexican food, can you tell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
The description I read made it sound like 'totopos', at least the authentic ones, were thicker and dryer than what we normally call tortilla chips. But it was hard to tell for sure.
Yes. I ate totopos (several times) purchased from local tiendas in Mexico and they are thick and dry. Not nearly what I had hoped for. We brought a jar of Texas-made salsa with us as a gift to our Mexican family and wanted to serve it as we would eat it... with tortilla chips. Good luck finding them. They don't have them in Mexico unless you do it yourself by cutting up thin corn tortillas and frying them.

Last edited by Rusty; April 03, 2009 at 07:29 PM.
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  #42  
Old April 03, 2009, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ZeroTX View Post
Yes. I ate totopos (several times) purchased from local tiendas in Mexico and they are thick and dry. Not nearly what I had hoped for. We brought a jar of Texas-made salsa with us as a gift to our Mexican family and wanted to serve it as we would eat it... with tortilla chips. Good luck finding them. They don't have them in Mexico unless you do it yourself by cutting up thin corn tortillas and frying them.
I can see that in the U.S.A there are a lot of business where sell Mexican food, I don't know really if the food is original or made for Mexican hands, but I can tell you that you need really to try the Mexican food it's taste can't be comparison with other food of other places, although I know that there are food of other countries very delicious and unit in own taste.
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  #43  
Old April 06, 2009, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CrOtALiTo View Post
I can see that in the U.S.A there are a lot of business where sell Mexican food, I don't know really if the food is original or made for Mexican hands, but I can tell you that you need really to try the Mexican food it's taste can't be comparison with other food of other places, although I know that there are food of other countries very delicious and unit in own taste.
I stayed in Mexico for 6 weeks living in the home of a Mexican. I ate Mexican food I really love tacos (todos tipos), sopa de chile pablano, enchiladas, etc. Pues, recuerda que vivo en Texas y entonces sí, hay muchos méxicanos aqui. Pero, depende en el restaurante si es comida méxicana autentica o no. Sí hay unos restaurantes autenticos y unos que no son. I think the further away from the border you get, the less authentic they become. However, Mexican immigrants are now all over the U.S., so perhaps this will change.

-Michael
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  #44  
Old April 06, 2009, 09:52 PM
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Yes. I didn't know that you live in Texas close of the border with Mexico.

If you lived before in Mexico, therefore you know about the Mole.
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Old April 08, 2009, 12:40 PM
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Many years ago the only Mexican food you could find in the states that were not border states would be Tex-Mex food. This caused probably the birth of burritos, chimichangas and the ever popular torta (which is different than tortas from Mexico). Changes to the recipe had to be made because of not having the appropriate ingredients and having to substitute one thing for another. BUT it was still delicious.

Nowadays with all the migration of peoples from Mexico you can now find Mexican food that is pretty decent no matter where you live. In the area that I live, we have restaurants that serve Mexican food from Chihuahua, Jalisco, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Guanajuato, D.F. and many other states. Each restaurant has their own idea as to what a tamal should be filled with or what it should be wrapped with but they are still tamales. So if one is wrapped in banana leaves, is it no longer a tamal? Or if "la masa" is made with plantains, is it no longer a tamal?

Think about it........
a Gyro looks like a taco
stuffed mostaccioli is like an enchilada
a pasty is an empanada
etc, etc

I think if you have a tortilla and you put meat or beans or potatoes or whatever in it, you have a taco!

The thing is to take a basic concept and develop it into whatever you want.

My
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  #46  
Old April 08, 2009, 01:47 PM
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What's chimichanga. I don't know anything about that dish.
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Old April 08, 2009, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Elaina View Post
The thing is to take a basic concept and develop it into whatever you want.
My
That just reminded me of one of my favorite dishes at a particular resturante. One day we went there, and I saw they offered fish tacos. Now, I had heard of that before, but it's more popular on the west coast. Fish isn't as big here in Ohio, since there's no coast (saltwater) for fresh fish to be available.

Anyway, it sounded different, and I'm very adventurous with my food, so I tried them. They were awsome. Fried fish, nice and crispy outside, tender inside. Corn salsa. Lemon-mayonase sauce. Soft-taco shell. Mmmm.
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Old April 08, 2009, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrOtALiTo View Post
What's a chimichanga? I don't know anything about that dish.
A chimichanga is usually a large burrito, filled with different meats and beans. This burrito is then fried in fat until the shell is crispy. Then they usually throw lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream on the top.
Here's a picture.
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  #49  
Old April 08, 2009, 02:34 PM
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I got it.

Now I know what's a chimichanga, therebefore I will tell to my wife that she does that dish in our house.
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Old April 08, 2009, 03:00 PM
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That just reminded me of one of my favorite dishes at a particular resturante. One day we went there, and I saw they offered fish tacos. Now, I had heard of that before, but it's more popular on the west coast. Fish isn't as big here in Ohio, since there's no coast (saltwater) for fresh fish to be available.


Anyway, it sounded different, and I'm very adventurous with my food, so I tried them. They were awsome. Fried fish, nice and crispy outside, tender inside. Corn salsa. Lemon-mayonase sauce. Soft-taco shell. Mmmm.

Yes! I think they were first made in California. We have a restaurant here that uses Tilapia and a beer batter. They use a black bean salsa which is delicious! This was a "retro" american restaurant and they were delicious. Then we tried them at a "for real" mexican restaurant and they were close to awful. Probably because there are no fish tacos in Mexico. Maybe now in the tourist areas, don't know.
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