With yet another Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, I´d like to pause a moment and reflect upon the definition of American food. American food is as varied as it is hard to define. From beignets to burritos, barbecue to clam chowder, American food is nothing more and nothing less then a hodge podge of flavors, ingredients and culinary traditions from around the world.
Keeping that in mind, take a look at this map showing the pre-1848 war US-Mexican border. Then appreciate how much of America is really not that "American" after all. After the war, basically from one day to the next, a large portion of Mexico became a part of the United States. Which means the food that people ate did the same, it stayed in the same communities but with a different name. The border might have moved but the people didn't. So the next time someone offers you some "good, old fashioned American" food, ask them which kind of tacos they have.
Note: My apologies to those who caught my mispelling of beignets, just thinking about them makes me lose focus....