The current issue of Gastronomica features an interesting essay about tacos (“Was the Taco Invented in Southern California?”). Having read this essay we’ve been curious about Mexican food and it’s origins and with Cinco de Mayo being held under fire for promoting drinking more than it does patriotism, we’re wondering if some of the Mexican food we love should also be given more scrutiny.
Born and raised in California it’s hard to imagine life without salsa, tortillas and pinto beans. It’s also hard to imagine being anything but an absolute authority about Mexican food and its authenticity. How many times have we cried, “That’s not real Mexican food!” or “Man, the carnitas at [insert favorite taqueria here] is the real deal.”
But the truth is, we don’t have a clue what authentic Mexican food is, being, well, Californian. But we do have a better idea than most. We know that the tacos at Taqueria San Francisco are a far cry from the tacos at Taco Bell and that even though we love the corn mash at Chevy’s, El Farolito probably knows a little more about tortas and carne asada. Actually, more than a little, they know a heck of a lot more.
Nonetheless, all of this talk about authenticity has left us a bit insecure about our recommendations so rather than try to recommend the best taqueria or most authentic Mexican food experience in San Francisco in honor on Cinco de Mayo, we trust everyone will eat what makes them happy, authentic or not.
Photo: By xamesm