Plus tacos, tostadas, empanadas, tortilla chips, salsa, chile rellenos and all foods “Tex-Mex.” These are not the foods you’ll necessarily eat in Mexico or in other Latin American countries but, like those fortune cookies, are very much a hybrid, and highly popular, American creation.
I admit that these five foods are not, in their original versions, the healthiest. There have been efforts to make them more healthy — by taking MSG out of Chinese food, lowering sodium and fats, using different cooking oils and revising recipes to suit different diets, whether you are vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free, or if you eat halal or kosher.
A recent New York Times article mentions these quintessentially multi-ethnic variations on Mexican food: enchiladas suizas or “Swiss enchiladas,” with a dousing of béchamel sauce, and teriyaki rice bowls, an “inflammatory Japanese-Hawaiian-Cal-Mex mashup of short-grain rice, teriyaki meat, scallions and Tapatío hot sauce.”
Move over, metaphors of the “melting pot” and “salad bowl”: What says “American” better than a Korean taco, “stuffed with bulgogi and kimchi” and served up at the likes of TGI Friday?
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