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Call out the international food peace-keeping forces

29 July 2007

There actually is a “Tex-Mex” restaurant in Colonia Tabacalera, but even they don’t serve burritos or chimichangas. They did have some of those weird hard-shell “tacos” though.

Associated Press

Sunday, July 29, 2007

MEXICO CITY — Worried by the global proliferation of deep fat-fried chimichangas, fajitas, margaritas and fried ice-cream, the Mexican government is recruiting U.S. and Canadian restaurateurs to set the world straight on what is real Mexican food.

So proud is Mexico of its cuisine that the government has lobbied UNESCO to declare Mexican food a “cultural patrimony of humanity.” And the government recently flew in 50 Mexican restaurant owners from the U.S. and Canada to teach them what’s authentic and what’s not.

Officials, however, have their work cut out for them. Mexican food often is misunderstood, from Bahrain to Birmingham, Ala.

For example, the California-based Chevys restaurant chain, which has locations in 15 U.S. states, offers “Classic Fresh Mex Combos” such as chimichangas _ beef or chicken deep-fried in flour tortillas. The El Torito chain, also based in California, offers deep-fried ice cream on its “autentico” menu.

And Taco Bell’s vision of Mexico is something entirely alien south of the border. When the fast-food chain tried to establish a presence in Mexico City in the 1990s, consumers were so perplexed by the “burritos” that a leading newspaper helpfully included a definition.


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