In the tradition of Bill Buford (Heat) and Calvin Trillin (The Tummy Trilogy), Gustavo Arellano satisfies readers with a fascinating narrative that combines history, cultural criticism, personal anecdotes, and an overwhelming passion for cooking and eating.
When salsa overtook ketchup as this country’s favorite condiment in the 1990s, America’s century-long love affair with Mexican food reached a plateau that it continues to beat every year. Mexican foodstuffs dominate American palates to the tune of billions of dollars in sales per year. Now, Taco USA addresses the all-important questions: What exactly constitutes “Mexican” food in the United States? What’s “authentic,” and what’s “Taco Bell”? What’s so cosmic about a burrito? And why do Americans love Mexican food so darn much? With insight and humor, Arellano looks at the history and politics of all aspects of Mexican food in the United States, from tater tot burritos in South Dakota to long-forgotten pioneers, and investigates the origins and history of these trends, interspersed throughout with personal anecdotes, social commentary, and, of course, vivid descriptions of delicious food.