"Authentic" Mexican? What does it really mean?
"Authentic: of undisputed origin; genuine" as defined by Google.
Mexican food has been through major transformations here in the United States. As a Mexican National, culture shock within the food marketed as "Mexican" was a definite and as a 10 year old there was an image of what meals looked like in Mexico City from street foods, street-style tacos and the usual stews served with rice and/or beans. Amongst all of this, there was one thing that truly connected ALL meals: Corn Tortillas.
Flour wasn't a common thing, but it definitely was consumed seldom as a tortilla, and many live like this in Mexico since 37% of the population lives in a metropolitan area in Mexico.
US-Mex VS. Traditional Mexican
Tex-Mex, Cal-Mex, Arizona-Mex and New-Mex are the types of food that have been transformed by the American culture. Things such as smothered burritos, chips and salsa, chimichangas, nachos, yellow cheese on top of everything, ocean of runny beans and "spanish" rice are ALL an entire different cuisine than that of Mexico since it's not consumed very commonly there. The only recognizable thing in most of these dishes and snacks would be a tortilla, but even then, flour, as mentioned above, isn't as common as corn in Mexico for tortillas.
Aztec Roots and Corn
Corn is an amazing plant/seed that was created by the Aztec (thus the nickname People Of Corn) and was even revered as a plant that came from the gods. Not only did they survive with it, but they thrived and became an empire as large as almost 1 mil people, all using corn, all surviving off of it.
Nixtamalización (Neesh-tah-mah-lee-sah-seeon) which is not only important for taste, but for corn hygiene creates and enhances the experience when consuming it in Tlaxcalli (tortilla), esquites, elotes and all types of stews that come with it.
Mexican Food and Its Marketing
We believe Mexican food and its marketing should be a culturally responsible process and before anyone just plasters "Mexican Grill" "Authentic Mexican" "Best Mexican Food" or any of those connotations, there should be research, purpose and accurate information given to the consumer.
There's no doubt Mexican food of all types is delicious and there's no doubt that the experience when someone walks in could be enhanced with the right information given when communicating the product/s to our dear patrons.