Five Tex-Mex Food Specialties That Should Go Nationwide--Or At Least to California
3. Edible Flour Tortillas
|A Real Burrit-O in all its glory--look at that flour tortilla|
There's some guy who always asks why we don't review flour tortillas in our Tortilla Tuesday column, and the answer is simple: California's flour tortillas are uniformly vile, cardboard imposters that are victims to the GRUMA cartel. That's not the case in Texas, where flour and corn are equals on the Mexican breakfast table, with the flour versions upstaging their corn cousins in artistry: as small as the palm of your hand, or as long as a forearm; buttery, crispy, thin, thick, all of it. Unfortunately, the United States has sided with California for its flour tortillas (with the exceptions of Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado) instead of Texas on this one.
2. Puffy Tacos
This is Tex-Mex personified, at its most excessive and wonderful: crunchy and greasy and cheesy and gargantuan. They're like eating into a fried cloud, with a torrent of juices coming from the oil and carne guisada that traditionally comes with it. We Californians are lucky--the first family of the puffy taco, the Lopezes (the people behind the legendary rivals Henry's Puffy Taco and Ray's Drive-In--don't ask why they're at war), have a branch at Arturo Puffy Taco in Whittier. But the rest of the country must suffer, with only the occasional expat or usurper placing them on their menus, to the roar of the Texans and the bewilderment of everyone else.
1. Breakfast Tacos
|Torchy's Libertarian taco: chicken-fried sausage, grilled peppers-onions-jalapeños, green chile queso, pico de gallo, jack & cheddar & AWESOME|
Nothing exemplifies better the unreachable divide between Texas and California more than what we eat for breakfast: tacos, or burritos. Californians: those crazy Texans enjoy their Mexican breakfast best with tacos. Made from flour tortillas. And they're small. And they're wonderful. Texans: us crazy Californians enjoy our Mexican breakfast best with burritos. Made from flour tortillas that are huge. And they're wonderful. But whenever I tell my Tejano friends about breakfast burritos, they laugh. Loudly. And when I tell my Cali friends about breakfast tacos, they laugh. Loudly. We can learn from each other, folks--hell, the both of us shared college-baseball coaching legend Augie Garrido.