So why is it that Milwaukee, famous for its beer, brats and German heritage, has only about three or four German restaurants left, but there's a Mexican restaurant on practically every street corner throughout the city? Despite all of our differences, we Americans are united in our love of Mexican food, an intense passion perhaps only surpassed by our love of Italian pizza (which itself has a Mexican version).
Gustavo Arellano explores this culinary love affair in Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. In it, he investigates the beginnings of the Mexican food invasion, from the late 19th Century "Tamale Men" and "Chili Queens" all the way through to the Taco Bell and Chipotle chains of today. He shows how Mexican food staples combined with American ingenuity have led to all sorts of new tasty creations (Sonoran hot dog, anyone?) Far from a purist, Arellano celebrates these innovations and makes the case that Mexican flavors are an infinite palette for the American palate. Best read with some chips and guac at your side.
Brett @ Central