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Fronteras: 'Truly Texas Mexican' — New Film Explores Food, Culture And Feminism

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Truly Texas Mexican delves into the Native American roots of certain cuisines and pays homage to the indigenous women that led the cultural resistance against colonization.
Truly Texas Mexican delves into the Native American roots of certain cuisines and pays homage to the indigenous women that led the cultural resistance against colonization.

Texas Mexican cooking is not Tex-Mex cuisine. Its history traces back thousands of years to the indigenous peoples who lived off the land in South Texas and northern Mexico. Women played a central role in its creation and it was the generations that followed suit who led the cultural resistance against colonization and kept their heritage alive.

“We don't credit the originators,” said Adán Medrano, chef, author and executive producer of Truly Texas Mexican, a new documentary inspired by the cookbook of the same name. “(Women) are the originators and they have been erased from the history. All of the famous chefs and voices that you see on television, they're all men.”

Medrano says women are the engineers behind certain cooking methods, such as roasting, grinding and blending, and the creators of flavor profiles that we enjoy today when we think of traditional Mexican food.

“What our food does is it reminds us that the Mexican side and the Texas side in this region of the country are one,” said Medrano. “They’re one culturally, they’re one culinarily, and they’re one with the families, because families are on both sides, as mine are.”

This message of binational unity is at the center of a new film “Truly Texas Mexican,” which delves into history, heritage, archaeology and feminism.

The film is available to stream in both English and Spanish on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play and YouTube.

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Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter at @terrazas_lauren