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Fronteras: Chef Adán Medrano Redefines 'Texas Mexican' Cooking; Mexican American Studies Camp

Tex-Mex cuisine has a special place in the hearts of Texans, but some may argue it’s not authentic food.Adán Medrano explores the ingredients and cooking techniques brought to the region centuries ago by the indigenous people and what defines ‘Texas Mexican’ cooking.

Then, students at one San Antonio school district expand their current knowledge of Mexican American culture and history.

Credit Dinesh Valke | bit.ly/2RnltDg
Quelite - Amaranthus Spinosus

‘We Were Economically Poor, But Culinarily And Culturally Rich’

Medrano says truly authentic Mexican food has its roots in indigenous traditions. Ingredients like tomatoes, beans, squash and even the occasional stray turkey or rabbit were the common diet centuries ago.

Medrano, a San Antonio native and chef, employs these traditional ingredients to recreate authentic dishes and create innovative new ones. His second cookbook, “Don’t Count the Tortillas: The Art of Texas Mexican Cooking,” reaches deep into Mexican-American ancestry and connects us emotionally with our food.

Fronteras Extra: 'Don't Count The Tortillas,' Don't Fry The Tortillas!

IF YOU GO WHO: Chef Adán Medrano WHAT: Cooking demo, plática and book signing WHERE: Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, 922 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio TX 78212 WHEN: Fri., June 21, 7 to 9 p.m. MORE INFO: Learn about the event here.

Credit Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio
Karime Martinez, Rosie Castro, Diamond Gonzales, Natalie Ornelas. Castro holds a portrait of her sons, Joaquin and Julián, created by the three girls.

Mexican American Studies Camp Expands Students' Appreciation Of Culture, History

Now that an ethnic studies course in Mexican American studies has been approved in Texas public schools, many districts may wonder about the next steps to take. One San Antonio academy already immerses its students in language and culture. It just wrapped up a two-week camp that expands on that tradition for over 100 middle and high school students.

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.

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