Mexican Food | Texas Public Radio

Mexican Food

Courtesy of Texas Tech University Press

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.

Adán Medrano, courtesy of Texas Tech University Press

San Antonio native and chef Adán Medrano is author of “Don’t Count the Tortillas: The Art of Texas Mexican Cooking” (June 25, 2019, Texas Tech University Press).

The recipes in his book draw on authentic Mexican ingredients that make an emotional connection with him. It’s what he calls Texas Mexican cuisine.

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio; UTSA Libraries Special Collections

One of the largest collections of Mexican cookbooks in the nation recently received a donation of archives, letters, and rare Mexican cookbooks from a doyenne of traditional Mexican cuisine.

Courtney Campbell/University of Texas at San Antonio

Rebel Mariposa is an indigenous woman who is chef and owner of La Botánica, a vegan restaurant in San Antonio that embodies indigenous traditions from the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and New Mexico. She helped design the menu for a benefit gala to benefit American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions, a nonprofit that works to preserve the indigenous traditions of the peoples of South Texas.

As a kid, Enrique Olvera spent hours in his grandmother's bakery in Mexico City. He loved watching everyday ingredients like flour, sugar and eggs fuse into something entirely different.

For Olvera, even the simple act of baking a cake felt like magic.

He absorbed every detail as his grandmother gently coaxed masa into handmade tortillas. On Sundays, he joined his father in the kitchen, chopping onions and tomatoes for breakfasts of scrambled eggs and dry beef.

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

On Fronteras:

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  • The University of Texas at San Antonio library has recently featured cookbooks created by housekeeping staff. Here’s why (14:21).

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

When we sit down to a plate of enchiladas or fideo, we often don’t take note of the history behind what’s on that plate. But the University of Texas at San Antonio does.

The UTSA Libraries Special Collections has incorporated a Mexican cookbook collection of over 1,500 books, including one dating back to 1789. A recent addition to that collection shares recipes from one of the invisible, but ever-present groups of workers at the university.