One Tex-Mex item that may someday rival the pizza as an extraordinarily successful ethnic dish is the fajita...introduced at Ninfa's in Houston on July 13, 1973, as tacos al carbon.
No one knows when or where it acquired the name fajita, which means girdle' or'strip' in Spanish and refers to the skirt steak originally used in the preparation...
By a strange twist of fate, the insult launched a success.
Only in the last decade has refined, regional Mexican food taken a foot-hold in American cities, reflecting not only the tenets of Tex-Mex cookery by the cuisines of Mexico City, the Yucatan, and other regions with long-standing culinary traditions." ---America Eats Out, John Mariani [William Morrow: New York] 1991 (p.
80-1) [1970s] "In the good old days, Texans went to "Mexican restaurants" and ate "Mexican food." Then in 1972, The Cuisines of Mexico, an influential cookbook by food authority Diana Kennedy, drew the line between authentic interior Mexican food and the "mixed plates" we ate at "so-called Mexican restaurants" in the United States.
Linguists remind us words are often used for several years before they appear in print. "Tex-Mex food might be described as native foreign food, contradictory through that term may seem, It is native, for it does not exist elsewhere; it was born on this soil.
Tex Mex restaurants first surfaced ouside the southwest region in cities with large Mexican populations. Diana Kennedy, noted Mexican culinary expert, is credited for elevating this common food to trendy fare. But it is foreign in that its inspiration came from an alien cuisine; that it has never merged into the mainstream of American cooking and remains alive almost solely in the region where it originated..." ---Eating in America, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow: New York] 1976 (p. A combination of the words "Texan" and "Mexican," first printed in 1945, that refers to an adaptation of Mexican dishes by Texas cooks.
In other countries, simliar recipes evolved as doughnuts, funnel cake, and waffles.