We Need To Talk About The Word “Authentic”

Why it’s time to give up on a term that has lost all meaning

The Gringa — an unapologetically-Mexican dish said to have originated from two American girls ordering their Tacos Al Pastor with flour tortillas (since they didn’t like corn tortillas) in the 60s. Locals soon began ordering their tacos “like those of the gringa”.

Both terms [‘authentic’ and ‘traditional’] are non-sensical designations — as if traditions are the same everywhere; as if they don't change; as if culinary ones don’t evolve with particular speed.

Are the tomatoes in Italian food not genuinely from the Americas? The chilies in Thai food, not genuinely Mexican?

According to Antonio Trabulse Kaim of the Mexican-Lebanese Cultural Institute, there are as many as 800,000 Lebanese people and their descendants now living in Mexico.

A rendition of Massaman curry — one of the most well-known Thai curries that is undeniably Muslim in origin.

As the times have changed, so have the traditions and dishes we all know and love; the food we call our own.

Cook and food writer based in Mexico City. Talking food and all its intersections | IG: https://instagram.com/_alexheery

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