Southwestern Food: All You Need To Know

Food in the Southwest - TacosI don’t wanna taco ’bout just any kind of food. I wanna taco ’bout the Southwest flavor and see if you can handle the heat. The southwest states consists of New Mexico, Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. Each of these states have their own specialties and restaurants and offer many restaurants outside of what is considered Southwestern food. When you talk about Southwest food you have a few different styles: Mexican, New-Mexican, & Tex-Mex. Beware that almost all Southwest food uses the chile pepper or jalapeno and can be very hot. Here is a breakdown so you know what style you are eating when you are in the heat of the southwest.

Mexican Style

Most of today’s traditional dishes include staples such as corn, beans, chile pepper, tomatoes, avocados, and onions. Many Mexican restaurants in the southwest offer burritos, quesadillas, tacos, tamales, and tortas (a Mexican sandwich on a white roll). The torta is the newest import and is gaining popularity in the southwest.  Mexican restaurants can be found throughout the country, but have the most density in California and Arizona.

New-Mexican Style

New-Mexican food is a little harder to find outside of New Mexico. The food is very similar to the other styles with some unique differences. Mainly defined with one simple question: Red or Green? Basically do you want red chile or green chile sauce?

Tex-Mex Style

Tex-Mex is a fusion of American Cuisine (Tex) and Mexican Cuisine (Mex). Tex-Mex can be found throughout the country, but remains most popular in Texas. Tex-Mex is often characterized by the use of shredded cheese, use of beef or pork, beans, and tortillas. The most known Tex-Mex dish is the fajita. Where the meat is cooked with onions and peppers and brought out on a hot sizzling skillet and you make your fajita at the table.

When traveling through the southwest on your move or just on your travels, enjoy the heat (and the tacos). Be sure to check out this street taco recipe to enjoy anytime. If you are planning a move to the southwest here are some tips. Enjoy the tacos!

What is your favorite southwestern dish to enjoy? Tell me in the comments!