Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lesson 11

Idiom: (check into) investigate. I found a great article about Mexican food history. Have you ever checked into Mexian food history? I found a great article. Let's use it for some pronunciation practice and vocabulary expansion work. The Rich, Varied Culture of Mexican Food History (the article is reprinted below under Error Correction)

Oxford: page 11 Meat, Poultry, and Seafood (actually just poultry and seafood)

Homework Review:

Azar: pages 6-7 Chart 1-5 Summary of Verb Tenses (with time line representations)

Flatmates: Episode 11 Phoning the Landlord

Words in the News: Young Brittons Shy Away from Learning Languages Make sure to review the vocabulary below the article, before reading and/or listening to the article.

Error Correction: Error Correction: Focus on correct pronunciation, language patterns and stress patterns (Call instructor if no specific assignment given in class.)
No doubt, about it, Mexican food is one of the most popular foods in the United States. Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas are just some of the fare that grace many an American table. Mexican recipes are spicy, colorful, and full of flavor. However, what may seem to be quintessential Mexican is not always the case. A little Mexican food history will reveal that things are not always, as they seem.

While it is believed that Mexican food has strong roots in the ancient Mayan culture, it was the Spanish invasion of Mexico in 1521 that most strongly influenced the dishes. The Spanish explorer Cortez and his followers brought with them new types of livestock like pigs, cows, and sheep. They also brought dairy products and various herbs and spices like garlic.

While Cortez introduced many new foods to Mexico, he was also, in turn, introduced to some new foods. Peanuts, chocolate, vanilla, beans, avocados, coconuts, tomatoes, corn, and squash were among the “new” foods that Cortez encountered. It was a well-balanced trade of regional delicacies and palate pleasing foods.

Mexican food history is an interesting mixture of cultures. Many of the Mexican foods that are so-called “traditional” are actually rooted in other cultures in addition to the Mexican culture.

Take quesadillas as an example. This mainstay of Mexican families is often considered to be quintessential Mexican, but in actuality, it takes its components from other cultures. The corn tortilla, the foundation for the quesadilla, is actually a Native American creation.

The cheese, pork, beef, and lettuce that grace so many of our favorite Mexican dishes, including the quesadilla, are Spanish. The hot sauce that is made from chili pepper, though, is indigenous to Mexico. However, it is a little known Mexican food history fact that many of the spices thought to be Mexican are actually Spanish in origin. Black pepper, cinnamon, coriander and oregano are several spices that are often used in Mexican cooking but are not native to the country.

In addition to the Mayans, Native Americans and Spanish influencing Mexican food, the French also left their mark. When Mexico was briefly under French occupation in the 1860’s, popular dishes such as chiles en nogado, a dish of stuffed chilies in walnut sauce, was a result. These dishes sport a distinct French flair, but have become a standard part of Mexican culture.

One of the most popular adaptations of Mexican food and an integral part of Mexican food history is the influence from the Southwest United States, namely southern Texas. This style of Mexican food, dubbed “Tex-Mex” has become a favorite of people all over the world. North meets south in this cultural combination of northern Mexico and Southwestern Texas. In many restaurants today, it is more Tex-Mex than authentic Mexican food that is being served.
When exploring Mexican food history, it is important to keep in mind the many, varied cultures that brought about these popular, delicious dishes. As the various countries and cultures melded to create such culinary delights, popularity has soared the world over. Moreover, it just keeps getting better and better.

English Baby: Corporate Stores

Remember if you have questions about the homework contact a classmate or contact me at or by mobile (442)332-3625. See you in class soon! :)

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