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U.S. culture: Learn about Tex-Mex food in the US!

What are some typical dishes from your country?

The US has influences from all over the world. This often leads to incredible combinations of food, such as Tex-Mex.

This type of cuisine originated in Texas (in the south of the US) and combines Mexican and American ingredients. But what is it exactly?

In this short video lesson on US culture, you’ll find out about Tex-Mex food.

You’ll also learn some useful words for talking about this topic. After watching the video, try our little quiz below to see how much you can remember.

Happy learning!

Level: Pre-Intermediate to Upper Intermediate (A2-B2)
Video: YES!

Vocabulary

Here are some useful words that appear in the video.

Indigenous people

“Indigenous people” are the people from a country who have always lived there – they didn’t arrive from other countries.

Dairy products

“Dairy products” are milk products such as cheese, butter, yoghurt…

Yellow cheese

“Yellow cheese” is a white, yellow or orange cheese that can range from mild to strong. Examples include cheddar cheese.

Guacamole

“Guacamole” is a Mexican dish that consists of avocado (a green vegetable with a hard, round stone in the middle) mixed with onion, salt, pepper, tomato and lime juice.

A recipe

A “recipe” is a list of ingredients with instructions on how to prepare a type of food.

Clam Chowder

“Clam chowder” is a soup made from clams (sea creatures with hard shells), potatoes, onions, milk and cream.

Diverse

Something “diverse” has many different things in it. A “diverse” country, for example, has people from different parts of the world.

Ingredients

In cooking, the “ingredients” for a dish is a list of the food you need to make the dish.

Tortilla

A piece of thin, flat bread that is made from corn and eggs.

Tacos

“Tacos” are tortillas filled with meat and sometimes vegetables such as onions and tomatoes.

Hard-shell

A “hard-shell” taco is crispy not soft.

Quesadillas

“Quesadillas” are tortillas with cheese and some vegetables.

Grill

If you “grill” meat you cook it quickly over a very high heat.

Buffalo wings

“Buffalo wings” are chicken wings in a spicy sauce. They’re often served with a blue cheese dressing (sauce).

Fall

“Fall” is the US English word for autumn: the months of September, October and November.

Chili con carne

“Chili con carne” is a dish made with meat, tomato and chili. It is often served with rice.

Pie

A “pie” is a dish that consists of meat, vegetables or fruit (such as apples or pumpkin) inside pastry (a mixture of flour, water and butter).

Video quiz 

You’re going to watch a video with someone talking about summer jobs in the US. Watch it once and complete the sentences with the correct words. [answers below]

  1. Which countries, regions or people have influenced Mexican food? Name 2.
  2. What are some of the most common Mexican dishes? Name 1 thing.
  3. What dishes from America’s northeast does the speaker mention? Name 1 thing.
  4. Where is Tex-Mex food originally from?
  5. What are some common ingredients used in Tex-Mex food? Name 2 things.

Speaking

Now talk about this topic with a friend or classmate. Make notes and try to use as much of the new language as you can.

Video script

Mexican and American Food (including Tex-Mex)
Hello, my name is Victoria, and I will be talking about the differences between Mexican Food and American food.
Mexican food
Mexican food has most of its influence from the indigenous people from Mexico. It is also true that there is a lot of Spanish influence as well. For example, the dairy products used in Mexican food are part of the influence that came from Europe.
Mexican ingredients
The spices (which are very characteristic in Mexican cuisine) have West African influences as well as Asian. Mexican food uses coriander (cilantro), cacao, oregano and white corn. Yellow cheese is never used. Hard shell tacos are not common at all.
Mexican dishes
The most common Mexican dishes include tacos, guacamole, and quesadillas.
American Food
Some food that originated in the US include the cheeseburger, Buffalo wings, and many recipes for pizza. However, since the US is a very diverse country, there are many foods that could be considered typical depending on the community that you visit. In the northeast, for example, I have noticed that the clam chowder is very common, as well as the apple pie and pumpkin pie (especially during the fall and winter months).
Tex-Mex food
Tex-Mex food originated in Texas. This food combines Mexican, Spanish, and American ingredients.
Tex-Mex dishes
Fajitas and chili con carne are Tex-Mex; they were created here in the United States, not in Mexico.
Tex-Mex ingredients
Some common ingredients include yellow cheese, flour tortillas, yellow corn, onion, hard shells for the tacos, cumin and paprika.
My favorite Tex Mex dish
When I first arrived in the US, I was very curious about trying Tex-Mex food, and today, I can say that my favorite dish is fajitas.
What are Fajitas?
Fajitas are grilled pieces of meat on a flour tortilla. Sometimes a corn tortilla is used as well. It is also common to add stripped peppers and onions to the tortilla.
Thank you.

Answers

Video quiz

Learn Hot English Magazines

  1. Which countries, regions or people have influenced Mexican food? Name 2. = Indigenous people from Mexico, Spain, West Africa, Asia
  2. What are some of the most common Mexican dishes? Name 1. = Tacos, guacamole, quesadillas
  3. What dishes from America’s northeast does the speaker mention? Name 1. = Clam chowder, pumpkin pie, apple pie
  4. Where is Tex-Mex food originally from? = Tex-Mex food is originally from Texas in the US
  5. What are some common ingredients used in Tex-Mex food? Name 2 things. = Yellow cheese, hard shells for the tacos, flour tortillas, yellow corn, onion, cumin, paprika, etc.

 

 

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