In this post on the Manhattan board, http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
Woodside Al explains that most of the authentic Mexican food in California was brought from immigrants from nearby Northern Mexico, whereas the Mexican cuisine in New York City is brought by Mexicans from the Puebla area. He also describes the phenomenon of "Cal Mex" cuisine and the Mission style burrito.
I've not embraced the Mexican food in the Twin Cities as much I expected, not because I dispute its authenticity, but because it's not the same as I'm used to. I just haven't been able to put my finger on exactly why. When I pop into some of those little shops along Lake Street in Minneapolis or into El Burrito Mercado in St. Paul, it's clear to me that these places are indeed authentic and that they are being run by and for recent Mexican immigrants.
I've been wondering if I've simply become accustomed to "Cal-Mex" cuisine or if I'm used to cuisine from a different region of Mexico. (Likely both, I imagine.) Clearly, Mexico is a huge country with a varied landscape --and a varied immigration history--and is going to have regional variations in its cuisine as a result. Also, I imagine availability of certain ingredients in California vs. Minnesota might play into it for me.
Does anyone know from which part of Mexico most of the authentic Mexican cuisine we see in the Twin Cities derives? Does anyone know of a little Mexican restaurant in the Twin Cities that specializes in foods from the Northern, West Coast part of Mexico? If so, I'd love to go there and test out my theory... I'm not trying to be one of those people who prattles on about the food not being "the same" as where I come from--sameness is not necessarily a value in chowhounding. Really, I'm just on my continuous quest to educate my palate and understand what's going on with the food I'm eating.
As always, thank you for sharing your thoughts.