Some of you my know from my old posts that I was born and raised in East LA and have memories of home cooking (actually neighbor cooking as we were dust bowl Okie Gringos and the neighbors taught my Mom how to cook). Thinking about those times in the 50s I have developed a thirst for knowledge concerning the history of northern Mexican cooking. Northern would be Baja, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Predominantly poor people there but some of the best traditional dishes.. Mexico's version of Provencal food perhaps.
As an aside ---
I was in Houston some years ago and went to dinner with my Boss at a Mexican restaurant. Unsure of the names and description of some of the dishes I ordered a Chili Relleno dinner plate feeling sure it would be a comfortable dining experience. When I cut into my first chilli I was shocked to find it stuffed with ground meat. I leaned back and said, "well this is different.. Ive never had meat in a chili relleno before". My boss grinned and said proudly, "Tex-mex."
So this is why I didn't include any of the states along the Texas Border (North of Big Bend cooking in not influenced by anything except dust). South along the Rio Grand their cuisine is obviously a Mexican/gringo mix they are proud of
End aside ----
As for the states mentioned I find Sonoran foods to be the most eclectic. They, like Baja have a strong sea-food influence but seem most grounded in Corn dishes (Tamale, tortilla, etc) and vegetables out of the river basins. Meat is predominately chicken. Sonoran food also picks up a lot of the hotter chili dishes and goat from Chihuahua (don't you just love that name? cheee wa wa). Chihuahua has a ton of different chillies, lots of vegetables and beans along the rio grand and the meat is predominantly chicken with goat and beef... and cheese from the dairy along the river too.
So I am just blabbing here. I really would like to have more authentic northern Mexican receipts with maybe some specific geography and history. To me "authentic" means traditional family food and something you will probably not find in a Mexican restaurants north of the border.
Any takers? Any books?