A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Where do socialist birds lay their eggs?"/"In a communest.” (2/23)
“My body is a temple…to Dionysus” (2/23)
“The problem with drinking and driving is that trees defend themselves very well” (2/23)
“The only thing you can believe in the papers is the date” (2/23)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (2/23)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from October 24, 2007
“Native foreign food” (Waverly Root on “Tex-Mex")

Tex-Mex cuisine is often said to be mostly Texas, with very little authentic Mexican foodways. The food author Waverly Root wrote in his book Eating in America (1976) an often-quoted statement about the cuisine: “Tex-Mex food might be described as native foreign food, contradictory though that term may seem.”


Wikipedia: Waverly Root
Waverley Lewis Root (April 15, 1903-October 31, 1982) was an American journalist and writer.

He was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1903. He was the Paris correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and then the Washington Post.

He is possibly best-known for his writings on food including:

The Food of France (1958)
Eating in America: A History (1976) - with Richard De Rochemont
Food, an Authoritative and Visual History and Dictionary of the Foods of the World (1980)

Food Timeline - Mexican and TexMex food history
What is Tex-Mex?
“Tex-Mex food might be described as native foreign food, contradictory through that term may seem, It is native, for it does not exist elsewhere; it was born on this soil. But it is foreign in that its inspiration came from an alien cuisine; that it has never merged into the mainstream of American cooking and remains alive almost solely in the region where it originated...”
-- Eating in America, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow:New York] 1976 (p. 281)

Random House, Inc.
The Tex-Mex Cookbook
A History in Recipes and Photos
Written by Robb Walsh

Category: Cooking - American - Southwestern States
Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
On Sale: June 15, 2004
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-0-7679-1488-8 (0-7679-1488-0)
(...)
In Eating in America: A History (1976), the late Chicago food writer Waverly Root defines Tex-Mex as a unique regional cuisine: “Tex-Mex food might be described as native foreign food, contradictory through that term may seem. It is native, for it does not exist elsewhere; it was born on this soil. But it is foreign in that its inspiration came from an alien cuisine; that it has never merged into the mainstream of American cooking and remains alive almost solely in the region where it originated . . .”

New York Times
A Celebration of Tex-Mex, Without Apology
By JOE DRAPE
Published: October 24, 2007
(...)
Mr. Walsh said the late food writer Waverley Root got it right when he described Tex-Mex as “native foreign food.”

“It is native, for it does not exist elsewhere; it was born on this soil,” Root wrote in “Eating in America: A History” (William Morrow & Co., 1976), with Richard de Rochemont. “But it is foreign in that its inspiration came from an alien cuisine.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, October 24, 2007 • Permalink