Grace Acello

Inauthentically Authentic

Authentic ethnic food has been on the rise in the United States; However, there are many different opinions about popular ethnic foods.

When it comes to authentic ethnic food in the United States, many restaurants have altered the way that these foods were originally made. Some of these places are fast food chains, where others are sit down restaurants. For example, Taco Bell and Chipotle serve different levels of authentic Mexican food. Chipotle has many different options when it comes to their menu.

“[Chipotle] is considered real food with Mexican spices,” team director at Chipotle, Drew Kriese said. “We grow all of our food fresh.”

On the other hand, sophomore Katherine Teran and her family have been cooking their own authentic ethnic recipes for many generations. Teran helps her family cook in the kitchen and they prefer their home cooked meals over the food served at restaurants such as Chipotle.

“All of our generations have cooked authentic [ethnic] food,” Teran said. “Everyone was born in Mexico, so they grew up cooking their own recipes.”

Some people enjoy foods from places such as Chipotle more than they enjoy homemade meals. Chipotle has set many goals for themselves and have reached a lot of them, but they always want room for improvement.

“One of the goals [for Chipotle] was to have food with integrity, meaning we only serve the best ingredients,” Kriese said. “Our food begins with things like responsibly raised meat and dairy, non-GMO ingredients and produce from local farmers. [It] ends with any preservatives, artificial flavors and artificial colors. So, I absolutely agree [that] we have hit [some of our] goals.”

Chipotle has many different meal options and cook a lot of their dishes in many different ways, much like authentic ethnic food.

Some people may not know that there are many ways that authentic dishes are cooked. Different places have different ways to cook their food. Teran’s parents come from two different places in Mexico; they each have their own ways of cooking the same dishes. 

“When you have generations that have cooked before you, I feel like everyone always has their own twist on food,” Teran said. “There are many different types of the same dish.”

Teran and her family cook their own authentic food and tend to stick to their own types of dishes. Teran can still enjoy other types of Mexican food, but she will opt for her own dishes more often.

“Chipotle is decent, but I still prefer our own authentic food,” Teran said. 

Some restaurants in the United States do in fact serve authentic ethnic food. Not all places have changed the way food had been originally made. There are many restaurants that have homemade and original recipes. According to Popular Ethnic Foods in the United States: A Historical and Safety Perspective, the number of people who enjoy ethnic food have increased; authentic restaurants have become mainstream in the United States.

Although not everyone knows someone, such as a family member or a friend, who can cook authentic food, there are still options for people who are looking to try it, such as finding a restaurant nearby that has original recipes. There is also the option of cooking recipes from scratch.

There are many recipes online that are easy to make and are original. Trying new foods can be fun and create a new favorite dish for many.

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