About the Talk

What exactly constitutes “Mexican” food in the United States?
How did it get here?
What’s “authentic” and what’s “Taco Bell,” and does it matter?
And why do Americans love Mexican food so much?

Bestselling author Gustavo Arellano answers these questions and more during his talk, pulling from his latest book Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America (Scribner 2012).  Hailed by the New York Times as “the greatest (and only) living scholar of Mexican-American fast food,” Arellano takes the audience on a tasty trip through the history and culture of Mexican food in the United States, uncovering great stories and charting the cuisine’s tremendous popularity in el Norte.

Arellano featured two historic photographs from UTSA Libraries Special Collections in Taco USA, recognizing the role of San Antonio’s “chili queens” and the Gebhardt Mexican Foods Company in the widespread adoption of Mexican cuisine in the US.  The UTSA Libraries maintains one of the largest Mexican Cookbook Collections in the country.