The Quest for Authenticity in L.A. Mexican Food: A Preliminary Study

By Jhonni Rochelle Charisse Carr.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

While there is no such shortage of data regarding the enumeration of “Mexican concept fast food chains” such as Taco Bell, Del Taco, and Chipotle, there is a definite dearth of data pertaining to the number of “authentic” Mexican restaurants. The present article explores the concept of authenticity from the consumer’s point of view, explaining the challenges in determining an appropriate definition, establishing various commonalities involved in judging for authenticity of Mexican cuisine, and also showing the distinction between authentic food and authentic restaurants. The final concept that is discussed is that of “heavyweights”, or those who are entitled to classify Mexican food or Mexican restaurants as authentic. The majority of examples are derived from, a particularly popular online forum. The goal of this article is to bring us one step closer to creating a universal definition of authenticity in terms of Mexican food and restaurants, and to additionally forward the process of the enumeration of authentic restaurants.

Keywords: Authenticity, Food, Mexican, Restaurants, Assessors

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.45-51. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 203.634KB).

Jhonni Rochelle Charisse Carr

Graduate Student, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA

Jhonni Carr is a first year Ph.D. student at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is studying Hispanic Linguistics and her interests include sociolinguistics, dialectology, languages in contact, phonetics, and food studies.