The food served in (even the best) Mexican eateries across the United States tends to be quite different from the authentic dishes you’ll find in Mexico. In fact, many dishes commonly believed to be ‘Mexican’ aren’t found in Mexico at all! Keep reading to find out what surprising dishes they don’t actually eat in Mexico.

You Can Get Small Tacos Using Flour Tortillas, But Not Burritos

Chimichangas Are Tex-Mex

Orange Queso Dip

Cheese is a staple ingredient when it comes to Mexican food served in the United States. By contrast, authentic Mexican food tends to use less cheese. And the cheese that is commonly used in Mexico isn’t the orange queso-dip kind of cheese. No such dip exists in Mexico, although they do have queso fondido, which has a much firmer texture and is often sliced rather than eaten as a dip. You’ll often find this cheese eaten in a tortilla rather than with corn chips.


The color and texture of the cheese used in Mexican food can give away whether or not it’s authentic. Anything that contains orange, creamy cheese is generally Americanized.

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Hard Taco Shells Are An American Invention

Hard taco shells, like the kind commonly found at the supermarket sold by brands such as Old El Paso, are an American invention rather than an authentic Mexican one. If you go to Mexico, you'll certainly find an abundance of tacos, but what you won’t find is the hard shell that is commonplace across the United States.

There are flautas and taquitos, which are tortillas that have been deep-fried, but hard tacos as they’re known in the United States don’t exist. Tacos also aren’t typically served with ground beef in Mexico. Instead, they contain beans, salsa, and some form of grilled meat.

Chili Con Carne Originates From Texas

Another Mexican favorite that’s not actually Mexican? Chili con carne, which should be eaten a certain way. Mexican women in Texas are credited with inventing this classic dish which consists of meat, chili peppers, beans, and tomatoes. Although this dish is found at most Mexican joints in the United States, it is not widely eaten in Mexico. The inspiration behind this dish might be Mexican, and the name of it might be Mexican-sounding, but this is definitely a Tex-Mex dish!NEXT: You Can Try But You Won’t Actually Find These Common 'Chinese Foods' In China