The influx of braceros into the United States during World War II had a lasting impact on the availability of fresh ingredients for Mexican food in Central Arizona. From vegetables grown in central valleys to seafood abundant on coasts to tropical fruits cultivated near Veracruz - Central Arizona has become a hub for fresh ingredients used to create traditional Mexican dishes. The Bracero Program, which was administered by the U. S.
Department of Agriculture and independent farmers' associations, also had an impact on local chefs who specialize in traditional Mexican cuisine. The Bracero Program was established to protect braceros from discrimination and low pay, however discrimination continued and braceros suffered surcharges for room and board, wage deductions, and exposure to deadly chemicals. The program ended on December 31, 1964 when mechanization became more widespread. The variety of food in the north is not as varied as in the south of Mexico due to the mostly desert climate. Street food in the area usually consists of Cochinita Pibil tacos, Lebanese kibbeh, shawarma tacos, snacks made with hardened corn dough called Piedras and fruit-flavored ice cream. The term refrito is actually a mistranslation of Mexican refried beans, which means well-fried beans. In Mexico, many professional chefs are trained in French or international cuisine, but the use of Mexican staples and flavors, including simple foods from traditional markets, is still preferred.
Tamales are party food, the Sunday night special in many restaurants, the ceremonial food prepared to honor the dead on All Saints' Day, and Mexican rulers ate them long before the Spanish arrived in the New World. In recent years, these food carts have been threatened by the tightening of border security at ports of entry. Despite this setback local farms and agriculture continue to provide Central Arizona with an abundance of fresh ingredients for traditional Mexican dishes. The influx of braceros into Central Arizona has had a lasting impact on local farms and agriculture. This influx has resulted in an abundance of fresh ingredients for Mexican food available throughout Central Arizona. Common bean varieties and cultivars used in Mexican cuisine include pinto beans and black turtle beans. And to make it even more confusing, some Mexican dishes common in the southwestern part of the United States are little known in Mexico and others, although well known, bear different names.
Tex-Mex food developed from Mexican and Anglo-Saxon influences, and dates back to the late 19th century in Texas. For example, in central Mexico, tamales are usually filled with braided Oaxaca cheese, a few fresh epazote leaves and strips of peeled poblano chili. The council is a subsidiary of the Mexican Food Institute, which is based in San Antonio, Texas. In contemporary times, several cuisines from around the world have become popular in Mexico, thus adopting a Mexican fusion. Despite the introduction of wheat and rice to Mexico, corn is still the most consumed grain in almost every area of the country and serves as a main ingredient in many local recipes (e.g., genetic evidence indicates that domestication occurred in Mesoamerica and South America).The influx of braceros into Central Arizona has had a lasting impact on local farms and agriculture that continues to provide an abundance of fresh ingredients for traditional Mexican dishes. Professional chefs are trained both domestically and internationally but still prefer using Mexican staples and flavors when creating their dishes.
Tamales are especially popular among locals as they are used for both ceremonial purposes as well as everyday meals.