Why Mexicans Don’t Consider Taco Bell Authentic



Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell, who first opened a hot dog stand called Bell's Drive-In in San Bernardino, California in 1948, when he was 25 years old. Bell watched long lines of customers at a Mexican restaurant across the street called the Mitla Cafe, and it wasn’t long before he began eating there regularly to see if he could reverse-engineer the recipe. He finally won the confidence of the manager, who allowed him to see how the tacos and other foods were prepared. In 1952, he opened his own taco stand under the name Taco-Tia, which would later be renamed Taco Bell. So why don’t Mexicans consider Taco Bell food to be authentic? They say it should be advertised as “inspired by" Mexican food. The ground meat Taco Bell uses is very different from anything you’d find in Mexico, and they use a lot of sour cream, which typically wouldn’t be used in a taco. Taco Bell also uses mild cheddar cheese instead of asadero or añejo, and they use a lot of lettuce instead of the peppers, onions and cilantro that you would find in authentic Mexican food. Taco Bell uses hard corn tortillas, while Mexican cooking generally uses soft corn tortillas. Most of the other things on the Taco Bell menu are either ways of delivering the same ingredients that they otherwise use, or just peculiar “Americanizations." That's why you won't find a single Taco Bell in Mexico.