Everybody Thinks Carne Asada Fries Are From California, But Is That Fact Or Fiction?

Culture

Everybody Thinks Carne Asada Fries Are From California, But Is That Fact Or Fiction?

Eater / Instagram

Ok, so let’s be real. Everybody loves fries. They’re literally the greatest way you can eat potatoes and they happen to come in an endless rainbow of options.

But we all know the clear winner of the perfect vessel for eating fries are carne asada fries. Obviously.

But there’s lot you might know about the bomb dish so we’re here to give you a little master class while sharing pictures of amazing carne asada fries that will have you out the door or on your Uber Eats app in no time.

First off, many people think carne asada fries are specifically from Southern California.

That’s not exactly true. Sure there are several restaurants in San Diego that claim to have invented the magical dish but Mexicans have been putting papas with grilled meats for a looooong time.

But that’s not exactly true. Case in point the taco arrachera:

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You can find this classic taco combination all over Mexico, especially at farmer’s markets called tianguis.

These humble tacos are proof that meats and papas belong together and they’ve been together long before San Diego started claiming asada fries as their own.

Now that we’ve cleared that up let’s get to the actual asada fries.

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Carne asada fries are a local specialty found on the menus of restaurants all across Southern California and now even in Arizona and other states wth large Latino communities. As I mentoned above, restaurants in San Diego claim to have created the dish so it’s especially popular there.

And since we’re keeping things real, carne asada fries (at least not Cali-style ones) aren’t exactly authentic Mexican food – so you won’t typically find them on menus at traditional Mexican restaurants.

The Cali-style asada fries that everyone loves is said to have originated at Lolita’s Taco Shop in San Diego.

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Lolita’s Mexican Food in San Diego claims to have originated the dish in the late 1990s, inspired by a suggestion from their tortilla distributor.

And now you can find them all over Southern California.

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The dish is also served at Petco Park and Dodger Stadium. By 2015, fast food chain Del Taco began to sell the item. It’s safe to say they’re pretty much every where and we couldn’t be more thankful.

But for those people who are totally clueless, what exactly are carne asada fries?

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They’re some of the most tasty fries you’ll ever eat. Plain and simple.

First, they start off with a generous portion of amazing potatoes topped with perfectly grilled meats.

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Typically, the fries are of the shoestring variety, but other cuts may be used, as well. The carne asada is usually finely chopped to avoid the need for a knife so you eat them as they’re supposed to be enjoyed – with greasy, dirty fingers.

In many places, especially in San Diego and LA, they’ll then get topped with a giant portion of beans and cheese.

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The cheese is commonly cotija, although many placesuse a less-costly shredded cheese mix which melts with the other ingredients and keeps longer.

They’re then finished off with some sour cream and guac, thus creating an explosion of flavor.

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Carne asada fries have a devout following on Twitter. Like some people just can’t help themselves.

Credit: @purpsnat / Twitter

I mean lay it all out there girl. Now’s not the time for vergüenza.

And for some, they rather have carne asada fries in their belly than intimate human contact.

Credit: wcarrillo_13 / Twitter

I’m pretty sure we can all relate. Like I know I’ve been there.

Like you know a food is amazing when people take to Twitter to share their carne asada fries fan art.

Credit: @strayserval / Twitter

This. is. everything.

And although the original carne asada fries are literally life, there’s nothing wrong with experimentation.

We all know about carne asada fries. However, for all of you sweet vegetarians, use Hot Cheetos to change things up. Instead of using meat, this snack add another layer to the very popular french fries dish. You really can’t go wrong with fried potatoes, cheese, sour cream and Hot Cheetos.

READ: 15 Carne Asada Recipes That Will Have You Drooling Before The End Of This Post

Every Foodie Should Familiarize Themselves With This List Of The Best Latin American Restaurants In The World

Culture

Every Foodie Should Familiarize Themselves With This List Of The Best Latin American Restaurants In The World

pujolrestaurant / rgborago / Instagram

As we reported a few days ago, Latin American chefs did pretty great at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards in Singapore. Latin American fine cuisine got a total of nine spots in the list, and two in the top ten. This is quite an achievement for a region that is relatively new to fine dining. Cities like Mexico City and Lima have just become culinary epicenters thanks to visionaries that have translated tradition into modern masterpieces. However, credit is due to the centuries of cultural remix that has produced legendary dishes. Indigenous, colonial and other influences come together in the plate and wow judges and patrons. If these places have something in common, it is the inquisitive nature of their lead chefs. They went deep into the cultural roots of their countries, even finding new ingredients to achieve creativity and perfection.

We have to pay respect to the traditional recipes and the many years (and sometimes centuries) of experimentation by everyday cooks that led to these awards. So, we have listed some of the traditional influences that these restaurants have had. Sometimes it was all there already, and chefs just took it a step further! The restaurants in this list range from the high end to a Brazilian eatery that is relaxed and not expensive at all.

At number 6: Central (Lima, Peru), Best restaurant in South America,
Influenced by: ancient, indigenous Peruvian food

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This is the flagship restaurant of kitchen wizard Virgilio Martínez Véliz, who travels deep into each region of his home country to fund ancient ingredients. He collaborates with indigenous men and women to learn about traditional ways of cooking. He has introduced ingredients such as the Amazonian piranha into the menu. His drive to experiment has made him a celebrity chef the world over. You can learn about his journey in S3E6 of the Netflix show Chef’s Table

At number 10:  Maido (Lima, Peru), Influenced by: traditional Japanese cuisine with a Peruvian twist and local ingredients

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A testament to the ethnic diversity of Peru. The Japanese immigration in Peru has been constant and has led this ethnic minority to have a vibrant place in the social, cultural and political life of the South American country. This restaurant is let my “Micha” Tsumura, who offers a Nikkei experience that includes classic Peruvian seafood such as sea urchin and sea snail. Lima is certainly keeping up with cities such as New York, Tokyo, and Paris, which are usually the leaders of the pack. 

3. At number 12: Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico), Best Restaurant in North America, Influenced by: traditional Mexican food, particularly from Oaxaca

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Enrique Olvera has established himself as one of the main voices of the global fine art circuit. In his flagship Mexico City restaurant he offers dishes that use indigenous ingredients, particularly from the colorful region of Oaxaca. His team makes tortillas by hand, grinding species of corn that are rare. Olvera is not shy to experiment with ingredients that might seem “weird” to Western patrons, such as chicatana ants. A delightful experience that needs to be tasted to be believed. 

4. At number 23: Cosme (New York City), Influenced by: traditional Mexican garnachas 

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A New York restaurant with a 100% Mexican soul. Created by Olvera and led by Mexican chef Daniela Soto-Innes, who has revealed herself as a unique culinary voice and was named the World’s Best Female Chef 2019. She serves Modern Mexican food that is inspired by the crunchiness and glorious saltiness of Mexican street food, or garnachas. If you want to take your carnitas, infladitas, and tamales to the next level, then this is the place for you. Sinful delights all around. By the way, the kitchen is 50% female, which goes hand in hand with the chef’s ideas of equality. She also employs people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, both from the United States and overseas. 

5. At number 24: Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico), Influenced by: traditional Mexican cuisine

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The brainchild of chef Jorge Vallejo (who used to work at Pujol) is a tribute to the postcolonial flavors of Mexico. If Pujol strived to bring back ancient recipes, Quintonil offers new interpretations of classic everyday dishes such as tostadas de cangrejo and the luxurious escamoles (ant eggs). Even dishes that your abuelita might have made, such as Huazontles or salpicon, are featured here. Look at their take on a flauta in the photo above. 

6. At number 26: Boragó (Santiago, Chile), Influenced by: ingredients from Chile’s geographical diversity

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Rodolfo Guzman is a raising rockstar. Like Peru’s Central, this restaurant features ingredients from every corner of the country. Rodolfo gets ingredients from the Atacama desert, all the way down to the frigid Patagonia landscapes. Have you ever tasted flowers? Well, here you can: the signature dishes is a blend of roasted flowers, Van Gogh style! 

7. At number 34: Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Influenced by: traditional asado techniques 

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They say that if you are going to do one thing, you do it the best you can. This restaurant led by Pablo Jesus Rivero might make the best steak in the world. Following the traditional ways of cooking meat in the Pampas, cuts like rump steak and skirt steak are cooked to perfection. Sweetbread empanadas are also a standout. The decor follows the aesthetic of a 19th-century country estancia, when European pioneers made their way into the depths of the nascent country.

8. At number 39: A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil), Influenced by: Brazilian working class cooking

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Pork is a relatively easy stock to raise, and it has been a staple in the diets of Brazilians for centuries. Chef Jefferson Rueda reimagines everything you can do with pork. He raises the pigs on a diet of vegetables, slaughters them in house and uses every single part of the animal, making items such as blood sausages. The degustation menu is a culinary experience that also includes beans, cabbage, and banana, other staples of Brazilian home kitchens. The owners strive to make the restaurant accessible to the community, so prices are far from exorbitant. You can dine for $13 dollars.

9. At number 49: Leo (Bogotá, Colombia), Influenced by: indigenous uses of local fruits and vegetables

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Chef Leonor Espinosa has become a celebrity thanks to her bubbly personality and her use of little known ingredients such as corozo fruit, arrechon (a supposed aphrodisiac) and bijao, a banana-like plant. She learns from communities and their gastronomic traditions, creating dishes that include, for example, a crunchy coating made from ants. The menu explores different Colombian animal and plant species. A map shows where each one was sourced. The chef also runs a foundation FUNLEO, which aims to identify, reclaim and enhance the culinary traditions in Colombian communities.

READ: Mexican Food Meets Japanese Food In These Next Level Mexican Sushi Creations

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