In the 160-some years since the United States acquired Texas and other Southwestern land that borders Mexico, the country has grown a deep affection for Mexican cuisine. Numberless Mexican restaurants dot the highways of the Southwest, and are always good for a quick, tasty meal. And cities all over the country are full of street vendors dishing out Mexican snacks. The demand for the food and the proliferation of Mexican restaurants and vendors have been further fueled by the influx of immigrants from Mexico.
Perhaps the most popular Mexican treat for street vendors is the taco -- a small, simple tortilla-wrapped snack with a choice of meat, often beef, chicken or pork. Also usually tucked inside are cheese, lettuce and tomato. Common accompanying condiments include salsa, hot sauce, sour cream or even guacamole. Interestingly, the soft tortilla taco is more authentically Mexican, whereas the hard-shelled tacos are an Americanized Mexican food, as are nachos [source: Smith].