If there is one point around which food snobbery coalesces, it is authenticity. If it doesn’t seem like it’s made by your mama from Chihuahua or your nana from Nanjing, some people just don’t want to eat it. And if there is a cuisine that draws maximum ire in this regard, at least locally, it is Mexican. Why? Because “it is so much better in California!” says everyone, always. And we are all either from California or would like to think we are, at least in some deep spiritual fashion. It is better in Texas, too. And Colorado. And guess what, it is better in Mexico, too.
Me, melt some cheese on anything, make sure there’s hot sauce on the table, and on some basic level I’m pretty happy. Would I be more interested in sampling a 50-ingredient mole hand-ground by women with mystical fortune-telling powers in a tiny mountain village? Sure. But I’m not going to kick a crunchy-shelled, ground beef-containing creation out of bed for calling itself a taco.