Coast Cooking

Give authentic Mexican cuisine a try

House-made salsa is a cornerstone of a great Mexican food experience.
House-made salsa is a cornerstone of a great Mexican food experience. Special to the Sun Herald

This week, I will be blogging about Mexican food.

Not the stuff at the fast food outlet, not the style that Texas has nurtured all these years.

Tex-Mex is good, but it is not what you will find when you cross the border.

What’s the difference?

The differences are substantial.

Traditional Mexican food relies heavily on fresh vegetables, such as just-squeezed lime juice, avocado and lots of cilantro.

Tex-Mex loves ground beef, but in Mexico you are more likely to find a stewed beef filling instead. Sour cream and cheddar cheese also are American additions.

You will find crema and queso blanco in the Mexican versions, which are similar, but there are subtle differences which make for a different experience.

I do not have a comprehensive list of authentic Mexican restaurants, but I have been told that La Bamba on 1178 Judge Sukel,Biloxi; Cazadores on 1635 Pass Road, Biloxi; and La Nortena on 224 Porter Avenue are the best local examples.

If you know of another, please let me know.

If you find an authentic Mexican restaurant, the first thing you notice is the salsa that hits the table just after you do.

It is fresh, sharp, full of herbs and chilies and different from the bottled variety you may be used to. I am not sure about the other places, but La Nortena will sell you a small amount to take home. Fresh, homemade salsa will rock your world.