‘Authenticity’ in Mexican restaurants depends on views of managers and patrons

Food, from its production to its consumption, is a strong cultural symbol and often is a direct expression of group identity. According to a study published by Stephen Christ, a University of Missouri sociologist, food also can mark the boundaries of culture, tradition and authenticity. Whether or not a Mexican restaurant is considered “authentic” is completely subjective; yet, Christ believes that authentic Mexican restaurants, while symbolizing boundaries between private cultural and ethnic customs, also function as sites for public display of ethnic and cultural identities. He adds that Mexican-American restaurants, while claiming authenticity, may be leading to the assimilation of Mexican culture into the American lifestyle, which could have implications for future immigration policy changes. —> Read More