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A Brief History of Mariachi Music

June 8, 2020Read More

The origins of the name “Mariachi” are still a mystery to this day. It was said to have come from the French word for “marriage” dating back to the French occupation of Mexico in the 1860’s. Given how mariachi bands were often seen playing at weddings, this was the popular theory for many years. It was even promoted on record sleeves and travel brochures, but has since been proven incorrect by historians. It is now thought to be of indigenous origin, representing the wood used to create ancient instruments and dancing platforms. Though the name has long remained a mystery, mariachi goes far beyond music.

The Rise of the Mariachi

The mariachi movement began in Jalisco, Mexico during the 19th century; but the common perception of the mariachi as we know them today was developed in the early 20th century. The music was transformed from regional folk to an urban phenomenon and came to represent all of Mexico. After the Mexican revolution, the Mexican government was heavily involved in cultural promotion as a way to create a new national identity. With their songs of loyalty, love, politics, and revolutionary heroes; mariachi became a symbol of freedom for the people of Mexico.

Tools of the Trade

Aside from fierce musical talent, a passion for all things Mexican, and a snazzy charro outfit; a true mariachi band thrives on a variety of different instruments. These are the common instruments of the mariachi:

Mariachi Strings

Vihuela: The vihuela is a creation of the Coca Indians of Southwestern Jalisco in Mexico. It has five strings and a bowed back, and it is slightly larger than a ukulele. It is played with a thumb pick in the rasqueado (strummed) style and is the harmonic foundation of the mariachi band.

Acoustic Guitar: A standard guitar is used and serves to supplement the vihuela as a rhythmic element in the mariachi band. The guitar and the vihuela typically play the same rhythmic patterns and keep a strong foundation for the group.

Guitarrón: The guitarrón is the bass foundation of the group and is arguably the most important element in the mariachi band. It serves not only as the bass of the group, but it gives the group its characteristic sound. It is said that if there is no guitarrón, there should be no performance.

Trumpet: A standard trumpet is used at various times, and supports the melody, adding an extra bit of soul to the mariachi band.

Violin: A standard violin is also used to provide rich texture and added emotional weight. Due to the versatility of the instrument, this tone can change from sadness to happiness in an instant.

Other instruments: There are occasions when instruments such as the flute, French horn, accordion, and organ are used, though these instruments are typically used for more specific arrangements.

Mariachi Music of Modern Day

During the 1950s Mariachi culture became deeply rooted in the United States, later expanding to the rest of the world. Today, mariachi music is played in places as far away as Japan and Europe; bringing their vibrant and often uplifting music to a whole new audience. Mariachi transcends both borders and ethnicity. It is more than just the music of a country. It is the music of pride, tradition, and freedom. If you are interested in learning more about Mexican/Latin culture, come out and visit us!

Fajitas

July 2, 2019Read More

Some of the best foods don’t follow a simple origin story. People migrate, and cultures mix. The result is unusual and delicious combinations, featuring flavors used in new ways. The fajita results from this type of migration.

Fajitas originated in the Southwest of the United States and inspired by a dish eaten by cowboys and migrants from Mexico. Eventually, fajitas came to mainland America.

Fajitas Are Tex-Mexfajitas at el sabroson

Because of this migratory cultural origin, fajitas get categorized as Tex-Mex. They are truly a fusion of flavors, often incorporating popular tastes from multiple cultures.

Fajitas Explode With Options And Flavors

Originally made with skirt steak, fajitas have become little mini buffets adorning the tables at your favorite Latino or Mexican restaurants. Pairing your choice of shrimp, chicken, or steak with a host of toppings, you can create the perfect bite that combines fried vegetables, seasoning, beans, rice, and meat.

Fajitas Make Quite An Entrance

You know when someone orders fajitas. The dark metal plate, brought from the kitchen, overflowing with steam just screams this is as fresh as it gets. The sizzle, the aroma of flavors, lets everyone know you ordered fajitas.

Come Enjoy Fajitas At El Sabroson

We make everything fresh, and the fajitas are no exception. For great Latino or Mexican food, join us at our Williamsburg restaurant.

Mexican Independence Day

September 1, 2017Read More

mexico

September 16th is Mexican Independence Day. Often mistaken for Cinco De Mayo, it marks the anniversary of the beginning of s revolution to free Mexico from the clutches of Spain.

This theme was very common as Spain had most of the Latin American world under it’s captivity. The 18th and 19th centuries are marked with the struggle of now independent Latin republics to free themselves from the oppression of their Spanish conquerers.

So in a way the battle for independence from Spain is a pretty universal struggle in the Latino world.

Mistaken for Cinco De Mayo

While a lot of fun, Cinco De Mayo has no connection or bearing on Mexican Independence Day, which was fought against the French. It is still a triumph of the Mexican people but has its own holiday. In fact, here is a quick list of facts to help clarify some of the key points of Mexican Independence Day.

GritoQuick Facts About Mexican Independence Day

Since we mentioned Cinco De Mayo let us add some facts and dispel some myths about this famed holiday

  • It is not Cinco De Mayo or even part of the same conflict
  • It marked the beginning of the war not the end
  • The war lasted 11 years after it started
  • A priest,not a soilder, started the revolt
  • The symbolic founder of the revolution, priest Hidalgo is captured and killed by the Spanish before the end of the war.
  • The war starts with a bell ringing which is reenacted every year

But make no mistake..it is about freedom and the Mexicans,like so many other Latino countries will tell you, freedom isn’t free.

Now the fun part..Let’s celebrate

Enough of this political stuff, how about the fun. I know of no Latin festivals or commemorative occasions that are not marked by festivals and great food…

Declare your own independence from boring food

Come enjoy your own Independence Day celebration at El Sabroson. Multiple flavors and seasonings await you with our authentic Latin restaurant menu, including fresh Mexican food.

Mexican Food: The Chimichanga

April 12, 2017Read More

If you have ever been to a Mexican restaurant you have either heard of or tried the chimichanga. The chimichanga or chimi as I affectionately call it, is one of the most iconic Mexican dishes in the American palette.

The chimichanga is somewhat like an empanada or burrito, but fried to golden perfection. Filled with meat, cheese and beans it is a flavorful favorite for many a Mexican dining experience.

mexican foodMexican Restaurant

The chimichanga like so many dishes at a Mexican American restaurant are really Americanized versions of Mexican food also referred to as Tex Mex.  Burritos, Tacos, enchiladas and more all have been texcised (similar to Americanized but with Texas flair).

Origin of this Mexican dish

Like many dishes and Mexican food or beverage creations, many claim to be the originator. Unfortunately it is hard to narrow down the Mexican inspired Chimichanga to one specific origin point, very much like the margarita. But there are some great claims.

Somewhere in Arizonamexican restaurant

I saw one persistent claim on Wikipedia about a Tucson restaurant in the 1920s where the cook drops a burrito into the fryer. At first she wants to say a curse word beginning with Chi but changes it to chimichanga meaning an unclassified dish. But the story didn’t go into the best part, leaving me to use my imagination for that….

The first bite of the Chimichanga

I am guessing the chef retrieved the now fried burrito out of the oil. Waiting a few moments she let the oil drain and the burrito got cool enough to eat. Then that first bite. That moment of culinary greatness when you know you have something good and you can remember how you did it.

I too have experienced the first bite syndrome when I enjoy Mexican. That time from the moment the server brings the piping hot food to the time I get to taste it seems like an eternity. With a chimichanga, more so.

Having had a few chimichangas myself I have learned a few things

-They are good served piping hot

-They are always good

-The first few bites are magic

-I would bet this originator had that same feeling.

More Origins of the Chimi

This is not the only origin story. I had heard they were invented in Texas but many of the accomexican food in williamsburgunts point to Arizona. Even with this variance in accounts there are a few things I feel pretty confident about when pinpointing the Chimi’s origin.

-It originated or was officially named in the American Southwest

-It is a Mexican fusion dish

-It gained notoriety in the 20th century

 

Getting a great Chimichanga nearby

Now, you probably are thinking about Chimichanga’s. Come enjoy El Sabroson’s Chimichanga as well as one of our many authentic Mexican food favorites.

Mexican buffet williamsburgMexican favorites at our buffet

You can also enjoy many of our Mexican and Latin favorites at our daily lunch buffet. Bring your appetite, you are going to need it.

Getting Great Mexican food

El Sabroson offers Mexican food and other Latin food favorites. Most Mexican dishes you get in America are really Tex Mex. They still pull seasonings and methods from their authentic Mexican recipe cousins but are Americanized for the meat intensive flavor blasted mega sized American appetite.

Here is our location in Williamsburg, Virginia!

We are near everything like Busch Gardens, William and Mary, and Colonial Williamsburg

More Mexican Food Origin Articles

Margarita

Mexican Food: The Burrito

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