Dr. Jeffrey Pilcher, a professor of history at the University of Minnesota, will examine the question, “What is authentic Mexican food?” in a lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in the 3M Auditorium of Owens Science Hall on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

Dr. Jeffrrey Pilcher

The talk, “Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food,” is free and open to the public.

The burritos and taco shells that many think of as Mexican actually were created in the United States, while Americanized foods have been carried around the world in tin cans and served in tourist restaurants.

Using the “chili queens” of San Antonio and the inventors of the taco shell as examples, Pilcher will show how Mexican Americans helped to make Mexican food global. He also will discuss the struggle between globalization and national sovereignty that is represented by the clash of fast food and Mexican regional cuisines.

Pilcher teaches and writes on the history of foods throughout the world, but especially on Mexican food.

His lecture is co-sponsored by the St. Thomas departments of History, Modern and Classical Languages, Geography, International Studies, American Culture and Difference, Women’s Studies and Justice and Peace Studies.