The cuisine of the Americas is made up of a variety of food preparation styles.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (//), is a chain of restaurants in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany, specializing in burritos and tacos. Its name derives from chipotle, the Mexican Spanish name for a smoked and dried jalapeño chili pepper.
The company has released a mission statement called Food with Integrity, which highlights its efforts in using organic ingredients, and serves more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant chain. Chipotle is one of the first chains of fast casual dining establishments.
California Tortilla is a chain of franchised fast casual Mexican restaurants, the first of which was opened in 1995 in Bethesda, Maryland by business partners Pam Felix and Alan Cohen. The chain's menu, which features Mission burritos, is comparable to that of its competitors, such as Baja Fresh and Chipotle Mexican Grill. A typical restaurant has 2,500 square feet (230 m2) with seating for 75 people. California Tortilla was voted by readers of Washingtonian magazine as having the best burritos in both 2009 and 2010. The chain sold its 5 millionth burrito on August 22, 2007.
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture. Today, most of the food energy consumed by the world population is supplied by the food industry.
Mexican cuisine is primarily a fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking with European, especially Spanish, elements added after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century. The basic staples remain native foods such as corn, beans and chili peppers, but the Europeans introduced a large number of other foods, the most important of which were meat from domesticated animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat and sheep), dairy products (especially cheese) and various herbs and lots of spices.
While the Spanish initially tried to impose their own diet on the country, this was not possible and eventually the foods and cooking techniques began to be mixed, especially in colonial era convents. Over the centuries, this resulted in various regional cuisines, based on local conditions such as those in Oaxaca, Veracruz and the Yucatán Peninsula. Mexican cuisine is closely tied to the culture, social structure and popular traditions of the country. The most important example of this connection is the use of mole for special occasions and holidays, particularly in the South region of the country. For this reason and others, Mexican cuisine was added by UNESCO to its list of the world’s "intangible cultural heritage".
A fast casual restaurant is a type of restaurant that does not offer full table service, but promises a higher quality of food and atmosphere than a fast food restaurant (called a "quick service restaurant" in the trade). In the United States, it is a relatively new and growing concept positioned between fast food and casual dining (hence the hybrid name "fast casual"). The typical cost per meal is in the US$8–$15 range.
The term 'Fast Casual' was created by Horatio Lonsdale-Hands in 1995, while serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ZuZu, Inc., which he co-founded in 1989.