Mexican Cuisine

By | May 9, 2022

When we think of Mexican cuisine, tacos, quesadillas, tortillas and salsa come to mind first of all. Many consider Mexican cuisine to be spicy and oily, not for those with a tender stomach. But not only spicy dishes are popular in Mexico. Mexican cuisine is very diverse and has a rich history.

According to allcountrylist, the origins of Mexican cuisine as we know it today can be traced back to the time when the Spaniards landed on the land that later became Mexico. The Spaniards brought with them beef, lamb, cheese, milk, garlic, citrus fruits, pork, wheat, wine and vinegar, which the Aztecs did not know. And to Spain from America they brought chocolate, vanilla, legumes, corn, pumpkin, peanuts, coconuts, avocados and tomatoes. Traditional Mexican cuisine to this day consists of a combination of these products.
Since corn was well known to the Indians, they made flat cakes from corn flour, which are called tortilla. These cakes could be stuffed with various ingredients and folded like pancakes. Peppers have also been growing in Mexico for centuries, so the natives are accustomed to spice up Mexican dishes, just as they do with dishes from other parts of the world. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, meat dishes were prepared from the meat of deer, armadillos, rabbits, turkeys, quails, pigeons and raccoons that lived in the lands of the future Mexico.
Mexican cuisine is often described as a mixture of culinary traditions from different cultures and key spices that give the food a real Mexican flavor. Tacos are a mixture of cheeses, beef, tortillas, tomatoes and tomato-pepper sauces, all of which are ingredients in either Spanish or traditional Mexican cuisine.

One of the main misconceptions is that Mexican food is not spicy. From the plants, the Mexican orchid and the Mexican cacao tree derive sweet additives such as vanilla and chocolate. In addition to spicy dishes, Mexican cuisine is full of delicious sweet treats.

Tortilla

A thin tortilla made from corn or wheat flour, eaten mainly in Mexico, the United States, Central America, and Canada. In Mexico, tortillas are one of the national dishes. Tortilla is the basis for many dishes (mainly Mexican cuisine), for example, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, tacos, quesadillas, where various fillings are wrapped in a tortilla. In addition, tortillas are often served instead of bread with other dishes (for example, chili con carne). They serve as the basis for pies, stuffed rolls, canapés and sandwiches. They are eaten fried or baked, served plain or rolled up and stuffed. The filling can be both salty and sweet. And crispy pieces are used as a side dish and thicken soups with them. This flatbread replaces the Mexicans with a fork, spoon and knife – they pick up sauce or hold pieces of meat with it, moreover, such a “cutlery” is quite appropriate to eat at the end of dinner. Since corn dough baked goods harden quickly, they are eaten piping hot.

Nachos

A popular Mexican snack, which is tortilla chips with various toppings. Nachos are served with sauces, dressings, salads, they are also added to various dishes. They were first created around 1943 by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, and consisted of fried maize chips and melted cheese. Nachos can also be a separate dish served in a plastic tray with two compartments for chips and sauce, or on a plate where the chips are already covered with sauce (for example, chili con queso).

Tequila

For Mexicans, tequila is not just a strong alcoholic drink, but also a part of the history and culture of the people. Agave, the plant from which raw materials for the production of tequila, pulque and mezcal are obtained, was cultivated by the Indians even before the arrival of Europeans, but tequila itself (as well as mezcal) appeared much later, namely, about 400 years ago, after the arrival of Europeans. However, tequila is surrounded by many stories, legends and legends. Tequila is one type of mezcal, however, although they have much in common, mezcal and tequila are different in the same way as, for example, brandy and cognac. Tequila can only be made from one type of agave and is double distilled. Mezcal is obtained from five different types of agave, distilling the original wort once. Tequila is produced in the northwestern state of Jalisco, mezcal is produced mainly in the province of Oaxaca. Mezcal is somewhat stronger than tequila (tequila strength is usually 38-40 degrees). Tequila is quite widely exported, mezcal is consumed mainly in Mexico, outside the country it is quite difficult to get a bottle of mezcal.
The content of fusel oils in tequila successfully masks a light grassy tint of taste, however, you can get drunk from tequila much faster than, for example, from vodka. If you have drunk too much tequila, the hangover will not be easy.

Examoles

In some countries in Africa, Asia, South America and among the indigenous population of Australia, insects are valued as a cheap source of healthy proteins and are used as food. This is quite common practice.

Particularly in Mexico, for example, you can be offered a dish called escamoles, which is cooked eggs of giant black ants. The extraction of ant eggs is not an easy and rather dangerous business, since ants are poisonous and, without a fight, they are not going to give their offspring at all. Eggs of large ants of a certain species, living in agave roots, are suitable for cooking – by the beginning of summer they get out of underground anthills and then the season of “ant caviar” begins in all countries of South and Central America. Quite large ant eggs, similar to pine nuts, are sold in large quantities in the markets, often mixed with the ants themselves. Locals consider escamoles to be quite an exquisite delicacy. In one of the cities of Colombia, there is even a statue of an ant.

Ready-made escamoles has the consistency of cottage cheese and has a pleasant buttery taste with nutty tones. Usually escamoles are served on tortillas with guacamole sauce. In general, escamoles are eaten both raw and cooked, such as stewed with butter, onions, and hot chili peppers. Locals believe that eating insects slows down the aging process, strengthens the immune system and the musculoskeletal system.

Chile con carne

Also known simply as chili, it is a Mexican and Texan dish. The main components are hot peppers and minced meat, all other ingredients are added depending on the region or personal taste preferences. The meat can be cut into cubes or minced, you can also use different types of meat (traditionally – beef) or a combination of both. The most common additional ingredients are onions, garlic, tomatoes, bell peppers, and beans, although the latter is controversial, as the Texas version of the dish is cooked without beans. Sometimes, shortly before the end of cooking, a little sugar, honey or chocolate / cocoa is put in chili con carne. As seasonings, oregano, zira and black pepper are most often used, less often coriander and bay leaf.

Cucumber and pineapple gazpacho

Traditionally, Mexican gazpacho is made from tomatoes, but there are a lot of recipes for this popular dish, and in summer this cold soup is made from everything that was at hand. Cucumber and pineapple gazpacho will especially appeal to those who want to quickly lose a few pounds.

Mexican Cuisine