Beaches, ancient culture, and fundamentally, an exquisite meal. Mexico is a unique country, in which its rich history is mixed with different cultures and influences such as Spanish, African, Middle Eastern and Asian. The different flavors, colors and textures make your kitchen a great attraction also for tourists.
Many of these dishes, recognized today worldwide, originated long before the Spanish conquest and have managed to remain, mixed over the centuries, to make a registered trademark. To such an extent that Mexican gastronomy was declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2010 by UNESCO. All these ingredients, in which spicy stands out as a hallmark, make up a panorama of flavors and preparations that are enhanced with the huge amount of native products.
If there is an ingredient that characterizes Mexican cuisine, it is chili. With a huge local variety of spicy and flavors, they are perhaps what most identifies this cuisine in the world. Given the great taste of Mexicans for eating chiles in every possible way, one of the most popular are stuffed chiles. The amount of recipes that exist is enormous, but it is common to fill them with some meat preparation and serve them with onion and tomato sauce, in addition to some accompaniment of white or Mexican rice (with tomato), since the rice turns off the itching.
In restaurants, in street or home made small towns, in the north, center or south of the country, there is no Mexican food more popular than tacos. There are many varieties, although among the most common are the tacos al pastor, carnitas, sausage, barbecue or chicken (among many other recipes that can include kidney, liver, criadillas or even beef eye). The simple idea of the cornmeal tortilla that surrounds some delicious meat preparation is super effective, which has earned its spread and well-earned worldwide fame.
The guacamole, according to Toltec mythology, was a gift from the god Quetzalcoatl to his people, and gave them the mission of extending it through Mesoamerica. This thick sauce of avocado, lemon, tomato and chili (which in many cases also contains onion and cilantro) is a faithful companion of tacos, quesadillas, totopos (corn tortilla chips) or practically anything. Since Mexico is the world’s largest avocado producer, it is not surprising that guacamole is so popular.
Quesadillas are corn tortillas folded in the middle and stuffed with melted cheese, although at present they can have other fillings based on meat, shrimp, brains, mushrooms, pork rinds and many other varieties, and even in many cases they do not have cheese. Although a version circulates that states that the name comes from the Nahuat word Quetzaditzin , this is not true, since its current name is of Hispanic origin and yes, it derives from cheese.
One of the most traditional dishes, mole poblano, is a sauce with cocoa, chiles, sesame, nuts, almonds, tomatoes and other ingredients, which is commonly poured over turkey (or often chicken or other meats). There are versions that indicate that it is a pre-Hispanic dish and that in Aztec times the great lords were served, and there are others that say that it was the creation of some friars at the time of the conquest, but whatever it is, it is today one of The essential Mexican flavors.
A very common dish during the national holidays, the pozole, is a kind of broth made from corn grains with chicken or pork meat and with many local variations in different parts of Mexico. According to some anthropologists, in pre-Hispanic times it was an Aztec ceremonial dish consumed by emperors and the highest priests, who carried nothing more and nothing less than the flesh of the victims of human sacrifice. After the conquest, however, it began to be prepared more popularly and mainly with pork, in the way it is known today.
Tamales are consumed in almost all of Latin America, as a result of the contact between the different pre-Hispanic peoples. Although its origin is not clear, there is evidence in favor of it being a native dish of Mexico, since its name comes from the Nahuátl Tamalli , which means “wrapped”, and it is also believed that corn could originate from the current Mexican territory . From there it would have expanded throughout the rest of the continent. Whatever its origin, the truth is that this dish made of corn dough stuffed with meat, chili, fruits or vegetables and wrapped in a cob leaf, today is part of the daily life of many Mexicans.
Nothing to do with the American barbecue, in the Mexican case the word refers to a traditional way of steaming meat that is popular throughout Mexico but that comes from the states of Hidalgo, Tlaxcala and Querétaro. Originally cooking was done in a well in the earth lined with maguey leaves, although today it is done in slow cookers or steam cookers. The result is a meat with well-concentrated flavors, which melts into strands. Exquisite
With the ubiquitous rolled corn tortilla, stuffed with chicken or cheese and covered with a sauce, this dish dates back to Mayan times, and remains one of the favorites of Mexicans. There are versions of all kinds, with meat, beans, vegetables or seafood, and covered with various sauces, some of which (the least) are not spicy. It is common for them to come with some garnish, which can change from one state to another.