Cuisine of Mexico

Mexican food is a style of food that originated in Mexico. Mexican cuisine is known for its intense and varied flavors, colorful decoration, and variety of spices.
National cuisine
When Spanish conquistadores, in other words soldiers, arrived in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan (the ancient city on which Mexico City was built), they found that the people’s diet consisted largely of corn-based dishes with chilis and herbs, usually complemented with beans and tomatoes. The conquistadores eventually combined their imported diet of rice, beef, pork, chicken, wine, garlic and onions with the indigenous foods of pre-Columbian Mexico, including chocolate, maize, tomato, vanilla, avocado, papaya, pineapple, chile pepper, beans, squash, sweet potato, peanut, fish and turkey.
Most of today’s Mexican food is based on ancient traditions, such as the Aztecs and Maya, combined with culinary trends introduced by Spanish colonists. Quesadillas, for example, are a flour or corn tortilla with cheese (often a Mexican-style soft farmer’s cheese such as Queso Fresco), beef, chicken, pork, and so on. The indigenous part of this and many other traditional foods is the chili pepper. Foods like these tend to be very colorful because of the rich variety of vegetables (among them are the chili peppers, green peppers, chilis, broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes) and meats in Mexican food. The French occupation of Mexico influenced Mexican cuisine with baked goods such as sweet breads and the bolillo (pronounced bo-lee-yo), a Mexican take on the French roll. There is also a minor Filipino influence due to the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade, which lasted from 1565 to 1815.
There are also more exotic dishes, cooked in the Aztec or Mayan style, with ingredients ranging from iguana to rattlesnake, deer, spider monkey, and even some kinds of insects. This is usually known as comida prehispanica (or prehispanic food).
Regional cuisine
Mexican food varies by region, because of local climate and geography and ethnic differences among the indigenous inhabitants and because these different populations were influenced by the Spaniards in varying degrees. The north of Mexico is known for its beef production and meat dishes. Southeastern Mexico, on the other hand, is known for its spicy vegetable and chicken-based dishes. Seafood is commonly prepared in the states that border the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.
Mexican cuisine outside of Mexico
A distinction must be made between truly authentic Mexican food, and Tex Mex (Texan-Mexican) cuisine. Mexican cuisine combines with the cuisine of the southwest United States (which itself has a number of Mexican influences) to form Cal-Mex and Tex-Mex cuisine. Another style of cuisine that is commonly mistaken for Mexican food is New Mexican cuisine, which is found in New Mexico, USA.
While Mexican Restaurants can be found in almost any town throughout the United States, few use authentic or traditional techniques and ingredients. Some states, such as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and parts of California and Florida, have high Mexican/Hispanic populations; many authentic Mexican Restaurants can be found in these parts of the country.


Leave a Comment