If you like it spicy or hot and spicy, Mexican specialties can offer you both! There is more to beautiful Mexico than the clear, blue seas and the exotic culture; the flavorful and unique Mexican cuisine is a top favorite all around the world. And there is so much more to discover than burritos, guacamole, and salsa. That is only the first course.
If you happen to visit Mexico, and as you make your way around, you will notice the uniqueness of their home-style cooking. Everything is completely natural and flavorful, rich in color and taste, along with spices that have a kick.
Throughout history, Mexican food has not changed very much. The Mayan Indians greatly influenced Mexican cooking. They were experts at living off the land, sustaining themselves with beans, corn, peppers, and fruits, as well as domesticating and raising chicken, turkey, duck, and later pork.
At the top of the favorites list is Guacamole, Pico de Gallo or salsa and chips! These traditional appetizers are at the start of every meal! Fresh tomatoes, avocadoes, cilantro and onions are present in many meals. Some of the most popular spices include cumin, coriander. Mexican cooking incorporates many fresh herbs and fresh vegetables. The hot, spicy flavors in Mexican cuisine are typically derived from the many types of fresh peppers—Jalapeno, Habanero, and ancho chili peppers are amongst the most favored.
The Mexican food style is very earthy, humble, and rich in flavors because they use a wide range of ingredients from all over the country.
Mexico can be classified by region by their indigenous foods.
- The Northern region is well-known for meat and cheeses
- The North-Pacific coast grows fruit and vegetables
- The Bajio region offers rice, pork, and sausages
- The South-Pacific coast grows a large variety of chili pepper, chicken, and cheese
- The Southern region is known for corn and spices
- The Gulf region has corn and vanilla
Enchiladas are a national favorite – corn or flour tortillas are filled either beef, chicken, seafood, potato, beans, or other combinations, drowned in chili sauce and loaded down with cheeses. They are slow baked to perfection, allowing all the aromatic spices to permeate. Once done, a big dollop of sour cream and fresh cilantro, olives, green onions or other condiments top this feast!
Carnitas are so easy and very popular. This dish is the equivalent of “pulled pork”. Braised pork is shredded onto a soft taco, topped with tomato, Pico de Gallo, avocados, cilantro and anything else you may desire. Typically, this meat is prepared on a gill and slow roasted to perfection. Some of the herbs used include , oregano, marjoram, bay leaves, garlic, pulled apart, and then oven-roasted until slightly crisp, then eaten alone or used as a filling for tacos, tamales, tortes, and burritos. A squeeze if lime and you are good to go!
For those who love their food to crunch, tacos are an all-time favorite! They’re fun and easy to eat – and very colorful.
There are so many varieties of tacos to choose from: fish, carne asada, fajita, beef and bean, chicken mole, chipotle pork, chorizo and potato, and the list goes on.
Arroz con Pollo
This delectable dish will tantalize your taste buds. Tender chicken strips served on a bed of rice prepared with mixed vegetables, corn, peas, carrots, green beans, need just a squeeze of lime for perfection. Fresh herbs, such as cilantro, green onions, etc. make this one of Mexico’s most favored dishes. This is one of the easiest dishes to prepare – from the oven to the table in 45 minutes!
There are as many different types of paella as there are women who cook it. The basis is a mix of chicken, a variety of seafood, including mussels, shrimp, lobster, crab, octopus and pork cooked in with the rice and peas, carrots and green beans. Paella gets it wonderful yellow colored rice for saffron.
Sweet Mexican Dishes
For desserts, Mexican cuisine is uniquely creative. Churros are a favorite.
Rice pudding ice pops, or paletas de arroz con leche, are quite popular, as well as pineapple rice pops, tamarind-chili ice pops, and strawberry and cream ice pops.
Street vendors in Mexico sell what are known as “street foods”: quesadillas, tacos, tamales, Other foods that a quite popular are sautéed sweet plantains, chicken or beef chimichangas, green chili spinach quiche, Mexican quinoa, flan, sopapillas, and Mexican brownies. The possibilities and combinations are endless for the creative chef. Don’t be afraid to try new things.