There is more to beautiful Mexico than the clear, blue seas and the exotic culture; the tasty 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.
As you make your way around Mexico, or even just a small part of it, you will notice how important and unique the home style cooking is. Everything is completely natural and flavorful, rich in color and taste, along with spices that have a righteous kick.
Mexican food has not changed very much in history. It is believed that Mexican cuisine was derived from what the Mayan Indians prepared as far as 2000 years ago. They expertly lived off the land, to sustain themselves with beans, corn, peppers, fruits and chocolate, as well as chicken, turkey, duck, and later pork.
© Leslie Seaton – Mexican Ingredients
Regional Mexican Food
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 more fruit and vegetables;
- The Bajio region contains more rice, pork, and sausages;
- The South-Pacific coast growing 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.
Popular Mexican Dishes
Authentic Mexican food is usually prepared with many of the same ingredients.
Savoury Mexican Food
Pico de gallo is a savory mixture of chopped up tomato, onion, cilantro, peppers, and other personal preferences that are a favorite party favor with flour tortilla or pan dulce, another Mexican bread.
An assortments of meats is not uncommon and many dishes can be prepared with any type.
Enchiladas are wrapped tortilla rolls, filled with either beef, chicken, seafood, potato, beans, or other combinations, with a chili pepper sauce sprinkled on top.
© UnknownNet Photography – Mexican Enchiladas
Even snacks like carnitas are made of simmered or braised pork that can be served with any of the above mentioned.
Of course, Mexican food cannot be mentioned without tacos. 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.
Guacamole is an easy dish to prepare and its health benefits are very well known, seeing that guacamole comes from avocados.
Rice and cheeses are always on the table. They can come in the form of side dishes, or be the main ingredients of small cakes such as a Zacatecan-style baked mesa cake.
Soups and stews can often carry a meal. Pork and red chile stews, or carne adobada, are hearty dishes, as well as pork neck and purslane stew, or rebocado.
A fava bean soup is commonly filled with potatoes, fava beans, corn, and tomato.
© bionicgrrrl – Salsa and Guacamole
Sweet Mexican Dishes
For desserts, Mexican cuisine is uniquely creative.
Churros are a favorite in the United States as well, but their origin is strictly Mexican.
Rice pudding ice pops, or paletas de arroz con leche, are quite popular, as well as pineapple rice pops, tamarind-chile ice pops, and strawberry and cream ice pops.
© Krista – Mexican Flan
Mexican Street Food
A great things about Mexican food is that when you travel the country, there are street vendors all around that sell what are known as “street foods”: quesadillas, tacos, tamales, chalupas, churros, and so on.
These food items are more likely to be seen on the streets than in an actual home cooked meal because they are of the more informal variety. Still amazingly delicious, they are great when walking around and site seeing, as they usually do not require forks and knives in order to eat.
© William Neuheisel – Quesadillas
Mexican Holiday Foods
If you are traveling to Mexico at certain times of the year, you will also have the opportunity to try some holiday treats.
- The Day of the Dead is celebrated on the first of November, and with it comes Pan de Muertos (Day of the Dead Bread), a round, sweet bread that is topped with sugar or sesame seeds.Tamales are a season favorite, as well as Mole Negro.A yellow squash or a pumpkin cooked with brown sugar and cinnamon is also a seasonal dish called Calabaza en Dulce.There are Calaveras de Azucar, or sugar skulls, cookies with sugar and/or chocolate for a sweet delight.
© Alex Groundwater – Mexican Skull Candies
- The Christmas season has circular shaped butter cookies that have green and red sprinkles to look like little Christmas wreathes. These sugar cookies are called Galletas con Chochitos.
- And not to forget Cinco de Mayo: churros with coconut sauce, Mexican lasagna, pinto bean salsa salad, and chicken mole enchildas are so full of color and taste that the meal itself is a full on celebration!
© Laissez Fare – Churros
Some traditional Mexican drinks that people enjoy are hot chocolate, horchata blanca – a white rice drink, horchata de arroz tostado – a toasted rice drink, horchata de arroz con almendras – an almond rice drink, and chico – a blackberry liqueur.
Margaritas are a classic favorite. You can mix them with any fruit: strawberry, mango, pineapple, watermelon, or raspberry, or you can have Mexicali beer margaritas.
© eltpics – Margaritas
Facts about Mexican food and drink
- Other foods that a quite popular are sauteed sweet plantains, chicken or beef chimichangas, green chile spinach quiche, Mexian quinoa, flan, sopapillas, and Mexican brownies. These foods are always a good choice when looking for meals to indulge in.
- The Mexican cuisine is uniquely special because it is recreated all over the world. There are Mexican style restaurants in every country because the food is hearty, well-cooked and displayed, richly colorful and full of flavor, as well as simply delicious.
- The possibilities and combinations are endless for the adventurous travelers. The best Mexican cuisine in the world is all around the beautiful country of Mexico. The only problem is deciding on only one meal out of the vast number of choices.