Popular Mexican Food
Looking back to see how today’s Mexican foods came to be you find a long and diverse history. Everyday Authentic Mexican food have elements of the Mayan and Aztec natives that formed the Mexican people long ago. They were traditionally nomadic hunters and gatherers. Corn tortillas with bean paste were a common food item; but they also ate wild game, tropic fruits, and fish.
In the mid 1300’s, with the rise of the Aztec Empire came the introduction of new foods like chili peppers, honey, salt and chocolate. They also began to domesticate turkey and duck around this time.
In the 1500’s when Spain invaded Mexico, Spanish foods started to mix with the local Mexican cuisine. They also introduced new livestock, such as pigs, sheep and cows. They also introduced dairy products, garlic and different herbs, wheat and spices. The Spaniards also brought other dishes from the Caribbean, South American, French, West African and Portuguese. Today’s Mexican food is a fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking with European and vary from region to region.
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Meat or chicken covered or marinated with a spicy Mexican adobo paste or sauce. Adobo is a Mexican marinade, sauce or seasoning.
Truly authentic Mexican tacos use the soft corn tortillas often made of corn and are stuffed with either meat, chicken or seafood fillings with a pic of spicy salsas.
A Mexican quesadilla is a corn or wheat tortilla filled with cheese and then grilled. Other items, such as a savoury mixture of spices or vegetables, are often added then they are cooked on a griddle.
Large Poblano chilies stuffed with Mexican cheese or spicy meat (picadillo). The chilies are mild, but the sauce is often not.
Mexican pipían sauce is green and made from pumpkin seeds. It is most often served over chicken or burritos.
Thin and crisp tortillas served loaded with guacamole, sour cream, chilies, chicken, beans, etc.
Made of wheat flour or maize (corn flour), these traditional flat savory pancakes formed the staple food of Mexican people for centuries. They are served with almost all dishes are often served instead of bread.
Made with tortillas, enchiladas are basically folded or rolled tortillas stuffed with chicken, pork or vegetables and then baked.
Red Snapper, a common feature on the menus at coastal resorts. Often available ‘al gusto’, cooked in a choice of methods.
A Yucatecan specialty, traditionally consists of chicken marinated in orange and spices then barbecued in banana leaves.
A gordita is a is a small cake made with corn flour and stuffed with cheese, meat or other fillings. Gordita means “little fat one” in Spanish.
Spanish for beans, used both as main ingredients and as garnishes to other dishes, beans can be boiled or fried.
Esquites or Elotes
Esquites are a delicious snack that you can buy on the street. It’s a piping hot cup of maiz (a lot like corn, but chewier here) and they add epazote spice, mayonaise, lots of lime, and chile. Eating it with a spoon while walking through a scenic plaza at night is heavenly.
Raw fish, squid or shrimp marinated in lime juice then mixed with cilantro, onion and tomato.
A wonderful rich sauce made with a combination of chocolate, chilies and many spices. It can be red, brown or green depending on the ingredients. The moles of Puebla and Oaxaca are particularly famous, hence ‘mole poblano’ or ‘mole oaxaqeño’.
Cornmeal paste wrapped in corn or banana husks and often stuffed with chicken, pork or turkey and/or vegetables, then steamed.