Cuisine of Mexico
of the United States, Mexico is advancing both culturally and economically
in recent years. The devaluation of the peso in 1994 was a blow
to the Mexican economy, lowering their per capita income to a mere
quarter of that of the United States. Through repeated social and
economic turmoil, the rich cultures of the original Yucatan civilizations
has remained, though somewhat jaded after their escape from Spanish
rule in the 19th century.
isn't difficult to research the history of Mexican cuisine. When
the Spaniards first landed in Tenochtitlan (which is present-day
Mexico City), they studiously chronicled every aspect of life there
in Mexico, especially the food and cooking techniques of the natives.
They noticed in their observations that Mexicans had a lot of corn-based
of such rich, heavy foods as tortillas, chili peppers, and beans,
food is one cuisine that will always have a taste and sabor (flavor)
all its own. Present-day Mexican food is a mixture of original Mayan
and Aztec cuisine combined with the influence of the Spanish conquistadores.
food is known for its wealth of spices and intense, deep flavoring.
While so-called Tex-Mex and local "authentic" Mexican
restaurants have become very skilled in mastering the style of Mexican
cooking, there is no comparison between the Americanized "restaurant"
version and the real thing. Once you enjoy true Mexican food, you'd
rather buy out Taco Bell than eat the swill at a Tex-Mex restaurant
staple of Mexican cuisine is tortillas. Tortillas are made by curing
maize in lime water, then kneading the mixture into a dough, and
cooking the thin patties on a flat grill. The most prominent tortillas
in the United States' version of Mexican food are made of corn,
although this version of the corn tortilla is quite unlike the original,
authentic version. Authentic corn tortillas are made by hand on
a flat grill, called a comal. The corn is ground by hand, resulting
in thick tasty tortillas that make the grocery store versions taste
like wet paper. Interestingly enough, flour tortillas were implemented
only after the Spaniards introduced wheat to the Mexican region.
are another staple of traditional Mexican cuisine, adding color
and dimension to many authentic Mexican dishes. Bell peppers, tabasco
peppers, and paprika peppers add the color and the flavor kick that
Mexican food is reknown for.
is also important to realize that Mexican cuisine varies in reference
to the region it is made in. Northern-style Mexican food normally
consists of dishes with a lot of beef, while southern-style Mexican
cuisine consists more of chicken and vegetables such as bell pepper,
radishes, and broccoli.
is also another common style of Mexican food, hailing from the coastal
areas in Mexico. Veracruz cuisine, which was named after a state
in Mexico and its largest city, consists of seafood like fish and
shrimp. More indigenous areas have even been known to add spider
monkey and iguana to their meals. So next time you're in Mexico,
remember "Mexican food" does not always imply tacos and
Mexican cuisine is not to be confused with the Americanized Tex-Mex
or New Mexican food (grease-pit versions of Mexican food in Texas
and New Mexico).
Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties
and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements
have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and
these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat,
cure or prevent any disease.