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Traditional Mexican Foods

Mexican cuisine is of Spanish origin and the main staples in traditional Mexican foods are corn and beans. Mexicans make dough from corn, termed as masa. This masa dough is used in the preparation of the popular traditional Mexican foods, such as tortillas, tamales, gorditas, etc. Mexican foods are known for their variety of flavors, wide range of spices and other ingredients, and colorful decorations. The major spices in Mexican cuisine are chili powder, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, cocoa, oregano, epazote, garlic, and onions. Apart from corn, Mexicans use rice abundantly in their food.

In spite of the general common factors in traditional Mexican foods, the individual items vary with each region due to the ethnic differences, climate, and geography. The Mexican cuisine can be classified as belonging to the six main regions of this enchanting country. The Yucatan region people prefer naturally sweetened dishes instead of spicy food. They invariably season their food items with achiote, a paste or powder of achiote fruit, used for coloring the food and providing it with a subtle flavor. It is an important ingredient in the spice mixture of Yucatan region, called recado rojo or achiote paste and in the spicy pork dish of Mexico, cochinita pibil. Since it is cheaper than saffron, it is widely used to color and flavor rice preparations in the Yucatan region.

The chief Oaxacan region food items are celebratory moles and savory tamales. The western region of Mexico that includes Jalisco and other areas are famous for goat birria, a preparation of goat meat in a spicy sauce of tomato base. Central Mexico has its own special cuisine like carnitas, menudo, barbacoa, and pozole. On the other hand, southern Mexico is popular for its spicy chicken and vegetable dishes. The southeastern Mexico food items are influenced by Caribbean Islands and seafood preparations are quite popular in the Gulf of Mexico region.

The few thousand years of Mayan culture of beekeeping and honey collection had influenced the traditional Mexican foods. Hence, honey is a main ingredient in most of Mexican dishes, such as balche, a beverage and rosca de miel, a special cake item. The interior villages follow both Mayan and Aztec traditions. The ingredients in their traditional Mexican foods are somewhat exotic that include rattlesnake, spider monkey, deer, iguana, ant eggs, grasshoppers, and several other insects.

Some of the most famous traditional Mexican foods are presented here. Several other Mexican cuisine specialties can be found in many websites on the Internet.

  1. Agua de Tamarindo is a lightly sweetened, delicious beverage prepared with tamarind pods. Other Mexican drinks are Jamaica Hibiscus, Agua Fresca, and Horchata.
  2. Grilled Chile Shrimp is an easy preparation that can be made ready in a few minutes.
  3. Picadillo is a unique cuisine that is popular from southern Mexico to Cuba. It is ground beef that is either served separately or used as a filling for tamales, tacos, and empanadas.
  4. Black beans with piloncillo is a popular Mexican food item that contains only 7 ingredients and hence quite easy to cook. They are popular for their heavy flavor and subtle sweetness.

Traditional Mexican Foods History

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