Mexican Food [CRACKED]
Camille Lowder is the digital food producer at Delish, otherwise known as our resident queen of recipe galleries. Previously, she attended the Natural Gourmet Institute for culinary school and worked at/managed a number of New York restaurants. She loves anything vegan, foods masquerading as other foods (hello, cauliflower), and a well-used Oxford comma.
México has one of the richest gastronomies in the world and Mexican food is one of the most beloved cuisines worldwide! It is the product of a set of ancient techniques, that are followed even today, and a sort of mix between pre-Hispanic local products and European ingredients such as certain spices like cinnamon, wheat, cattle, milk, cheese, etc.
Nowadays, though, Pozole is cooked with shredded chicken or wild turkey. There are several types, such as green, red, or white pozole, camagua, sea food, elopozole, etc. The most popular are the green and red.
Tamales are an icon of Mexican food. You can eat these all day every day, especially on the Day of The Candelaria. It comes from pre-Hispanic America, and is náhuatl in the indigenous language, meaning wrapped. These can be wrapped in corn leaves or banana leaves and stuffed with any stew of your choice. The most common are mole, shredded chicken or pork with green or red salsa, pepper with cheese, and yellow corn kernels.
Esquites are a delicious street food and come in many different varieties depending on where you are in the country. Northern states put cream, mayonnaise, chili powder, lemon, butter, and cheese on it. Here, you can either eat it in a cup or with the whole corn pierced on a stick. The central-southern states prefer them with cream and cheese or with lemon chili powder, but not a mix. Some people cook them with epazote and bone marrow. Extremely delicious!
Pipián stew originated in pre-Hispanic times and was one of Emperor Moctezumas favorite foods. Coming from the central-southern states, it is obligatory on any sauce menu. The sauce is made from toasted and ground pumpkin seeds and usually poultry, although it is sometimes accompanied by pork, beef, or rabbit.
Mexican cuisine consists of the cooking cuisines and traditions of the modern country of Mexico. Its earliest roots lie in Mesoamerican cuisine. Its ingredients and methods begin with the first agricultural communities such as the Olmec and Maya who domesticated maize, created the standard process of nixtamalization, and established their foodways. Successive waves of other Mesoamerican groups brought with them their own cooking methods. These included: the Teotihuacanos, Toltec, Huastec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Otomi, Purépecha, Totonac, Mazatec, Mazahua, and Nahua. With the Mexica formation of the multi-ethnic Triple Alliance (Aztec Empire), culinary foodways became infused (Aztec cuisine).
Today's food staples native to the land include corn (maize), turkey, beans, squash, amaranth, chia, avocados, tomatoes, tomatillos, cacao, vanilla, agave, spirulina, sweet potato, cactus, and chili pepper. Its history over the centuries has resulted in regional cuisines based on local conditions, including Baja Med, Chiapas, Veracruz, Oaxacan, and the American cuisines of New Mexican and Tex-Mex.
After the Spanish Conquest of the Aztec empire and the rest of Mesoamerica, Spaniards introduced a number of other foods, the most important of which were meats from domesticated animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat, and sheep), dairy products (especially cheese and milk), rice, sugar, olive oil and various fruits and vegetables. Various cooking styles and recipes were also introduced from Spain both throughout the colonial period and by Spanish immigrants who continued to arrive following independence. Spanish influence in Mexican cuisine is also noticeable in its sweets such as: alfajores, alfeniques, borrachitos and churros.
The other basic ingredient in all parts of Mexico is the chile pepper. Mexican food has a reputation for being very spicy, but it has a wide range of flavors and while many spices are used for cooking, not all are spicy. Many dishes also have subtle flavors. Chiles are indigenous to Mexico and their use dates back thousands of years. They are used for their flavors and not just their heat, with Mexico using the widest variety. If a savory dish or snack does not contain chile pepper, hot sauce is usually added, and chile pepper is often added to fresh fruit and sweets.
Many dishes in Mexico are defined by their sauces and the chiles those sauces contain (which are usually very spicy), rather than the meat or vegetable that the sauce covers. These dishes include entomatada (in tomato sauce), adobo or adobados, pipians and moles. A hominy soup called pozole is defined as white, green or red depending on the chile sauce used or omitted. Tamales are differentiated by the filling which is again defined by the sauce (red or green chile pepper strips or mole). Dishes without a sauce are rarely eaten without a salsa or without fresh or pickled chiles. This includes street foods, such as tacos, tortas, soup, sopes, tlacoyos, tlayudas, gorditas and sincronizadas. For most dishes, it is the type of chile used that gives it its main flavor. Chipotle, smoked-dried jalapeño pepper, is very common in Mexican cuisine.
Secondly they brought various culinary traditions from the Iberian peninsula which have become prevalent in Mexico. Equally, the discovery of the incorporation of New World ingredients to Spanish cuisine has led to many shared foods such as chorizo which uses paprika.
Spanish cuisine was in turn heavily influenced by its Moorish heritage and this created one of the earliest instances of the world's greatest Fusion cuisines. The Spanish also introduced the technique of frying in pork fat. Today, the main meats found in Mexico are pork, chicken, beef, goat, and sheep. Seafood and fish are also popular, especially along the coasts, and the way of cooking it commonly has Spanish origin such as Huachinango a la vizcaina.
In most of Mexico, especially in rural areas, much of the food is consumed in the home. Cooking for the family is usually considered to be women's work, and this includes cooking for celebrations as well. Traditionally girls have been considered ready to marry when they can cook, and cooking is considered a main talent for housewives.
Mexican cuisine is elaborate and often tied to symbolism and festivals, which is one reason it was named as an example of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Many of the foods of Mexico are complicated because of their relation to the social structure of the country. Food preparation, especially for family and social events, is considered to be an investment in order to maintain social relationships. Even the idea of flavor is considered to be social, with meals prepared for certain dinners and certain occasions when they are considered the most tasty.
The ability to cook well, called "sazón" (lit. seasoning) is considered to be a gift generally gained from experience and a sense of commitment to the diners. For the Day of the Dead festival, foods such as tamales and mole are set out on altars and it is believed that the visiting dead relatives eat the essence of the food. If eaten afterwards by the living it is considered to be tasteless. In central Mexico, the main festival foods are mole, barbacoa, carnitas and mixiotes. They are often prepared to feed hundreds of guests, requiring groups of cooks. The cooking is part of the social custom meant to bind families and communities.
Mexican regional home cooking is completely different from the food served in most Mexican restaurants outside Mexico, which is usually some variety of Tex-Mex. The original versions of Mexican dishes are vastly different from their Tex-Mex variation.
Some of Mexico's traditional foods involved complex or long cooking processes, including cooking underground (such as cochinita pibil). Before industrialization, traditional women spent several hours a day boiling dried corn then grinding it on a metate to make the dough for tortillas, cooking them one-by-one on a comal griddle. In some areas, tortillas are still made this way. Sauces and salsas were also ground in a mortar called a molcajete. Today, blenders are more often used, though the texture is a bit different. Most people in Mexico would say that those made with a molcajete taste better, but few do this now.
The most important food for festivals and other special occasions is mole, especially mole poblano in the center of the country. Mole is served at Christmas, Easter, Day of the Dead and at birthdays, baptisms, weddings and funerals, and tends to be eaten only for special occasions because it is such a complex and time-consuming dish. While still dominant in this way, other foods have become acceptable for these occasions, such as barbacoa, carnitas and mixiotes, especially since the 1980s. This may have been because of economic crises at that time, allowing for the substitution of these cheaper foods, or the fact that they can be bought ready-made or may already be made as part of the family business.
Another important festive food is the tamale, also known as tamal in Spanish. This is a filled cornmeal dumpling, steamed in a wrapping (usually a corn husk or banana leaf) and one of the basic staples in most regions of Mexico. It has its origins in the pre-Hispanic era and today is found in many varieties in all of Mexico. Like mole, it is complicated to prepare and best done in large amounts. Tamales are associated with certain celebrations such as Candlemas. They are wrapped in corn husks in the highlands and desert areas of Mexico and in banana leaves in the tropics. 041b061a72