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Food Glossary

Mexican Food Glossary – From Achiote to Vino

Sometimes a recipe might call for an ingredient you have never heard of or a cooking method that you are unfamiliar with. This is why our comprehensive food and cooking glossary is so valuable, because you can look up these ingredients or cooking methods in just a few minutes and then carry on with the recipe you are following. The food glossary also has a pronunciation guide so you can speak knowledgably to your guests about the delicious food you are serving them without getting any of the words wrong or mispronouncing them. A good host knows about his or her homemade dishes, and you can impress your dinner guests endlessly with a few interesting south of the border food facts.

Learning About Typical Local Ingredients

Consulting the food glossary is not just about learning facts to impress your dinner guests or finding out about ingredient substitutions. You can also use the glossary to learn more about typical ingredients or to glean ideas and inspiration about future dishes you want to try making, based on the ingredients in them. Throwing unfamiliar ingredients together haphazardly can result in successful food but knowing some facts about the ingredients you are working with gives you more confidence in the kitchen and this will reflect in your tasty, homemade meals.

When making a Mexican recipe you will often come across an ingredient which is unfamiliar to you. You will scan the ingredients to see if you have them all and then suddenly stop. What is achiote, you might wonder, or what is epazote, or bolillo? The way to find out is simply to use this glossary to discover the meaning, and then you are all ready to go and buy the ingredients you need, or else to find out what you can use as a substitute, if that ingredient is not easily available. Not only are we covering ingredients here, but also some other words and phrases you might hear, things to do with Mexican cuisine, such as ‘borracho’ which literally means ‘drunk’ but is sometimes used in a recipe title when alcohol is an ingredient in the dish.

The Importance of a Glossary

We felt this glossary would be an important part of the site because some people are brand new to Mexican cooking, while others are familiar with Mexican food but not knowledgeable about the Spanish language at all, so might be confused about some of the word meanings used.

Perhaps you are just browsing the terms because you are interested in the meanings, and the glossary can also be used for that. Learning key terms will enhance your Mexican cooking experience and you will be able to find what you need more quickly in the Latin grocery store, and pick up the best traditional Mexican ingredients to make your dishes as authentic as possible.


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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,