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Mexican Food Glossary Mexican Food C – E

A Comprehensive Guide to Mexican Food Types

Our in-depth glossary guide to different types of south of the border food, and the terms used to describe them is a key resource for anyone interested in Mexican food and Mexican recipes. Whether you are brand new to this cuisine, or a Mexican or Tex-Mex food enthusiast, this is a great resource.

You can also use these terms when shopping in a Latin food market, and our pronunciation guide will come in handy too, so you can be sure of being understood when shopping, and find the ingredients you need to make our dishes.

This glossary was written with non-Spanish speakers in mind, or people who do not speak much more of the language than ‘dos cervezas por favor’ but even people who do have a good grasp of Spanish will hopefully find some of this glossary to be of assistance when making all the tastiest and most authentic Mexican dishes.

This section shows Mexican foods from C to E, everything from carne, the Mexican word for meat but which usually refers to beef, to esquite, a chili and lime corn-based snack popular south of the border. Perhaps you arrived here by searching for a term, or maybe you are reading through the whole glossary to discover how many terms you already know.

Familiarizing yourself with these Mexican terms allows you not only to ask for the items you want in Latin food store but also to find out more about what you can do with specific ingredients.

A lot of our recipes call for ingredients you will of course already know, such as corn, tomatoes, beef, lime juice, and chili powder (just to name some cliché Mexican ingredients) but what happens when the recipe calls for something you have never heard of? That is where the glossary comes in very handy, because you can find out exactly what you need about any of those ingredients right here.

Mexican Food C – E


Cajeta
(cah-heh-tah): – A confection made of goat milk and sugar. Also called dulce de leche.


Carne
(car-nay): – Meat, pork or beef.


Ceviche
(seh-vee-chay): – Raw fish marinated in lime juice, combined with onions, chili, spices and tomato.


Cerveza
(ser-vay-sah): – Beer.


Chalupa
(chah-loo-pah): – A filled, crisp, shallow corn cup.


Chayote
(chah-yo-tay): – A kind of squash.


Chicharrones
(chee-chah-roh-nays): – Deep fried pork rind.


Chilaquiles
(chee-lah-kee-lays): – Fried pieces of tortilla with a mild red sauce and cheese topping. Popular for breakfast or as an appetizer.


Chile Rellenos
(chee-lay ray-yay-nos): – Anaheim or ancho chilies without skins, battered and stuffed with meat or cheese, covered with a lightly spiced red sauce.


Chili
(chih-lee): – The powder from dried chile peppers.


Chilorio
(chee-loh-ree-oh): – A northern Mexican meat filling made with shredded boiled pork fried with spices and ground chilies.


Chimichanga
(chi-mee-chan-gah): – Deep fried burritos filled with meat.


Chipotle
(chih-poh-tull): – Smoked jalapeño chili peppers.


Chorizo
(choh-ree-zo): – Chili and spice flavored fresh sausage.


Cilantro
(sill-ahn-tro): – A fresh herb used for aromatic seasoning.


Comida
(coh-mee-dah): – Meal.


Conejo
(coh-nay-ho): – Rabbit.


Cordero
(cor-deh-ro): – Lamb.


Costillas
(cos-tee-yas): – Ribs.


Cotija
(coh-tee-ha): – An aged, crumbly white Mexican cheese.


Cream
(creh-mah): – Cream.


Dulce
(dull-say): – Sweet in flavor or a type of candy.


Elote
(eh-loh-tay): – Fresh corn.


Empanadas
(em-pah-nah-das): – A pastry filled with fruit, meat, fish or cheese. Popular in Spain, Chile, Peru and Argentina as well as Mexico.


Enchilada
(en-chi-lah-das): – A softly fried corn tortilla dipped in red sauce and stuffed with shredded beef, chicken or cheese.


Epazote
(eh-pah-zo-tay): – A wild herb used to flavor Mexican stews and soups. Epazote grows wild all over North America.


Escabeche
(eh-scah-beh-chay): – A combination of vinegar, oil, seasonings and herbs used to pickle Mexican foods such as jalapeños.


Esquite
(eh-skee-tay): – A corn based snack topped with chili, lime juice, salt or grated cheese.


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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to AmazingMexicanRecipes.com. 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,

Christine