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The History of Mexican Food and its Rise in Popularity

Mexican Food History and the Rise in Popularity of Mexican Food Culture

People wareole is cuisine are often interested in the origins of this delicious fare, with its variety and intensity of flavors. Authentic Mexican food is thought to have been derived from Mayan Indians, who were hunters and gatherers. A common dish was corn tortillas with bean paste. Tropical fruits, wild game, and fish were also enjoyed in the early days of this country’s culinary history. In the mid 1300s, honey, salt, chocolate, and chili peppers were introduced also.

When Spain invaded Mexico in the sixteenth century, new livestock such as cows, sheep, and pigs were introduced, as were garlic, various herbs and spices, wheat and dairy products. Other influences also played a part on the development of the traditional diet, including South American, West African, French, Portuguese, and Caribbean cuisines. A lot of traditional meals include beans and rice as ingredients.

Authentic Mexican Foods

When looking at the history of traditional Mexican food and food culture, it is interesting to know that traditional Mexican meals were cooked over an open fire on ceramic pots or cast iron skillets. Food was also steamed or fried. Salsa was sold in Aztec market places. In the modern salsa, you will find avocado and tomato, which were also used throughout Mexican food history. The Aztec race was also responsible for the tomatillo, which is a fruit. It is a member of the nightshade family and is used in various green sauces to add a tart taste.

What is TexMex food?

This cuisine originated centuries ago when Mexican and Spanish recipes combined with British fare. The TexMex style we know today is actually a 20th century phenomenon. The first TexMex restaurants appeared outside the southwest region in cities where many Mexicans lived. Gourmet TexMex cuisine appeared in the 1970s and these foods are popular with the younger generation.

Popular Traditional Mexican Foods

One well-known Mexican delight is quesadillas. These are actually part Mexican and part Spanish. The corn tortilla is Native American. The pork or beef and cheese are Spanish, as is the shredded lettuce. The chili pepper sauce, which accompanies quesadillas, is Mexican. Tacos are equally popular and these are made of a folded, rolled maize tortilla filled with beef or chicken, chili powder, onion and spices. Guacamole is an avocado based dip with an Aztec origin. Other guacamole ingredients usually include tomatoes, limejuice, and salt.

A fajita is grilled meat served on a corn or flour tortilla. Condiments, such as guacamole, sour cream, and cheese are often used too. Onions and bell peppers are usually added in restaurants but did not feature in the original, traditional Mexican recipe. An enchilada is a traditional Mexican recipe but there are various methods of preparation. Usually, a corn tortilla is dipped in oil to soften it then dipped in an enchilada sauce. Next, the tortillas are stuffed and rolled, layered with sauce and cooked. The Aztecs used tortillas as wraps but the term “enchilada” was not used in America until 1885.

Flavors from around the world have affected Mexican cuisine in the same way that Mexican ideas have influenced other national cuisines. So, the next time you hear someone say that all Mexican food is greasy and tastes the same, you will know otherwise!

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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,