Mexican cuisine

Mexican cuisine

Mexican cuisineThe Mexican cuisine is there to satisfy everyone. Whether you prefer having rice, tacos or burritos, the Mexican cuisine has it all. The combination of spice soups and stews and the quick meals to go which you can buy as street food makes it a very interesting kitchen. The Mexican cuisine has grown to be popular in many countries outside of Mexico. If you want to find out more, make sure to keep reading!

History

The Mexican cuisine was heavily influenced by the Spanish since they were colonized by Spain for a long period of time. After the Spanish arrived in Mexico, the Spanish introduced a wide variety of dishes as well as new cooking techniques which were commonly used in Europe. The Spanish cuisine at the time was not the typical Spanish cuisine that we know nowadays. During this time, the Spanish cuisine was influenced by the Arab  cuisine. The influence of the Arab cuisine had an impact on the Spanish cuisine for more than eight years. It is therefore no surprise that both the Spanish and the Mexican cuisine are a mixture of various ingredients. The main aim of the Spanish was to introduce their own home cooked food in Mexico. However, over time this slowly changed and more native ingredients were used to cook Mexican food. Some of the ingredients which have been introduced by the Spanish include rice, onions, oregano, olive oil and cinnamon. The Spanish also introduced many other herbs and spices which are still commonly used today. However, the most important products which were introduced in Mexico was probably the domesticated animals of Spain. These animals include pigs, chickens, cows, goats and sheep. Goats and sheep were not only used for their meat, but they were also used for their milk. Moreover, the Spanish also wanted to increase the consumption of protein. The most important dairy products which plays an important role in the Mexican cuisine is cheese. You will find many recipes in which cheese is used. The most important cooking technique which was adopted from the Spanish is the technique of frying. Despite the strong influence of the Spanish cuisine and Spanish culture, the Mexican cuisine has maintained its basic ingredients which are commonly featured in the majority of the dishes. These ingredients include chili peppers, beans and corn. The reason why these basic ingredients have always played an important role is because of the indigenous population in Mexico. When the Spanish introduced their ingredients, many indigenous people could not afford them. Thus, instead they had to cook with the ingredients which were widely available to them. Another important product which was introduced by the Spanish is rice. Ever since the introduction of rice, it has been growing in the area called Veracruz. The Spanish also used saffron. However, for many people this was an expensive products. The Mexicans therefore replaced saffron with tomatoes and other local ingredients.

Influence of immigrants

It was around the 19th century that Mexico had a large influx of immigrants from all over the world. The majority of immigrants came from China, Italy, Germany, Lebanon and France. The immigrants which arrived in Mexico also had a significant impact on the Mexican cuisine. Especially during the French intervention in Mexico did French food become popular. However, French food was not made available to all Mexican people since it often featured expensive ingredients. Thus, French food was only popular among the upper classes in Mexico. It is said that the French chef Tudor was brought to Mexico by Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg. He is said to be the one who had a great influence of the Mexican cuisine. You can still see the influence of the French chef in Mexico. The wide variety of breads and sweet breads are still commonly eaten in Mexico. The Germans also had an influence on the Mexican cuisine. The Germans are said to have introduced the beer brewing techniques to the country. The Chinese also had an influence on the Mexican kitchen but only in particular regions in the country did they introduce their cuisine.

Main ingredients

Mexican cuisine, like many other cuisines in the world, is a kitchen which is considered to be complex. Especially compared to the cuisines in Italy, France, Japan and China, the Mexican cuisine is as complex. The majority of dishes are made with ingredients which are native to the country. Moreover, the Mexicans also still work with the ingredients which were introduced by the Spanish, such as rice. While there have been some new influences since then, the majority of the ingredients are still native ingredients. As mentioned, the staple foods are corn, chili peppers and beans. However, other foods which are considered to be among the most used ingredients are avocados, vanilla, tomatoes and squash. There are also a few ingredients which you will not find in many other cuisines in the world. For example, the Mexican cuisine also uses edible flowers and vegetables such as the paploquelite and the huazontle. Vegetables in general play an important role in the Mexican cuisine. The vegetables which are most commonly used in Mexico are cauliflower, potatoes, mushrooms, zucchini and spinach. Some of the most popular dishes with vegetables include huauzontle, chili rellenos, huitlacoche and nopalitos. As mentioned, the Spanish and the immigrants from various countries have all had an influence on the Mexican cuisine. They have introduced ingredients such as cheese, beef, pork and herbs and spices. Fruits are also commonly eaten in Mexico. Mexico is especially known for its tropical fruits such as guava, sapote, pineapple and prickly pear. These fruits are especially very popular in the south of the country. There has been a lot of debate as to whether how authentic the Mexican cuisine is due to its influence from many European countries. However, the fact that the basis of Mexican food is still corn, beans and chili peppers shows that it is authentic.


Chili peppers

As mentioned, chili peppers are considered to be the basic ingredient in the majority of Mexican dishes. It is an ingredient which is used throughout Mexico. Whenever people think of Mexican food, one of the first things they have to think of is the fact that it is very spicy. While there are many dishes that are relatively spicy, a better description for the dishes are the fact that the seasoning is strong. There are also many dishes which do not have such a strong flavor and rather have a subtle flavor. Many people think that chili peppers are only used to add heat to a dish. However, this is not the case. Chili peppers are also used for their unique flavor. If a dish or snack has not been prepared using chili pepper, then hot sauce is usually added. Interestingly, chili pepper is also often added to fruits and to sweets. Thus, this shows that Mexicans like having spicy food. The origins of chili peppers can be traced back to the Mesoamerican period. During this time, chili peppers were considered to be as important as corn and beans. Around the 16th century, a book was written wherein the author states that if a dish did not contain chili pepper the indigenous people felt as if they had not eaten. They felt that every meal should contain chili pepper. Even today, many Mexicans believe chili pepper to be one their national ingredients they cannot live without. The majority of the dishes in Mexico are known for their delicious sauces. Most of these sauces contain chili peppers which gives the sauce a unique flavor. These dishes usually include adobo, a tomato sauce, pipians and moles. There are hardly any dishes which are eaten without a sauce. If there is no sauce, then usually pickled chili peppers are added or salsa. Salsa is a combination of tomatoes, onions and herbs. Some of the foods which are eaten with a salsa are tortas or tacos.

Home cooking

In the most parts of Mexico and especially in the rural areas, most of the food is consumed at home. In the rural areas the dishes which are prepared usually contain local ingredients. It is a tradition for women to be cooking. This also includes when it comes to preparing food for big family gatherings such as weddings. In the past it used to be the case that a girls was considered to be ready to marry when she could cook. Thus, cooking is seen as a talent for many Mexican housewives. The main meal of the day is eaten in the evening. This meal of the day is called “comida”. This term means “meal” in Spanish. You usually start with a cup of soup. This soup is often a chicken broth. However, many Mexicans also have a so-called “dry soup”. This soup is a combination of rice or pasta with vegetables. The main course is usually a meat dish. It is served in a sauce which is often made from tomatoes. On the side salsa will be served. You will also find that many people have tortillas and beans on the side. With regards to drinks, many people have fruit juice. The breakfast in Mexico is considered to be heavier compared to many types of breakfast in the world. For example, while many people in the world start their day with some toast and tea, this is not the case in Mexico. In Mexico you will find that people usually have the leftovers of the night before. Thus, they will have meat, enchiladas or tacos. These dishes are usually served together with tortillas, beans and coffee.

Street food

Mexican street food is probably considered to be one of the most famous types of street food. Mexican street food contains a wide variety of dishes. For example, tacos, tamales, huaraches, quesadillas and pambazos are a few types of street food which you will find on the streets of the Mexico. Interestingly, many families in the country do not have an oven at home. Thus, often you will find that meals which require the use  of an  oven will be sold on the street. The most popular type of street food is probably the taco. Tacos are hardly ever eaten for dinner. They are usually eaten during the day or late in the evening when people might still get hungry. Besides the taco, tortillas and also incredibly popular. Any type of food can be put in a tortilla. You can wrap it with rice, meat, vegetables and cheese. Both in Mexico and in many other parts of the world will you find varieties of tortillas. A sauce which you will not often see in Mexico is mayonnaise. Instead cream our sour cream is used to give dishes some extra flavor.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 619x
Added: 16-02-2017 12:32
Last modified: 22-05-2017 10:13

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